There are several different types of forklift trucks and each truck has a different primary purpose, some for limited space, some for warehouse use and others for moving palletised loads. Below we will talk you through the different types of forklift trucks, their uses and benefits.
Counterbalance Forklift Trucks
Counterbalance forklift trucks are the most common and the type that most people request when looking for a truck of this kind. As the names suggests, these trucks are designed with a counterbalance weight design whereby a weight is built into the rear of the truck to balance out the load. It offers a very straightforward operation with the forks protruding from the front of the machine with no reach capability. The truck must be driven up to the precise location of the load.
3 Wheel Counterbalance Forklift Trucks
The 3 wheel counterbalance is build under the same premise as the above counterbalance forklift truck however they have better manoeuvrability due to the single wheel drive installed at the centre of the rear of the truck. This extra flexibility and ability to turn in tight circles means they are great for use in limited space and in both inside and outside environments. The 3 wheel counterbalance is great for maximum productivity.
Again, as the name suggests, the reach truck is ideal for reaching. They can reach beyond the stabilising legs and into racking making them ideal for warehouse use. They can also lift to great heights, beyond 10 metres, whilst in tight working conditions. Some reach truck manufacturers include a tilt mechanism within their design so the operator has a better view, some include an open overhead guard and some are fitted with cameras. Wired cameras work better as they are free from interference from outside sources. Reach trucks are better suited to indoor work as they have a low under-carriage clearance that causes problems when working on uneven surfaces.
Hand Pallet Trucks (Pump Trucks)
Hand pallet trucks are used to move palletised loads of up to 3,500kg and are non-powered. They are simple to operate: the operator slides the forks into the pallet and pumps the handle to lift the load off the ground. The operator then moves the load, directing it with the handle. There are a wide variety of hand pallet trucks from standard to euro, foldable, all terrain, long/short forked and much more.
Powered Pallet Trucks
The powered pallet trucks are mostly the same as the hand pallet trucks but instead of pumping via the handle to lift the load, the powered pallet truck is powered with an electric motor. In most circumstances there is a controller to select both a forward and reverse direction and a button to lift and lower the forks.