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An Introduction to Forklifts

There are many different types of forklifts, and each type has its own set of uses. In this article, we’ll discuss the four main types of forklifts—pallet jacks, counterbalance trucks, reach trucks, and container handlers—and what makes them special. We’ll also explore some less common types of lifts that may be on your radar as you shop for equipment or work with a rental company.

Pallet jacks

Pallet jacks are a type of manually operated forklift used for loading, moving, and unloading pallets. They are typically used in warehouses and distribution centers to move pallets around the workspace.

A pallet jack is a self-propelled device that has two wheels on either side of an axle that runs through its center point. The wheels may be driven by hydraulics or electricity, depending on the model you’re using. When powered by hydraulics, there’s an operator handle that can be pushed down to lower the forks or lifted up when they’re in their resting position above the body of the machine. When powered by electricity, there’s usually just a button you press to make it move up or down as needed. Some models have both types of power sources, so they can be operated manually if necessary but still have some automated functions if desired (such as automatic reverse).

Counterbalance forklifts

If you’ve ever used a forklift, you’re probably familiar with the basic mechanics of one. A forklift is a powered vehicle that can lift and transport materials by means of two or more prongs called forks, which are mounted at its front end. The vehicle is capable of moving sideways, so it can be used to carry pallets and crates without having to turn around.

The counterbalance forklift has a counterweight on the rear of the forks to make it easier for operators to lift heavy loads. This provides better stability than other types of forklifts while transporting items horizontally (rather than vertically). In addition, because there are no side walls on these types of vehicles, they require less floor space than others while still being able to handle heavy loads safely without tipping over or damaging anything being transported behind them during operation—making them ideal for warehouses where space may be limited!

Reach trucks

Reach trucks are designed to load and unload pallets, crates, and containers. They have a long telescopic boom with a hook at the end, which can be raised or lowered as required. Reach trucks are usually used in warehouses, factories, and construction sites for loading and unloading containers or skips. They are also known as boom trucks because of the extendable telescopic boom arm that is used to lift loads.

The reach truck’s main components include:

  • The main body, which houses the engine, controls, and other equipment,

  • The lifting mechanism is made up of four hydraulic cylinders that power the lifting arms through an articulated joint connection (known as an A-frame) between two rails in front of it; these rails provide support when you’re moving it around on flat surfaces but also allow your forks to lift high enough off the ground so they don’t damage anything when moving forward.

  • The steering system includes a steering wheel connected via cables/linkage rods directly into the chassis frame structure.

Container handlers

Container handlers are a class of forklifts that move containers. They can also be used for moving pallets and other cargo, as well as heavy loads.

These are common in warehouses, factories, and distribution centers.

The forklift is one of the most important pieces of equipment in a warehouse or distribution center. It’s used to move heavy objects around and make sure everything runs smoothly. Forklifts are an important part of how a warehouse works, but if they aren’t used right, they can also be dangerous.

Side loaders

Side loaders are used to load and unload containers. They can be used for palletized or bulk cargo. They can also be equipped with a variety of attachments, including reach stacker forks, side-shift forklift trucks, pallet forks, and container spreaders. Side loaders are available in electric (battery), diesel, or gas engine versions.

They are generally used for light loads and can be equipped with fork extensions to handle palletized cargo. Forklift trucks are available in electric (battery), diesel, or gas engine versions. Models range from small, lightweight units that have a lift capacity of about 4 tons to heavy-duty machines that can lift up to 22 tons. Electric forklifts use battery packs for power; diesel and gas-powered models require fuel tanks.

High-reach trucks

High-reach trucks are a type of lift truck that is used to reach the top shelves of warehouses. These forklifts have telescopic masts that extend up to 40′(12m), so they can lift loads as high as 25 feet off the ground. Most of the time, these trucks are slower than standard forklifts because they can carry more and move less quickly. However, their higher lifting height saves time by reducing the need for multiple lifts and shortening the distances they have to travel within warehouses.

They are also used in factories and other industrial environments where there is a need for heavy lifting at heights. For example, the forklift may be called upon to move large, heavy objects from one place to another within a factory or warehouse. The forklift is a common and versatile piece of equipment in many industries. They are often used to move heavy objects, such as crates or pallets, from one place to another.

There are many different types of forklifts.

There are many different types of forklift trucks. They are used for different purposes, ranging from industrial use to the transportation of pallets to warehouse operations. The most popular type is electric-powered and can lift up to 10 short tons (9,100 kg). Other types include electric powered with battery backup and hydraulic powered.

Forklifts are also known as lift trucks.


There are many different types of forklifts. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s important that you choose the right type of forklift for your needs when it comes time to buy one! For forklift hire or forklifts for sale, please contact us on +27 11 828 2386, we have great second hand forklifts for sale and new ones.

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