Forklifts, also known as lift trucks or fork hoists, are vehicles that are designed to lift and transport heavy and/or bulky materials over short distances. Forklifts are staple equipment for any warehouse or storage facility as it allows one to load and unload goods to and from a vehicle, as well as store and stack goods in the warehouse floors and shelves. These vehicles are also commonly seen around construction sites, moving around building materials from container trucks to where they’re needed.
If you’re in the storage or warehouse industry, or simply operating in a business that requires you to load and/or store heavy products and goods unto vehicles or in your business’ storage space, it’s a good idea to invest in a forklift. However, not all forklifts are made the same; there are different types of forklifts, each with their specific design and use. So let’s explore these variants to help you choose the right one for your operations:
This is the most common form of forklifts and can carry and transport between 1 to 5 tons of materials. Warehouse forklifts allow for massive carrying capacity, easy maneuvering, and high precision, which is useful for unloading, loading, and storing goods. Their fork designs are specifically designed for use with pallets.
Industrial reach Forklift
These forklifts are quite similar to warehouse forklifts and are also used often in warehouses with industrial storage shelves, or near docks when loading to heavy items into container vans. Industrial Reach forklifts differ from warehouse forklifts as they have an extended lifting height.
Industrial Counterbalance Forklifts
Or simply “counterbalance forklifts” have back-mounted weight to counter heavy loads and allow for circular maneuvering. These types of forklifts are an ideal variant to warehouse forklifts, and can operate at higher speeds and are much more stable. Three-wheeled variants of counterbalance forklifts are narrower and allow for better maneuverability, making them perfect for warehouses or storage areas with narrow aisles.
Rough Terrain Forklift
As the name implies, rough terrain forklifts are built for outdoor construction and areas with rocky or uneven surfaces. These forklifts use pneumatic tires and have a more powerful engine, allowing for faster speed as well as being able to handle heavy loads.
Side Loader Forklifts
These forklifts are specialized for narrow aisles, and, instead of the forks facing the same direction as the driver, the forks are placed or oriented on the side so it can pick up and load perpendicularly to the storage shelves.
Regardless of which type you purchase, to avoid injuries, it’s important to have it operated by personnel trained to operate forklifts as well as to make sure to inspect and maintain your forklift regularly. Forklift accidents are quite common, after all, and some of them can be caused by machine failure. If your forklift operators report any issues with your forklift’s hydraulic system, make sure to hire a professional that specializes in hydraulic machinery repair and not just any mechanic near your base of operations in Utah.
Forklifts are a handy tool for any business that deals with the storage, loading, and transport of heavy and bulky goods. Not only does it make your operations easier, but it also lessens the risk of your workers getting injured from manual hauling and overexertion. So make sure you review your operations as well to see which type of forklift best suits your business.