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The Economic Impact of Industrial Truck Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers

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Posted: March 28, 2023
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Forklifts touch almost everything that ends up in homes across North America. From the food we consume to the cleaning products we use, the televisions we watch to the lawn chairs we relax in, forklifts are integral parts of the supply chains that keep America moving. The economic impact of forklifts in the U.S. is astounding, creating jobs in wide-ranging sectors where operators are in demand and more goods are continually in need of manufacturing (where their components are often hauled by forklifts).

Forklift Manufacturers Serve a Vital Role

But forklift manufactures themselves are key contributors the economy, even outside of the residual markets and supply chains where forklifts are used. From manufacturing to sales and delivery, forklift manufacturers are the people who move the capital equipment that keeps everything else moving.


When Toyota Material Handling North America President & CEO Brett Wood was Chairman of the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) in 2016, he led an initiative to hire Oxford Economics to calculate the impact of the forklift industry on the overall U.S. economy.


Here are some industry facts related to the forklift industry in general:


  • The forklift industry contributes the equivalent GDP of a small country like El Salvador to the U.S. economy.
  • The forklift industry pays $5.3 billion in annual taxes.
  • The forklift industry employs more than 200,000 people.
  • More than a half-million people drive forklifts every day.
  • Ten percent of the workforce in the industry are Veterans, as opposed to seven percent in all other industries.

Influence of Forklift Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers

The impact of the forklift industry can be defined beyond these statistics, but as a high-level overview, these are fairly impressive numbers. The shared effort of Toyota Forklifts and our competitors has a profound impact on the U.S. economy and the lives of people across North America. And as the economic upswing leads to an even greater investment in capital equipment, we’ll be a vital part of the domestic success to come.


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