Forklifts are the most indispensable tools in a warehouse or at a construction site. They’re key to efficiently and safely handling goods. But a tool is only effective when it’s used correctly. Choosing the right forklifts for your fleet requires a thorough understanding of the different forklift types. For this purpose, we have compiled a guide to the most common types of forklifts.
The counterbalance forklift is one of the most common types of forklifts. Workers can use them in warehouses, at loading docks, at construction sites, or at shipyards. However, just because they’re useful in a wide range of settings doesn’t mean they’re right for all settings. They tend to tip over, so workers shouldn’t use them in facilities with narrow aisles or very tall shelves.
Stand-up forklifts are good for warehouses where counterbalance forklifts have trouble. Because of their shape, they can traverse narrow aisles and make sharp turns safely. They can also reach things from higher shelves without toppling over. However, they aren’t impervious to tipping. Employees need training in how to operate them even if they’ve operated other types of forklifts.
Side Loader Forklifts
Side loader forklifts are also able to navigate narrow warehouse aisles. But where they stand out is the size and shape of the loads they can carry. Side loaders are perfect for wide and unwieldy loads—the kind that wouldn’t fit comfortably on a counterbalance or stand-up forklift’s forks. They’re a worthwhile investment for warehouses with large, awkwardly shaped products.
Telescopic Handler Forklift
Where stand-up and side loader forklifts are built to handle particular warehouse scenarios, telescopic handler forklifts can manage outdoor settings. Telehandlers are one of the lift truck varieties, enabling them to lift loads as high as 55 feet at different angles. They can also travel over rougher terrain than counterbalance forklifts can.