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The right lift
for your business

Supplying forklifts since 1976

What we do

Since 1976 H&F Trucks have provided local business with high quality materials handling solutions. For nearly four decades we have achieved steady growth year on year, enabling us to provide superior service to our customers from a stable & sustainable business platform.

3 And 4 Wheel Forklifts – What’s The Difference?

Counterbalanced three and four wheel forklift trucks are the most widely used type of forklift across many different industries. They are especially popular in warehouse environments mostly due to the rear counterbalance allowing for heavier loads and higher stacking. They are also incredibly straightforward to operate, and unlike many other types of truck can even be used outside.

But just because counterbalanced forklifts are so versatile it doesn’t mean you can throw your money at any old model and hope for the best. At H&F lift trucks we have years of experience in forklift truck hire and sales, so we know the differences like the backs of our hands. Three and four wheel forklifts do have similarities, but they also have some very notable differences. Read on to find out which type best suits your needs and requirements.

3 Wheel Forklifts


Three wheel forklifts have a much smaller turning circle than those with four wheels, and they also tend to be much lower in cost. If you are dealing with tight spaces they are an absolute godsend, and provide a sleek alternative where a four wheel model may be seen as overkill.


With just three wheels to spread the load most forklifts of this ilk cannot take a load capacity over 2500kg, and anything approaching this weight is going to prove unstable whilst turning. So unless you want a Del Boy situation keep things light whilst taking corners. They are also quite difficult to use on uneven terrain such as gravel or soil.

Best Suited For

Indoor warehousing is where the three wheel forklifts really excel. You’ll often see this type of forklift in both trade and retail, as the smooth floors of garden centres and DIY stores are perfect terrain for this vehicle. They also serve warehouses which utilise selective and high racking applications very well.

4 Wheel Forklifts


If your workspace has a lot of rough, uneven surfaces then a four wheel is your best bet at navigating them safely. Their loading capacity far exceeds that of a three wheeler, and some models can take up to 8000kg. Turning in a four wheel truck is also much more stable.


The turning circle of a four wheel truck is much larger, so you are essentially trading off space for safety and stability. Four wheel trucks are also more expensive than three wheelers, so make sure you actually need the increased load capabilities they offer.

Best Suited For

Four wheelers have much higher gradeability, so if you need to shift heavy loads up steep inclines this is the vehicle for that job. Companies with large machinery often use a four wheel forklift to move their equipment, as do those who unload trucks with frequency. Their durability over uneven surfaces means they can endure high intensity work without fail.

So those are the basic pros and cons of three and four wheel trucks to help give you a rough guide of which truck you might need. It is important to make sure before buying or hiring a forklift that you fully understand your requirements, both in terms of the tasks undertaken and in the following of forklift truck safety procedures.

At H&F Lift trucks we offer a wide range of new and used forklift trucks, including Combi Lift and Doosan Forklifts, both for hire and purchase. If you need more information our industry experts would be happy to help you figure out which model best suits your business, so feel free to give us a call on 0800 298 8790 or book your free site survey today!

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H&F have supplied us with all our fork lift equipment for in excess of ten years now, and have maintained it in accordance with our stringent operation requirements. During this time they have provided a consistently high level of service (including short term hire when required) whilst never failing to support us in a totally honest and professional manner.

Ashley Basset, Director
R G Bassett & Sons Ltd

Pym and Wildsmith have been working closely with H&F Fork Trucks for many years. Their service is excellent, ranging from prompt callouts to breakdowns through to the supply of new trucks. We would not hesitate to recommend them.

Ian Pym, Operations Manager
Pym & Wildsmith

H&F Lift Trucks are a pleasure to deal with. All staff, Technicians, Sales and Directors have hands-on experience of all ranges of vehicles they supply. From initial assessments and listening to all users of a potential new vehicle requirement, they keep us informed of all aspects of specification and lead times through to delivery. Their maintenance service is superb – they organise suitable times around our busy working day with our Yard Managers. Any accidental damage or operator error faults are always discussed with me and dealt with fairly – not like some unscrupulous suppliers who seek to profit at every service visit! In a cut-throat market, where we are offered “good deals” a few quid cheaper every day, we are never tempted to stray.

James Hipkins, Managing Director

We cover a 30 mile radius