We often get asked about the most popular types of forklift trucks that we have available to buy or to hire at H&F Lift Trucks. Of course, the type at the very top of the popular lift truck list, is a counterbalance forklift. These forklifts are the most widely used throughout the industry, and represent the image most people instinctively think of when imagining a forklift truck.
But there’s also electric powered versions of these trucks, which are becoming more and more popular in the industry. We wanted to briefly explore what makes the electric versions so unique and beneficial for those looking to hire or purchase.
What’s a counterbalance truck?
Firstly, we’ll just go through what makes counterbalance trucks unique in general. They are the most common type of truck used for indoor operations, such as warehouses and stores. However, they can also be used for outdoor operations as well, as long as the surfaces are stable and fairly even.
These models have no arms or legs that protrude out, and the duel forks are placed at the front, meaning they can be very easily manoeuvred close to any racking or load locations. As the name implies, they are weighted with a counterbalance weight, which helps prevent them from tipping over as they lift heavy loads.
They are commonly powered by gas and diesel, but there is an abundance of electric powered models on the market these days, which have unique benefits…
The most obvious unique benefit is that electric counterbalance trucks are smaller than their gas and diesel powered counterparts. With a smaller chassis, they have even better manoeuvrability in smaller spaces and smaller facilities in general. Due to their size, and the fact that the electric battery is quite weighty, they also operate with a smaller counterweight too. Operators will find it easier to navigate down narrow aisles thanks to the often smaller turning radius.
There’s also a cost saving aspect, in that electric versions just require charging up with electricity and water, which can save operators a lot on fuel costs. This would also negate the need to store fuel, which reduces potential risks, and the battery itself can be easily and safely removed and replaced from the side of the truck.
Another unique aspect is that they emit zero emissions and have no waste to dispose of, which is much better for the environment. They also make far less noise when being operated, and this can help to create an improved workplace atmosphere. Of course, they also require less maintenance compared to models powered by fuel, as they have fewer components.