Forklifts are industrial vehicles powered by either electric batteries or combustion-style engines. Found within a wide array of industries, forklifts provide immense benefit to a company’s employees by alleviating the necessary manpower that would have been required to lift, move, and transport heavy materials and objects.
Most notably found in expansive warehouses and storage facilities, forklifts operate via a frontal forked-style platform that can be maneuvered in an up or down fashion to engage its intended cargo.
In today’s modern times, forklifts have become an integral component in the manufacturing and warehousing industries. In recent times, forklift sales by leading manufacturers comprised sales exceeding $30 billion from nearly one million sold machines.
The lucrative forklift industry is projected to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years. Occurring in tandem with a booming economy, industries such as warehousing, manufacturing, and more are becoming increasingly prevalent, resulting in a heightened demand for critically important equipment such as forklifts.
Read on below to Learn More about Forklifts, Their Different Types, and How They Are Used
General notions of forklifts are of a powerful piece of equipment used to hoist and transport heavy materials. However, unbeknownst to many, forklifts come in an array of styles, sizes, and shapes in addition to serving many specific purposes.
View the handy chart below to discover the different types of forklifts available in today’s market, in addition to the specific tasks they fulfill.
Types of Forklifts and Their Uses
Counterbalance Forklift Trucks
Counterbalance forklift trucks are among the most common varieties of forklift trucks. These style forklifts are what most people tend to envision when they think of forklifts.
The heightened recognition of the counterbalanced forklift truck is due in large part to its ubiquitous use throughout a variety of industries and its prevalent showcasing in movies and advertising.
Counterbalance forklift trucks are designed with a protrusion in the frontal part of the equipment with an absence of outrigged arms or legs, resulting in the forklift’s ability to drive up to cargo very closely in an unencumbered fashion.
Counterbalance forklifts can be had in gas, electric, or diesel models, in addition to being available with purchase with various specialty add-ons such as driver cab units, mast tilt facility, and sideshifts.
Regardless of how a counterbalance forklift is powered, its functionality remains the same, via a counterbalanced design distributing weight throughout the machine, with rear-located weight off-setting the overall cargo load lifted at the front.
Worth mentioning is the ability of electric-powered counterbalance forklifts to operate with a substantially reduced countweight due to its battery serving dual purposes as a power source and ballast.
Three Wheel Counterbalance Forklift Trucks
Three-wheel counterbalance forklifts are similar to their counterbalance machine counterparts with their distribution of rear and frontal weight.
However, the three-wheel counterbalance forklift is distinct in its design with a single wheel located in the rear-center of the machine, functioning to provide optimal maneuverability.
Ideal for environments with space limitations, three-wheel counterbalance forklift machines can hoist, carry, and transport cargo and materials while also effortlessly moving around tight corners, cramped spaces, and interior and exterior loading operations.
Reach trucks are mostly used in warehouse operation applications. The term “reach” refers to the fork carriages ability to reach high up into warehouse storage racks.
The reaching capability works in conjunction with specially designed stabilization legs to result in a forklift machine that can lift to immense heights while remaining functional within cramped spaces.
Additionally, the stabilizing legs remove the need for the counterbalancing measures found within other forklift machine styles.
Owners of forklifts can outfit their machines with fork-located cameras to increase visibility, while also choosing from wired or wireless functionality. Interference from outside sources such as broadband routers.
Of importance to note is that reach trucks are best-suited for indoor environments and often exhibit poor performance outdoors. The comparatively lower undercarriage found on reach forklifts result in problematic performance on uneven ground, while the power system can be negatively impacted with bumpy transport on uneven terrains.
Hand Pallet Trucks
Hand pallet trucks, often referred to as pump trucks, are non-powered pieces of equipment that offer the functionality of moving pallet-style loads weighing up to 7,700 pounds in total weight.
Due to their non-powered performance, hand pallet trucks are strikingly simple in their overall operation and merely require operators to slide the forks of the truck into a pallet, subsequently engaging the pump handle to raise the forks, and finally moving the cargo in the desired direction via the maneuvering of the handle.
The design of hand pallet trucks features interior mounted wheels located at the end of the forks. The forks are become separated in a vertical fashion after the hydraulic jack is engaged, which thus forces the cargo up from the floor.
Hand pallet “pump” style trucks can be found in an array of options including the following:
Powered pallet trucks feature a very similar operation to their hand pallet truck counterparts.
While operating a pump-style pallet truck requires an operator to slide the machine's forks into a pallet to engage the cargo’s overall load, a powered pallet truck functions by an electric motor to lift loads.
Powered pallet trucks are built with an internal paddle-style control to maneuver the machine forwards or backward, along with a push-button control to manipulate the forks in an up or down fashion.
Powered pallet trucks are best used on flat, smooth interior surfaces such as inside warehouses and storage facilities.
Sideloaders are a unique style of forklift that can easily move alongside and pick up cargo in a sideways position.
The performance of side loader forklifts is in stark contrast to their many counterparts that rely on hoisting and transporting via a frontal position.
Side Loader forklifts are integral pieces of equipment for handling extra-long or wide cargo and materials, in addition to handily transporting items that other forklifts might not be able to accommodate, such as piping, sheets, and timber.
Teletrucks are relatively uncommon apparatuses that are reserved for more specialized purposes.
Designed with an extending boom mast, as opposed to the standardized straight mast found on reach trucks and counterbalance trucks, the most notable feature is the ability to access cargo from both sides of the machine and to maneuver about in the tightest of spaces.
Significantly more expensive than counterbalance style forklift trucks, teletrucks remain unaffordable for most consumers despite their multitude of inherent benefits.
In addition to many different types of forklifts available on today’s market, there is also a bustling consumer base readily purchasing attachments and accessories for their forklift machines in their efforts to enhance performance, visibility, and more.
Forklift attachments are not only pragmatic investments to heighten the overall functionality and performance of a machine but also serve to improve productivity within the workplace by reducing required manpower and moving important cargo in a rapid, safe, and reliable fashion.
Some of the Most Popular Forklift Attachments Include the Following:
Single-double pallet handlers are immensely versatile apparatuses that can be configured for both single and double pallets. Equipped with quadruple forks that are effortlessly configurable, single-double pallet handlers provide the unique ability to bring two pallets or cargo loads together in a side-by-side position. Upon being brought together, the assemblage of four forks convert into dual-action forks that function to handle single pallets or cargo loads with greatly increased efficacy. Ideal for any shipping, storage or warehouse environment experiencing high turnover, single-double pallets can solve many transporting issues to result in seamless performance day in and day out.
Self-dumping hoppers are tasked with collecting, removing, and transporting garbage, goods, heavy materials, recyclables and far more from one destination to another in a quick, safe, and reliable manner. Incredibly versatile, the self-dumping hopper is a forklift attachment that every owner should consider purchasing in order to optimize performance and take full advantage of their machine's capabilities. Self-dumping hoppers render every part of the forklift process automatic, easily picking up cumbersomely heavy materials with ease and thus reducing manpower and payroll to benefit both employees and the company. Equipped with a wide range of safety and self-correcting measures, self-dumping hoppers are among the safest, most reliable, and practical attachments you can buy for your forklift machine today.
Booms are highly affordable forklift attachments that can easily extend the overall reach of any forklift. Available for purchase in telescopic and non-telescopic models, the all-essential boom is an absolute must for any company or business owner engaging in tasks that require forklift operators to pick up and transport extremely heavy materials in a precarious swinging motion from destination to destination. Booms function similarly to cranes and once outfitted on a forklift, can essentially transform an ordinary forklift into a veritable all-in-one solution for picking up any load, cargo, or difficult materials. Commonly extending the reach of forklifts to one hundred and forty-four inches while accommodating eight thousand pounds, booms are powerful attachments that can prove to be transformational for the overall performance of your forklift machine.
There is a vast range of other accessories and attachments available for forklift owners. Serving to make loading, unloading, and transporting endeavors easier, safer, and faster, forklift owners can be well-benefitted by taking a look at some of the most popular attachments available today including:
Forklift Work Platforms
Forklift Mounted Brush Sweepers
Forklift Lifting Beams and Hooks
Clamp-On Bucket Forks
Forklift Seat Belts
Forklift Trailer Spotters
Fork Mounted Drum Handling Equipment
Coil and Carpet Lifting Rams
Hosting Hooks and Jacks
Increasing productivity and reducing labor costs are endeavors that all business owners hold a great deal of interest in.
For those in the warehousing, storage, and manufacturing industries, powerful, high-performance equipment such as high reach forklifts can transform innumerable aspects within business operations, from reducing manpower and labor costs, to lessening the chances of accidents and injuries, and to ultimately increasing productivity in previously unforeseen ways.
Helping business owners get the most out of their employees in addition to achieving optimal workplace performance, high reach forklifts are easy to operate machines that enable workers to rapidly move immense loads of cargo, goods, and materials from destination to destination in a safe, reliable, and effective manner. Due to the ability of workers to transport goods quickly and safely without risk of accident or harm, business owners can expect a heightened degree of overall performance, productivity and most importantly, profits.
For more valuable information regarding high reach forklifts and their many styles and accessories, click here to visit us today.