Lift trucks, also known as “forklifts,” have specific characteristics that differentiate them from each other.
The different modes of loading, the level of resistance, the types of engines; a long series of other elements define the differences between all possible types of forklifts.
For each situation and for each type of load there is the most suitable forklift.
Today, we will discover together all the main types of forklifts and their specific characteristics, so you will always know what to choose and when to use it.
It is clear that different types can also be used for the same purpose; it all depends on the driver’s habit and the specifications of the load.
Division by category
Let’s start this journey by making a small distinction between three major types (macro-categories):
This category includes counterbalanced trucks, stackers, retractable
Forklifts with limited or no lifting capacity
Manual and electric pallet trucks are included in the category
“Order picker” trucks
At the same time, it is possible to make an even more general distinction between: manual and automatic trucks.
Pallet trucks belong to the first category. On the contrary, all traditional forklifts, stackers, retractable trucks, order pickers and electric pallet trucks belong to the second category.
Finally, a third subdivision can be made according to the type of fuel required.
There are currently gasoline, electric, LPG or diesel-powered trucks.
Description of each type of forklift
Let’s begin by devoting a few words to the best-known and most widely used types of forklifts.
Despite the differences and different characteristics, all of these trucks seem to be functional in transporting and lifting the load, without exception. The advice is to look for the type that best suits your goods, which ensures maximum adherence in the transport and lifting phase.
Electric and manual pallet truck
The pallet truck is among the most chosen and used types of forklifts, ideal for moving goods on pallets.
Whether electric or manual, the pallet truck is always very compact, perfect for loads that are not excessively heavy and for “rough terrain,” which it can support without difficulty.
Traditional counterbalanced forklift
The traditional counterbalanced forklift, the most popular forklift of all, is known for its balancing capabilities.
Equipped with an all-metal front structure, the cart protects goods during every moment, from loading to repositioning.
The counterbalanced forklift can move easily even in tight spaces, overcoming ground irregularities as well.
The retractable forklift is very easy to recognize, used mainly inside warehouses and cargo centers.
It is famous for two specific features that make it unique and advantageous: the ability to move smoothly in tight spaces, the forks that rise up to 8 meters in height.
Order picker truck
The order picker truck is also frequently described as an evolution of the pallet truck. Particularly compact, easy to use and very strong, it is used in pallet goods transport.
Its modern technology manages to speed up the entire process of lifting and moving the load, without ever losing balance or grip.
AGV and LGV automated forklifts
To conclude, let’s talk about a real innovation in the field of goods transportation. AGV and LGV forklifts are fully automatic, controlled through the use of specific software.
Therefore, they do not need human intervention, but succeed in automating the loading and unloading routes of goods.