2 Jul 2019

Which forklift is suitable for my daily operations?

A forklift is definitely a very useful tool to transport heavy duty items and inventory around. It is indeed an important machinery around warehouses and construction sites. Having said that, forklift trucks do come in various sizes and they all have slightly different functionality.

Therefore, it is important that one consider their daily operational needs before deciding on which forklift to purchase for their warehouse operations. Briefly, there are 3 things to consider before purchasing a forklift.

  1. Consider your daily operational needs
  2. Consider your daily load capacity; the heaviest load that you would need to lift, and even the size dimensions of your loads
  3. Consider the height that you would need your forklifts to reach

After taking into account these considerations, next we would advise that you familiarize with the various forklift models in the market. Here are the common types of forklifts used in various industries.

Counterbalance Forklifts

Counterbalance forklift trucks are the most common type of forklift truck. The forks protrude from the front of the machine, with no outrigging legs or arms, with a weight at the rear of the truck off-setting the load to be lifted at the front. The truck can be driven up to the exact location of the load or racking for straightforward operation.  Counterbalance machines are available as electric, gas or diesel powered.

Reach Forklift Trucks

A reach truck has a compact body and it has a drive wheel for the user to drive the machine around. When it is lifting a load, it moves the desired load within the wheelbase which allows it to work around narrower aisles.

Rough Terrain Forklifts

For outdoor construction and with difficult terrain, a rough terrain forklift is ideal. It has inflatable tyres with thicker threads, allowing stability on uneven ground, as well as a more powerful engine so it can reach higher speeds, and better manoeuvrability, making them must more robust and durable.

This means that they are perfect for transporting heavy loads across rugged terrain, with some models handling up to 3 tonnes per load. The carefully calibrated counterbalance at the back of the truck prevents overbalancing, with it being easily operated in mud, ice or even snow.

Side Loader Forklifts

Side loader forklift trucks are ideally suited to working in narrow aisles.  The forks are mounted to the side of the truck and can pick up wide or long loads that would be awkward or inaccessible with a straight forward forklift. They are especially useful for lifting and transporting tubing, pipes and sheet materials safely and efficiently. There are two main types of side loader forklifts, the enclosed cab that is most commonly used outdoors, and a stand up version that is more suited to indoor tasks. There’s also a multi-way version, where the wheels all rotate by 90°, allowing ease of transportation in any direction.

Telescopic Handler Forklifts

A telescopic handler, also called a telehandler, teleporter, reach forklift or boom lift, is a machine widely used in agriculture and industry. In industry the most common attachment for a tele-handler is pallet forks and the most common application is to move loads to and from places unreachable for a conventional forklift. For example, telehandlers have the ability to remove palletised cargo from within a trailer and to place loads on rooftops and other high places. The latter application would otherwise require a crane, which is not always practical or time-efficient.

Check out THT Academy for their forklift training courses.

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