4 Types of Forklift: Buying Guide

In the market for a new forklift truck? Explore this forklift buying guide to learn more about four of the most popular types of forklift and find the right one for your budget and requirements. But first, should you buy used or new – or should you hire?


The benefits of a used forklift

The main advantage of buying a second-hand forklift truck is that it will be cheaper, so if you are on a budget, used forklifts offer a great way to save money. This is also a good option if you don’t plan to use the forklift frequently. Buying from a reliable retailer like Approved Forklift Trucks means that any truck will have been carefully checked and serviced to ensure it offers the performance and reliability you need. 


The benefits of a new forklift

Although a new forklift is more expensive, it also offers unbeatable reliability as it is fresh out of the factory. Buying new also means the forklift should be more effective at operating for long periods of time, which makes this a better option for those who need a model they can use regularly. New machines can also come with a longer warranty for added peace of mind and should run for longer before needing repairs or maintenance.


The benefits of hiring a forklift

If you require a forklift for a short period of time, need an additional truck for a specific project, or want a more affordable alternative to buying, hiring a forklift might be the answer. Available for short or long-term hire, rental forklifts are regularly serviced to ensure they are reliable, and can often be delivered direct to site to save you time. As well as selling new and used trucks, Approved Forklift Trucks also has a selection of models available to hire at competitive prices – get in touch to find out more if this is the best option for your business.


Which forklift do I need?

With different types of forklift to choose from, you might not be sure which is best for your requirements. Read on for the key facts about four of the main forklift types.


Counterbalance forklifts

Best for: Indoor warehouses and flat outdoor surfaces

Counterbalance forklift trucks are weighted at the back, providing great stability and balance. Versatile dual forks at the front of the truck are used to lift and move loads. These trucks are easy to operate both indoors and outdoors and three-wheeled models allow for better manoeuvrability in awkward areas or down narrow warehouse aisles. 


Reach forklifts

Best for: Warehouses with high racking or elevated storage

Reach forklifts offer an extended lift height which allows them to operate in areas where a counterbalance forklift can’t reach. They are commonly found in warehouses with high-level storage and can be used to load and unload safely from elevated positions.

Different types of reach trucks are available, including stand-up models which are suitable for use when there is one load per warehouse bay. Meanwhile, double-deep trucks have longer forks, which is handy where multiple pallets are stored in a bay.


Side loader forklifts

Best for: Awkward access and narrow aisles

Side loader forklifts are an ideal solution in narrow aisle spaces where a counterbalance truck can’t fit. With the forks mounted on the side of the truck, a side loader can access more awkward areas and lift wide or long loads that other forklifts could not handle, including tubing, timber, and sheet materials.

This design also offers better visibility to the operator, allowing for safer loading and unloading in a busy warehouse. 


Pallet trucks

Best for: Small spaces and lighter loads

Pallet trucks are compact machines that can easily fit into small or awkward spaces, and are often an affordable option. While pallet trucks can’t move heavier loads, they allow for the safe transport of pallets around warehouses and storage facilities.

A pallet truck works at ground level and has limited reach, so is best used where loads don’t need to be lifted to elevated storage. With a small design and easy operation, these machines are a good all-rounder.

For help choosing the right forklift, contact Approved Forklift Trucks. With more than 50 models from leading brand names in stock at all times, we will have the truck you need to get the job done.