The different types of forklifts
Posted by Nathalie Parpal on Monday, October 22, 2018 at 14:44
Whether you have experience operating forklifts or you are totally novice, there is a forklift for you. However, with the large diversity of forklifts available as well as all their different features, you can easily get lost. In order to help you make your decision and choose the most suitable forklift, we listed all the different types of forklifts available.
The counterbalance lift is well-known to be the most common type of forklift used for indoor work in warehouses. It is a straightforward appliance that has its forks at the front of the machine to carry heavy loads and bulky items. The counterbalance lift is available in different sizes in order to meet any needs of warehouse owners. As it doesn’t have extended arms, it fairly simple to use lift.
This type of forklift is available in 3 types : electric, diesel or propane. The diesel model is bigger and heavier and used for any kind of outside application as it is more powerful. The propane model is used for both, indoor and outdoor activities and allows you to save on fuel. The electric model costs less than the other options and is used for indoor operations.
Three-wheel counterbalance lift
Very similar to the counterbalance lift, the three wheel-counterbalance lift is also very well-known in the logistics and transport industry. But unlike the four-wheel model, it has a better maneuverability which makes it the ideal truck for narrow aisles operating in tight spaces. Accordingly, it is used for a lighter load application as the load capacity is limited to 2500kg.
Also, the three-wheel counterbalance model is usually used for indoor activities, in warehouses with smooth surfaces. Its tight maneuverability can significantly increase the productivity. Be careful though because it is usually less stable than a four-wheel and avoid turning too fast when carrying a load.
Mostly used for warehouse operations and indoor work, the reach lift is known for its extended lift height. Indeed, with its high rise storage pallet racking, this machine is ideal for big warehouses with high shelves as it offers height that many others cannot achieve. Its stabilizing legs at the front allow it to increase support so it doesn’t need any weight to counterbalance the lift.
There are three types of reach lifts : the stand up model that can lift one load per bay. The double deep model that has extended forks and can reach reach twice as deep as standard forks. The double model is better for multiple pallet loads. Finally, the saddle model has long forks and is the best for multiple loads in one bay.
The walkie truck requires the operator to walk behind the truck. Thanks to its motor, it can lift heavier loads but also operates in small spaces. The operator has the ability of moving it forward and backwards at his/her convenience and stop the machine when he or she wants to. Mainly used in warehouses and storage facilities, it is very simple to use as the operator only has to position the forks beneath the load and use its electric motor to lift the load.
Its electric motor also allows it to lift heavier pallets than a hand pallet truck. However, it is better to use it for small capacity items and for an indoor use as it has small wheels. There are a lot of types of walkies for different purposes and different needs. Some distribute the load with their front legs, others with their straddle legs. Some have a platform included for the operator to stand on.
The cherry picker is a lift that is very appreciated in warehouse environments for order picking. It is mostly used to raise and lower the driver while he or she is still operating the truck. It is used in many worksites and its main mission is to reach all inaccessible areas. Therefore it can be very useful to paint a building, install windows or lighting, cut trees, etc.
Most of the time, it is used on construction sites and in warehouses to lift, raise and stack pallets and to allow access to materials high up. However, some training is required for the operators prior to using it. Indeed, the cherry picker can be dangerous if they are not used properly. Thus, there are some rules to respect if you want to prevent accidents and meet government regulations.
All of these are the most common types of forklifts that are usually used in warehouses, storage facilities and construction sites. Now that you’ve been able to see each of their specific characteristics, you might be able to know what kind of forklift would be best suited for your operations.
Still undecided? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our specialists. We will listen to your needs and give you the best recommandations to find the perfect forklift.