The Two Most Common Types of Forklifts

Those who know what a forklift is are typically those running large warehouses, construction workers, or those who work at stores where these are usually operated. For the common person, when they hear “forklift,” they think of one machine with a fork structure on the front which they usually see at wholesale grocery stores moving giant pallets of tomato soup or toilet paper. The idea of the typical forklift is not one we subscribe to at Atlantic Forklifts and Parts, Inc. We have a much deeper understanding of the different kinds of forklifts and which brands and models are typically used for which jobs. In this article, we will discuss the two main types of new and used forklifts in Miami that are used in a variety of jobs.

Counterbalance Forklifts

We will start with the most commonly known and used forklift in Miami, FL which is the counterbalance forklift. This is exactly the truck you think of when you picture it picking up various pallets of giant cans of soup. However, it has many other uses than just retrieving groceries.

It may be very easy to guess how a counterbalance forklift works. The fork structure protrudes from the front, allowing the truck to drive directly up to the load and pick it up. There is a counterbalance weight system at the back of the truck that allows it to expertly determine how heavy the load is and keep the truck balanced on the ground while lifting the load at its front. These machines come in both three and four-wheeled models and run on gas, diesel or even electric. Within electric trucks, there is a certain advantage that the battery remains in the back, acting as an additional counterbalance so that the machine doesn’t have to work as hard to balance front to back. With the abundance of forklift parts in Miami, having a battery operated forklift can be a huge advantage. The three-wheel counterbalance forklift has the added advantage of a better maneuverability than the four wheeled truck. This is excellent for small spaces or tight rows when you are moving within a warehouse.

Reach Trucks

Reach trucks are generally the second most widely used kind of forklifts. They have the innate capability that all other forklifts lack. True to their name, reach forklifts have an incredible vertical capability which allows them to retrieve loads from very high shelving in a safe manner. This particular forklift also has excellent maneuverability. This is great for warehouses with tighter, taller spaces.

Another major advantage of reach trucks is that they have the ability to forego a counterweight. Because the lift of the truck is directly above the stabilizing legs, there is no need to counterbalance the weight of the load with the weight of the cab or any special stabilizer. The reach forklift is ideal for indoor situations as they have a very low ground undercarriage most suited for flat grounds.

Because of the load being directly situated above the cab, several different manufacturers have come up with special ways to increase visibility for the cab drivers. Some trucks come equipped with a tilting cab so that the driver can have full view through the front window of the cab. Some trucks have cameras located above and around the load so that the driver doesn’t have to look directly at what he is doing above him. A third option is an open top cab so that the driver does not have anything blocking his view of how his truck is operating the load.

These are two of the most common types of forklifts. In our next blog post, we will discuss some of the less common types of forklifts such as sideloaders, hand pallet trucks, powered pallet trucks and teletrucks. In the meantime, if you have any question about your new and used forklift in Miami, FL, give Atlantic Forklifts and Parts, Inc. a call today!