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    9 Different Types Of Forklifts You Need To Know

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    How Can You Tell Apart Different Types Of Forklifts?

    Counterbalance Forklifts

    Counterbalance forklifts are probably the most common forklift trucks used in indoor warehouses and stores. Their operation is straightforward. They have dual forks at the front of the truck and a weight in the back to offset the weight of the load in the front. They are available in electric, propane, or diesel.

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    Three-wheel Counterbalance Forklifts

    Three-wheel counterbalance forklifts are very similar to the normal four-wheel counterbalance forklifts. The main difference and advantage is that the three-wheel provides better maneuverability and is better for narrow aisles and spaces.

    Reach Forklift Trucks

    Reach forklift trucks’ main point of difference is their extended lift height (in excess of 10 metres). They are ideal for warehousing situations with high-rise storage pallet racking systems.  They are not often used outdoors. Reach forklifts have stabilizing legs at the front of the machine to increase support; therefore they do not require counter weight balances at the back of the truck. Reach forklifts are also electric. There are three types of reach forklifts:

    • Stand-Up Trucks: Stand-up trucks are the most common reach forklifts. They are usually only capable to lift one load per bay.
    • Double-Deep Trucks: Double-deep trucks have longer forks and are better for multiple pallet loads per bay. They are usually able to reach right to the back of the bay.
    • Saddle Trucks: Saddle trucks also have long forks but they have the ability to grip onto the edges of the load for increase stability. They are best suited for multiple loads in one bay that you can access from different angles.

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    Rough Terrain Forklifts

    Rough Terrain forklifts are used for outdoor construction and in areas with difficult terrain. They have inflatable tires with thicker threads that allow for increase stability on uneven ground. Rough terrain forklifts also have engines that are more powerful so it can reach higher speeds, which are perfect for transporting heavy loads across rugged terrain. These forklifts have calibrated counterbalance at the back of the trucks to prevent overbalancing.

    Side Loader Forklifts

    Side Loader forklifts are ideal for narrow working environments. The forks are mounted to the side of the truck. Industrial side loader forklifts are best for picking up wide or long loads such as timber, piping, and sheets. There are typically 3 types:

    • Enclosed cab – most commonly used outdoors
    • Stand up – suited for indoor tasks
    • Multi-way – wheels all rotate by 90 degrees, allowing for all-direction transportation

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    Telescopic Handler Forklifts

    Telescopic Handler forklifts are ideal for agriculture and anything that requires high lifting. They are often thought of as small cranes. They have a single telescopic boom that allow for attachments, such as lift table, bucket, pallet fork at the end. This allows for completion of work at heights that normal forklifts cannot reach.

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    Pedestrian Operated Pallet Trucks

    Pedestrian Operated or Hand Pallet trucks are the most commonly used forklift/truck in warehouses and storage facilities. They are simple in operation with the operator positioning the forks beneath the pallet and use the manual hydraulic jack to lift the load from the ground. The Hand Pallet trucks are simply for moving loads from one place to another at ground level with limited reach.

    Walkie/Power Pallet Trucks

    Walkie or Powered Pallet Trucks operate very similarly to Hand Pallet trucks. The difference is that powered pallet trucks lift and move loads by the electric motor within the machine.

    Cherry Picker/Order Picker Forklift

    Cherry Picker/Order Picker forklift allows the operator to raise and lower himself or herself while still operating the truck. These forklifts are available either as all electronic or electronic lift only and used indoors only.