Choosing which forklift you need is much like hiring a human worker. You need to be sure they can do the jobs you require of them, that they won’t collapse under the pressure of your workload, and that they’re reliable enough to last the distance. It is important to know exactly what tasks you need to be completed, and what are the best forklift trucks for the job. So let’s take a look at the four most popular forklift trucks, and what they can do.
This is the kind of beast you want when you’re moving extremely heavy loads. The ability of a counterbalanced truck to shift weighty objects is enabled by the huge dense weight at the rear of the machine which counterbalances the load you are moving on the frontal forks. Primarily used indoors and on smooth surfaces, this type of forklift also has hydraulic tilt cylinders which attach to the lift’s frame and mast. The mast pivots back and forth to according to how the operator is loading their cargo. Counterbalanced trucks are the most commonly used forklift within warehouses, and they also come in three-wheel varieties which are more useful in tighter spaces.
2. Reach Trucks
Reach Forklifts are employed for their extended lift height which makes them ideal in warehouses with high level pallet storage. Their mast stabilises the forklift, holding both cab and driver on one side with the fork and lift on the other. These are designed to enable the operator to stand while driving, which is perfect when your workers need to jump in and out at regular intervals. Stand-up Reach forklifts are the most common variety, and are mostly used when dispatching single loads into one bay. Alternatively you can use a double-deep reach forklift, whose longer forks allow you to access bays with multiple pallet loads, as they will reach all the way to the back of the bay. Straddle trucks are similar to the double-deep variety, but they offer increased stability and ease of access from a range of angles.
Bendi Forklifts are very narrow aisle counterbalanced trucks, and are sometimes known as Flexi trucks depending on their manufacturer. They are best used when your main concern about pallet storing is saving space, as their design means they can achieve a far greater storage density than other trucks. Their short turning radius and ability to carry loads directly from the rack enables you to store more goods quickly and efficiently, instead of having to load and reload pallets twice onto the same machine. Bendi forklifts come with a wide stroke side shifter as standard, and can usually be equipped with a range of hydraulic attachments to make this already versatile machine even more useful. Unlike standard counterbalance forklifts, these machines are steered using front swivel articulation and therefore handle rather differently.
Telescopic handler forklifts are mostly employed within agricultural and construction settings, and any other industries which require lifting to a great height. Their single telescopic boom enables greater flexibility and power than most regular trucks, and it can be fitted with a range of different attachments besides a set of lifting forks. Of course due to their size and design a telescopic forklift comes with a range of extra costs and problems, but the efficiency benefits easily outweigh these. Most telescopic forklifts can access both sides of a delivery wagon from one side only, enabling them to work far faster at unloading than ordinary forklift trucks.