Industrial Truck Association reports record forklift sales in 2018

March 11, 2019 By    

The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) reported over a quarter-million forklift trucks were sold in North America in 2018, representing a 2.8 percent increase from 2017 unit sales. It also marked the fourth straight year of record forklift sales.

Propane powered forklift. Photo:

Propane is used in class 4 and 5 forklift trucks. Photo:

“All five truck classes exhibited growth in 2018, representing diverse demand across product lines,” says Scott Johnson, chairman of the board of directors for the ITA and vice president of sales and marketing for Clark Material Handling Co.

Year-end forklift truck sales of 260,180 included electric rider trucks (class 1 and class 2 combined), motorized hand trucks (class 3) and internal combustion powered trucks (class 4 and class 5 combined), ITA reports.

Propane holds a significant market share in class 4 and 5 forklifts.

Electric and internal combustion truck sales grew at similar rates, showing annual increases of 2.8 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

“Industrial truck sales continue to play an integral role in keeping the U.S. economy moving,” Johnson says. “The market contributes more than $25 billion annually to the U.S. [gross domestic product], and for every direct job in the industry, an additional 2.5 jobs are supported elsewhere in the economy.”

Canada and Mexico remain the two largest export countries for U.S. forklift manufacturers, ITA says.

“Passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) will play a critical role in maintaining the health of our industry,” says Brian Feehan, president of the ITA. “A successful conclusion to USMCA will provide the long-term policy framework manufacturers and consumers need to ensure the North American market remains one of the strongest for our industry.”

The ITA is an organization of industrial truck manufacturers and suppliers of component parts and accessories that conduct business in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy was an associate editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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