An in-depth look at the different types of forklifts

An in-depth look at the different types of forklifts

Forklifts are an essential tool in many industries for moving heavy loads and materials. There are several different types of forklifts, each designed for specific tasks and environments. In this article, we will discuss the various types of forklifts and their uses, as well as how much each style of forklift can weigh.

Counterbalance Forklifts

A Counterbalance Forklift
Counterbalance forklifts are the most commonly used type of forklift. They have a weight in the back that balances out the weight of the load being lifted in the front. Counterbalance forklifts come in electric, diesel, or gas-powered models and are used in a variety of indoor and outdoor applications. They can lift up to 5,000 to 15,000 pounds and typically weigh between 3,000 to 10,000 pounds.


Reach Forklifts

A Reach Forklift placing a box on a shelf

Reach forklifts are designed for use in narrow aisles and tight spaces. They have extendable arms that can reach out and grab loads from high shelving, making them ideal for use in warehouses and distribution centers. Reach forklifts are typically electric-powered and can lift loads up to 5,000 pounds. They are also designed to reach heights of up to 30 feet and weigh between 5,000 to 10,000 pounds.


Pallet Jacks

A worker pulling a pallet jack with boxes on it

Pallet jacks, also known as pallet trucks, are used for moving palletized loads over short distances. They are manually operated and come in two types: standard and electric. Standard pallet jacks can carry up to 5,500 pounds, while electric pallet jacks can carry up to 8,000 pounds. Pallet jacks are ideal for use in retail environments, distribution centers, and factories. They typically weigh between 200 to 1,000 pounds.


Order Pickers

A Toyota Order Picker forklift

Image by Toyota

Order pickers are similar to reach forklifts but are designed specifically for picking individual items from shelves or racks. They have a platform that can be raised up to the height of the rack or shelf, allowing the operator to pick items and place them on the platform. Order pickers are typically used in warehouses and distribution centers and can lift loads up to 3,000 pounds. They weigh between 2,000 to 5,000 pounds.


Rough Terrain Forklifts

An Outdoor rough terrain forklift

Rough terrain forklifts are designed for use in outdoor environments, such as construction sites, farms, and lumber yards. They have large, heavy-duty tires and a higher ground clearance than other types of forklifts, allowing them to navigate rough terrain with ease. Rough terrain forklifts can lift loads up to 20,000 pounds and have a range of lifting heights. They weigh between 6,000 to 20,000 pounds.


Side Loader Forklifts

 A Sideloader Forklift

Image by Raymond

Side loader forklifts are designed for use in narrow aisles and tight spaces, but unlike reach forklifts, they have the ability to lift and transport loads sideways. This makes them ideal for use in manufacturing plants and warehouses where space is limited. Side loader forklifts can lift loads up to 10,000 pounds and have a range of lifting heights. They weigh between 10,000 to 20,000 pounds.

There are several different types of forklifts, each designed for specific tasks and environments. It's important to choose the right type of forklift for your specific needs to ensure safety and efficiency. When selecting a forklift, be sure to consider its weight and lifting capacity, as well as the weight of the loads it will be carrying.


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