The Different Types of Forklifts Explained

There are times when the only way to move something is with a forklift. But with so many types of forklifts, which one makes the most sense for the job you need to get done.

Whether you’re on the job site, in the factory or warehouse, or you’re taking down an old building, a forklift built for the purpose will make your life easier.

To help you understand the differences between some of the common types of forklifts, we’ve put together a guide. Read on to learn about five different forklift options.

  1. Side Loader

Side loader forklifts are typically used in warehouses or heavy industry. They are designed for narrow spaces between shelving or stacked goods. Side loaders have the forks on the side of the forklift rather than the standard front.

Side loaders are one of the types of forklifts best suited for picking up and moving things like logs and pipes. Most side loaders have a fully enclosed cab. You can also get side loaders that have wheels that rotate up to 90 degrees, giving you more flexibility in loading and unloading.

  1. Rough Terrain

Another of the forklift options is the rough terrain forklift. These forklifts have larger, inflatable tires. The combination of bigger tires with a more powerful engine allows rough terrain forklifts to operate smoothly and effectively outdoors on uneven ground.

The larger engines on these types of forklifts also add speed and maneuverability. These forklifts are primarily designed for lifting and moving heavy loads in tough conditions.

  1. Order Picker

Order picker forklifts are sometimes known as cherry pickers. These kinds of forklifts are designed so that the operator can go up and down with the lift as needed. This flexibility is why they are perfect for order picking in warehouses.

Operators can lift themselves up to items stored higher up on shelving. They can then pick the item safely from the forklift. Order picker forklifts are not designed to lift and move heavy loads.

  1. Walkie Stacker

Walkie stackers are some of the more unusual looking forklifts out there. There is no cab for the operator. Instead, the driver walks behind the forklift as they are using it.

These forklifts are not heavy duty. They don’t have a lot of power or speed. They also aren’t all that maneuverable.

However, they are great at getting to pallets that are stacked higher off the ground. They are easy to operate, too. This means users don’t need a lot of training or experience to get to pallets and move them around.

  1. Counterbalance

Counterbalance forklifts come in either three or four-wheel formats. They are some of the most common and popular forklift options on the market. As you might expect, these forklifts have a weight built into them opposite the forklift arms to help keep them balanced.

Counterbalance forklifts tend to be fairly basic. Their arms don’t extend out. But they are easy to maneuver and skilled operators can get the forklift arms directly to the load.

You can learn more about this popular forklift, here.

Lots of Different Types of Forklifts

As you can see, there is a wide variety of types of forklifts. This list of five of the most common forklift options shows the breadth of functionality and tasks forklifts can cover.

Whether you need forklifts that can handle rough terrain or tight spaces or that have great maneuverability, there is one that will suit your requirements.

Forklifts are great options for some construction and renovation. Visit our website to learn more about construction and renovation ideas.


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