Forklift Truck Buyers Guide2/8

Types of Forklifts

When selecting a forklift, it’s important to consider several factors before you make a final decision. This includes: application, personal requirements, and suitability for different environments. Carefully considering these elements before you buy will guarantee you a machine that performs to the exact standards required of your project.

The main types of forklift available on the market include:

Image of counterbalance forklift

Counterbalance forklifts

The most common type of forklift truck, these models have protruding forks at the front of the machine that allow for straightforward operation and lifting. True to their name, these types have a counterbalance design that incorporates a weight at the back of the truck to offset the load lifted at the front.


Thanks to their compact design, counterbalance trucks grant the user maximum maneuverability, allowing the machine to be driven up to the location of loading with ease. The electric versions boast an economical motor, resulting in the ability to deliver high productivity at relatively low operating costs.

Image of reach forklift

Reach forklifts

So named for their extended lift height, reach forklifts are invaluable for situations that that involve high rise pallet storage. Reach trucks are also space-saving and have ability to access narrower aisles, along with being very rigid which enables them to lift heavy loads to a tall height.


Reach forklifts are ideal for situations that require extended reach capability in a tight working environment, and they are most suited for working inside and on even working surfaces. The trunk will shorten itself and pull the load into the vehicle itself, and are suited for warehouses with tall storage or shelving.

Image of stacker forklift


Usually operated from a standing position, stackers are often electrically-powered. Safety and maneuverability are important features of stackers. Different types, such as powered stackers, wrap over stackers, and electric straddle stackers, will offer their own benefits; for example adjustable straddle legs, retractable masts, compact chassis, and controlled load handling.


Stackers can be used for many applications, including block stacking, vehicle loading, order picking and pallet transport.

Image of block of flats

Order Pickers

To meet the distribution needs of modern businesses, order picking forklifts are vital additions. Powered electrically, these trucks often have an elevated driver platform and elevating forks that allow for easy placement of the chosen items into the pallet area.


Reducing costs and boosting efficiency are primary concerns during distribution processes, and order pickers grant this ability by allowing drivers to pick items at a great height.

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Hand Pallet Trucks

They operate by slipping the fork underneath a pallet and using a hand-operated, hydraulic jack to lift the load. Thanks to a reasonably small chassis length, they still maintain a high degree of maneuverability, and the light components mean it can be easily carried and stored.


Hand Pallet Trucks are good for ground-level manual movement of pallets around a warehouse, hand balance forklifts are the most basic type of forklift. Smaller facilities may be better suited to this option than motorised versions.

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Powered Pallet Trucks

Like their hand-operated cousins, powered pallet trucks operate by slipping a fork underneath the pallet, though with the main difference being that these varieties are motor-powered. Thanks to its speeder rider mode, pallets can be distributed quickly around a warehouse for ultimate time-saving ability. They are also more adept to handling taller pallet stacks with greater ease.


Powered Pallet Trucks are ideal for loading and unloading lorries and transporting pallets rapidly around the work floor, and this makes them more suited to larger facilities that have more ground to cover.

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