Forklift Types & Applications – Which is Best for You?

Forklifts play an important role in the operation and success of so many industries. From warehouse to retail to construction, these powerful machines serve as workhorses to safely move products and payload quickly and efficiently. Are you considering the purchase of a forklift for your business or warehouse? Do you have a model in mind or are you unsure of the type that works best for your needs?
According to a recent post at News Anyway, forklifts can be separated into ten categories. Each is pictured in the collage above and a brief description is listed below.
  1. Warehouse Forklift The one that usually comes to mind when one thinks of a forklift, and best described as resembling a golf cart with two forks. Ideal for transferring pallets and balanced products.
  2. Side Loader Similar to a warehouse forklift but the operator is positioned to the right or left side of the vehicle while cargo is lifted and transported on the other side.
  3. Counterbalance Most of the weight is positioned on the back side of the vehicle for better balancing of heavy loads.
  4. Telehandler A combination of a forklift and a crane, also referred to as a telescopic or reach forklift. The forks are attached to an arm that can be raised up to place payload on top of a building. Up to several thousand pounds can be lifted.
  5. Industrial Capable of lifting very heavy loads (like a telehandler). Functions more like a warehouse forklift except that it can lift payload higher off the ground.
  6. Rough Terrain Intended for outdoor applications and uneven surfaces such as gravel or rocky ground. Equipped with heavy duty tires for stability.
  7. Pallet Jack Compact in size and powered manually. Ideal for tight indoor maneuvering and lifting small loads.
  8. Walkie Stacker Operator walks behind the lift and maneuver it into position just like a pallet jack, but its reach is higher. Walkie stackers are usually power assisted for lifting.
  9. Reach Fork Truck This indoor use truck can not only raise but extend its forks to reach into warehouse racks. 
  10. Order Picker Lifts the operator to the warehouse racks, allowing for removing and replacing items from stock.
Knowing the different types of forklifts can help you make the right decision as to which one will work best for you. Click here to read all of the details at
March 8, 2021
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