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The Top Four Types of Forklifts

Forklifts are standard machines used in most warehouses and manufacturing facilities throughout the Western Australia and the country. A forklift is basically an industrial-grade truck capable of lifting and transporting boxes, materials, and other items within the same building or facility.

For instance, warehouse workers typically use forklifts to transport pallets of stock items to different sections of the warehouse. However, forklifts would never be used to transport anything over longer distances, such as to other buildings farther away. Instead, they are used for on-site hauling and transporting only.

Manufacturing and warehousing operations cannot exist without forklifts. Many kinds of forklifts are used based on the types of operations and the items being handled in a facility.

We will discuss at least ten of the different types of forklifts below:

Pallet Jacks

Pallet jacks are very common forklifts used in Australian warehouses. It is a manually operated forklift, which means workers operate the pallet jack by hand. The wheels of a pallet jack contain highly durable and abrasion-resistant polyurethane material to withstand rough environmental conditions in a warehouse or facility. There is also a robust cast pump for superior power when lifting heavy loads.

The pallet jack has an innovative 54-millimeter-thick frame made of alloy steel, so lifting loads as heavy as 2,500 kilograms won’t be a problem. In addition, there aren’t many maintenance responsibilities required because of the manual operation associated with the pallet jack. So, you can expect your pallet jack to have a long lifespan.


Battery Powered Electric Pallet Truck

Modern innovations in forklift technology have brought battery-powered electric pallet trucks to the world. It is a battery-powered forklift that looks and functions like a manual pallet jack. The only difference is that the battery-powered forklift uses battery power to reduce resistance when lifting heavy loads. Just push the button on the handle, and it will become much easier to raise and lower heavy loads of palleted items.

Battery-powered electric pallet trucks will increase productivity in your warehouse or facility because the workers will not stress as much from lifting heavy loads with them. They will be able to raise and lower loads faster without exhausting themselves too much.

Walk Behind Forklifts

Walk-behind forklifts feature powerful AC drive motors, anti-slope sliding technology, and advanced regenerative braking systems to make hauling items in a warehouse environment as easy and comfortable as possible. The operator simply must stand behind the forklift and utilize the power steering and easy manoeuvring as they pick up items and carry them to different parts of the facility.

Companies managing cold storage environments, such as bottle stores and breweries, will significantly benefit from walk-behind forklifts.

Walkie Stacker

Walkie stackers are perfect for lifting pallets in warehouse aisles. They are similar to battery-powered electric pallet trucks, except the walkie-stackers have a much higher reach for lifting and racking pallets of items.

Each walkie-stacker has a power-steering tiller arm for superior strength and manoeuvrability. It can also fit down narrow aisles with tighter and more limited spaces. When a traditional forklift cannot fit into the aisle or workspace, a walkie stacker is a suitable alternative forklift to do the job. Small warehouses and storerooms are perfect examples of environments where walkie stackers work better as backups to regular forklifts.

Stock Picker

Sometimes a warehouse worker may need to manually enter the racking system themselves to pick stock high above the ground. In this case, a stock picker forklift offers a safe way for a person to be lifted high above the ground to reach the racking system and pick stock items.

Reach Truck

No warehousing operation can exist without reach trucks. Loads of all different sizes and capacities can be lifted and shifted, including loads in narrower spaces. Reach trucks have extendable tynes that make it easy to reach far and high into warehouse racks and lift stock with precision. And since the truck has an open-styled cabin, you can see everything you’re doing without obstructions blocking your view.

Reach Truck

Counterbalance Forklifts

Counterbalance forklifts may sound primitive but they are useful when hauling longer and more oversized loads. These forklifts contain steel counterweights in the back of the machines to counterbalance the weight lifted in the front. The total weight of the forklifts could be several thousand kilograms because they need to be almost double their maximum lifting weight.

Side Loader Forklifts

Side loader forklifts are suitable for hauling incredibly longer loads, such as long steel rods or timber from a tree. What is particularly unique is the side loader carries the load on the side rather than the front. This setup design gives the operator a better view of the front and back of the load rather than being forced to stare at the middle of it.

The Italian CVS Ferrari BP side loader is one of the best side loaders used in the industry. Any operation needing to haul longer items outside will find the side loader incredibly useful for transporting them.

Rough Terrain Forklifts 

When you have to move objects, materials, and resources in a rugged outdoor environment with uneven ground conditions, you’ll need a particular type of forklift called a rough terrain forklift.

Rough terrain forklifts are all-wheel drive vehicles with larger and wider tyres than ordinary forklifts. These tyres make it easier for the forklifts to navigate rough ground surfaces covered in rocks, sticks, debris, and other waste. They are all-terrain forklifts suitable for off-road and off-warehouse operations outside, especially on construction sites.

Telescopic Handlers

Telescopic handlers (also known as telehandlers) are multi-purpose forklifts that are like hybrids of a crane and a traditional forklift. The telehandler has an extendable boom arm with tynes at the end of it. Because of this, the telehandler can extend its arm and reach like a crane and pick up items like a forklift.

The most popular industries requiring telehandlers are agriculture, construction, and mining. Telehandlers are popular and cost-effective in these industries because they can do the same work five other heavy machines can do.

In addition, you can transform the telehandlers into other types of machines by adding any of the hundreds of attachments available for them. For instance, if you want your telehandler to work like an overhead crane rather than a forklift, you can install the necessary attachment within a few minutes to complete the job.

Construction companies can save money and free up more space on their worksites with these attachments because they won’t need to hire as many machines anymore.

How Do Power Sources Differentiate the Forklifts?

Forklifts may run on one of three power sources: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel engines, and electric motors.

Understanding the three power sources and how they influence lifting sizes and capacities in various worksite environments is critical. Your company may benefit more from one power source than another regarding cost and physical lifting capabilities.

Here is a rundown of the good and bad qualities of each power source for a forklift:

LPG Forklifts

LPG forklifts are gas-powered machines suitable for many outdoor and indoor worksite environments because they can run all day long on maximum power. This versatility is ideal for companies transporting loads in various settings, such as warehouses, shipyards, etc.

The forklifts take about five minutes to refuel or replace the LPG cylinder, so keeping them running on a worksite is fast and easy. Compare this to the nearly 8 hours it takes to recharge an electric-powered forklift, and you can see the LPG forklift saves time and increases productivity.

LPG forklifts don’t run on batteries or require recharging equipment. All you need is a gas bottle readily available to refuel the machine after the existing gas bottle runs out of fuel. Liquefied petroleum gas offers superior power to forklifts than diesel and electric power because the LPG forklifts have responsive engines and lighter overall weight. With a high power-to-weight ratio, LPG forklifts can quickly lift, carry, and transport oversized loads.

People are often surprised to learn that LPG forklifts are lightweight machines with the power to carry heavy loads and manoeuvre easily. In fact, the typical LPG forklift has the strength to haul a load weighing as much as seven tonnes. And yet, LPG forklifts even last longer on the job than electric forklifts.

Walkie Stacker

Electric-Powered Forklifts

Electric-powered forklifts are eco-friendly solutions for companies wishing to eliminate carbon emissions and tailpipes on their worksite.

However, companies don’t necessarily choose electric forklifts to reduce global warming and save the planet. Instead, they select electric forklifts if their work environments are indoors and don’t wish to trap carbon emissions inside where people are working. After all, that could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Electric forklifts are less powerful than diesel or LPG ones, but they can still get the job done in most indoor environments. These forklifts run on a battery-powered engine, which produces no noise like a diesel engine. So not only does an electric forklift eliminate carbon pollution, but it also eliminates noise pollution as well. This makes indoor work environments more pleasant and less irritating for workers.

Electric forklifts have some other admirable qualities to consider. First, they are smaller and more compact than other forklifts. The size is perfect for working in narrower spaces, giving them more flexibility and manoeuvrability. Electric forklifts could significantly benefit any company with a smaller, more sophisticated warehouse.

Don’t expect electric forklifts to have the same lifting power as diesel or LPG because their electric battery power gives them a much smaller lifting capacity. But if you only need to lift smaller loads around your worksite, the electric forklifts are good enough for this task.

On the upside, electric forklifts have fewer maintenance costs than diesel and LPG forklifts. For example, you don’t have to regularly maintain a radiator, engine, or transmission because an electric forklift doesn’t have them. The only thing you have to do is charge your battery and make repairs when needed.

The biggest downside to electric forklifts is waiting nearly eight hours to recharge the battery to full capacity. That is why electric forklifts may not be ideal for a company with a 24-hour operation requiring consistent use of their forklifts throughout the day and night. Electric forklifts are also unsuitable if your company’s operations require lifting massive or heavy loads, especially outdoors.

Lifting small loads indoors is the ideal situation for using electric forklifts.

Diesel Engine Forklifts

Diesel-powered forklifts are the most powerful forklifts and have a higher lifting capacity than the other two. A typical diesel forklift has the strength to lift a load weighing as much as 25 tonnes.

For this reason, you’ll often see diesel forklifts used to perform heavy-duty lifting operations in lumberyards and shipyards. Their diesel engines have superior torque than LPG forklifts, allowing diesel forklifts to accelerate faster and lift faster.

Diesel forklifts emit exhaust fumes and noise, making them unsafe to operate indoors. But for virtually any outdoor project, diesel forklifts are the best choice for any lifting job.

Companies wishing to reduce emissions can purchase exhaust purifiers for their diesel forklifts to cut down on the toxicity of the emissions. In addition, diesel forklifts are more fuel efficient than LPG forklifts.

The average diesel forklift has a fuel tank with a 50-litre capacity, which is substantially more than the 18-kilogram LPG gas bottle. That means your workers can spend more time working and less time refuelling.

Diesel forklift engines are stronger and longer lasting than LPG forklift engines. The reason is that diesel engines require fewer revolutions to operate than LPG engines. As a result, diesel engines can last several more years without as many maintenance costs. So if you want a high-performance and long-lasting forklift for extreme outdoor lifting, diesel forklifts are the best choice.

Hire a Specialist Machinery Transport Company to Haul Your Forklifts

A specialist machinery transport company is the most qualified to transport forklifts in Western Australia. You cannot hire a standard towing company to move forklifts because the job requires the proper equipment and exceptional safety precautions to be executed. Failure to hire the best transport company for the job could result in damage to your forklifts during transit.

Executing Tilt Tray Services is one of Western Australia’s few specialist machinery transport companies. We have a team of qualified forklift transport professionals who understand how to transport delicate forklift machinery without inflicting any damage upon it. Our primary goal is to ensure your forklifts reach their destination in the same condition they were initially in.

Contact us for a free consultation on 0400 738 658 regarding our advanced and reliable specialist machinery transport services for transporting forklifts in Western Australia.

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