The Different Types of Forklifts


If you own a warehouse or any other business where you often need to move large, heavy pallets of products, you may need to purchase a forklift. For many, that conjures up an image of a small, motorised vehicle with two long forks on the front of it. However, that’s not the only type of forklift out there. The term actually covered a number of different pieces of equipment, including some non-motorised options. Here are several of the most prominent types of forklifts.


The Hand Pallet

Hand pallets are non-motorised small carts that can are walked behind and pushed or pulled. The forks slide into the pallet, then the operator pumps the hydraulic jack to raise the load. It can then be moved to the desired location and lowered via a release. There are powered versions of this type of equipment, including the power pallet and a walk behind stacker. You’ll often see hand pallets in large grocery stores or department stores when employees are restocking. They can easily fit down store aisles and do not present as many safety hazards as a motorised vehicle does.

The Counter-Balance

There are several different types of counter-balance forklifts. The biggest difference in these vehicles is the power source and the location of the wheels. As far as power goes, you can purchase a counter-balance forklift that runs on either electricity, LPG, or other types of fuel. If your company prides itself on being environmentally-friendly, you may find the electric model more appealing. These models do have to be recharged more frequently than traditional forklifts need refuelled, though.

Then there are the three-wheeled versions of the four-wheeled models. Counterbalanced four-wheel vehicles are the most common type of used forklifts in Sydney. They are balanced by a standard set of two wheels and by a heavy weight located in the rear of the forklift.

Three-wheel counterbalance vehicles, on the other hand, have one single wheel on the back. It’s located in the centre of the forklift and makes the vehicle very manoeuvrable. This is very helpful in warehouses and other locations where you do not have a lot of space for wide aisles.

Counter balanced forklifts are primarily used in warehouses or in the back of large businesses that deal with large, heavy products.

The Reach

Reach forklifts are designed to stack pallets on very high pallet racks. This allows you to store more pallets because you can stack them higher. The forks can actually reach out and into the pallet racks, making it possible to easily remove pallets that have been placed on the top shelf. Some of these vehicles have cabs that actually tilt backwards so that the operator is able to more easily see what they’re doing. Others have a small camera attached to the forks that allow the operator to precisely align the forks with the load.

This type of forklift is also used in warehouses, especially in those that have had to expand vertically rather than horizontally.