13 Different Types of Forklifts

If you’re considering purchasing a used forklift, you’ll be faced with many choices. One of the first and most important is deciding among the many types of forklifts. Which kind you opt for will depend on a number of factors, particularly the type of environment in which it’s being used and the job it will be doing. It’s important to research all of your options, evaluate your budget and ensure you and your team are properly trained on the ropes of the particular equipment you will use.

To help you make a smart decision, here are a few of the different options available, including potential advantages and drawbacks, and what they’re used for:


› Three-wheel forklift:

If you’re tight on space, this is a good option. Similar to a counterbalance forklift, the three-wheel forklift uses a single drive wheel that is able to turn the machinery 90 degrees, allowing it to navigate narrow spaces. Unlike four-wheel options, this type of machinery is more lightweight, which can be an important consideration.


› Explosion-proof forklift:

Safety is a top priority in the production of explosion-proof forklifts, which are used to transport hazardous materials, from paints to pharmaceuticals. The machinery comes equipped with an emergency shutdown sensor that disables it if hazardous gasses are nearby.


› Narrow-aisle forklift:

As its name suggests, this equipment is designed for small spaces and often can be operated from a standing position, facilitating the vision of the driver when he or she is stacking and carrying materials in tight quarters.


› Stacker truck:

Among the many types of forklifts, this is often the best fit for jobs that involve small loads. This equipment should only be used on smooth surfaces and for short distances.


› Very narrow-aisle forklift:

Designed for use in spaces narrower than nine feet, this truck can offer speed and the ability to stack high-density storage. This is typically a guided forklift that uses electricity.


› Four-wheel forklift:

This type of forklift can be used for longer distances than its three-wheel counterpart. The counterbalance of the machinery provides optimum safety and comfort and is capable of carrying heavier loads, though it can be challenging to turn.


› EX pallet truck:

This equipment can be used for pallets being moved in hazardous areas, as it is fitted with an explosion-proof design.


› Pallet truck:

If you need to move lightweight, palleted loads, the pallet truck is a smart option. Either powered by a hydraulic pump or electricity, the forklift uses a tiller arm to lift materials while the operator follows on foot. The low-cost equipment is designed for transporting small loads over short distances.


› Telescopic forklift:

Using a counterbalanced crane-like mechanism, this machine is a good fit for hard-to-reach places, providing a less-costly alternative to a traditional crane.


› Container-handling forklift:

This equipment is outfitted with forks that enable operators to stack materials in and then transport containers. They are designed to provide excellent visibility for drivers, even when moving large loads.


› Lift equipment:

If you need to transport elevated material, this is a good choice. There are several types of forklifts designed as lift equipment, depending on different jobs and environments, but all enable operators to reach heights that are inaccessible by standard forklifts.


› Rough-terrain forklift:

Tough jobs can often be made a lot easier with a rough-terrain forklift. Its specially constructed tires can navigate a wide variety of terrains, and it is designed to pick up loads on a slope.


› Truck-mounted piggy-back forklift:

Attached to the back of delivery vehicles, this machinery is used for more rugged jobs, especially at large sites and those involving large quantities of materials.

If you’re looking for a new used forklift, contact us today!

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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