Forklifts come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are specifically designed for the particular application that they will serve. The different attachments that can be affixed to the forklifts make them very versatile and able to perform many functions. In addition, forklifts are also delineated according to classification. From the wide variety that can be found, there are a number of common types of forklifts that are found in industry and it is valuable to be aware of your options as you choose a forklift to purchase or hire.
Outdoor forklifts and those that are designed for rougher terrain will typically be larger and heavier than those which are used indoors. What is important to consider when you choose a forklift that can be used indoors, is their size in relation to the isle size, so that they can fit in and maneuver around.
Types of Forklifts
The warehouse forklift is a common forklift used in general warehousing. It has a compact design and is fitted with two forks protruding out in front of the forklift. It is commonly used for loading and offloading, and picking up inventory in the retail or food industry.
A side loader is operated from the side and is used for bulky and heavy items that need to be moved. The design allows the side loader to move alongside racks for packing without needing to pivot around. This function makes it perfect for loading items in the steel, manufacturing and timber industries.
Counterbalance forklifts are designed with two forks extending out in front of it, with a weight positioned at the back, to counterbalance the load that is being carried. These are typically found in the three-wheeled variants as well as with the stand-up option.
A telehandler is a forklift that incorporates the function of a crane by having an extendable arm. Fitted with two forks as well, it is well suited for lifting pallets off the ground and raising them to high heights. Its ability to do so makes it perfect for maneuvering inventory into narrow spaces.
Heavy-duty forklifts are the variation for more heavy-duty handling and is a bigger model than most. It is a much larger variation of the warehouse forklift and includes the extendable arm of the telehandler forklift. It is versatile in that it too can reach very narrow and tricky spaces but is limited to maneuvering only very heavy loads.
Rough terrain forklifts are designed specifically for the outdoors and where there may be uneven surfaces. Its tires are large and have a good scope of tread to assist in keeping the forklift firmly stable on the ground. It is powered pneumatically and is suited for heavy-duty applications.
Pallet jacks are smaller forklifts that are operated with a handle. Because they are small, they are not suited to lifting larger loads. Where these specialist forklifts fall short in lifting capacity due to power, they are perfect for small and narrow spaces and for intricate maneuverability.
The walkie-stacker is unique in that it does not have a cab for the operator to position himself within. Instead, there is a platform on which the operator stands to work the controls to move the machine. He can also walk behind it and steer it with the handle attached to it. Walkie stackers are tall and narrow and are great for moving taller pallets to high platforms.
An order picker is a forklift used to move items that are in storage and as such is suited for the indoors. These forklifts are small and can carry individual items without the necessity of having to maneuver the entire pallet. They are also designed to lift items to very high heights within a storeroom and can handle materials ranging from furniture to auto parts.
A reach fork is unique in that it is able to extend its forks above its compartments and reach places that other forklifts would not normally be able to reach. Its design makes it very suitable to indoor applications and high storage areas. They do not possess a wide space of undercarriage clearance so they are not particularly suited for the outdoors. It also is fitted with an open compartment which increases the operator’s visibility while the forklift is in motion.
Let Forklift Handling assist you to choose a forklift that suits your particular needs and applications. The considerations are many, but with the professionals by your side, you can make the best, most informed choice. Contact Forklift Handling today!
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