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7 Common Types of Forklift and Their Uses

Forklift Malaysia

Forklift is one of the most popular and versatile materials handling equipment that is heavily used for transporting materials and goods in a storage facility, warehouse, or construction site. The revolution of forklifts allows us to lift and move the material faster and safer. The forklift is now available in many types and specifications that are designed for different kinds of jobs and to satisfy a wide variety of industrial usage. Generally, most of the forklifts that used in a typical warehouse will have a load capacity between one ton to five tons. There are forklifts with up to 50 tons lift capacity which is used for lifting heavy loads such as containers.

Forklift comprises a few key components that help to handle the task effectively. The truck frame is the most critical part of the machine. All the key components such as wheels, mast, counterweight are attached to the truck frame. The counterweight is attached at the back part of the forklift, which is used to counter balance the load that is being lifted with the equipment. The mast is the vertical part that can lift up and push down the loads. It also has a carriage that is fixed on mast rails that serves as the base of the forklift to move upward and downward.

The forklift can be categorized according to the type of engine. It is available in electric batteries and combustion engines like using diesel, LPG, or natural gas. Electric forklifts require less maintenance and are suitable for small and confined areas. While internal combustion forklifts are able to work in various conditions like outdoor and indoor. Some types of forklifts allow the operator to sit while some other forklifts require the operator to stand. You may find it difficult in choosing the right forklift for your job if you don’t understand its types and specifications. Here we will introduce a few common types of forklifts and their individual benefits.

1. Counterbalance Forklift

Counterbalance Forklift Malaysia

Counterbalance forklift is the most commonly used equipment for general material handling capabilities in indoor warehouses and stores. It uses the weight on the back end of the truck as a counterweight to offset the weight of a load carried at the front of the truck. It possesses a pair of blades or forks at the front of the truck for lifting bulky objects and heady loads. It has a capacity ranging from 1.5 tons to 25 tons depending on the fuel type and with a mast of as high as 7 meters. Counterbalance forklift is available in 3 wheel or 4 wheel models. A 3 wheel counterbalance forklift is similar to the 4 wheel counterbalance forklift but its back wheels are closer to the center of the frame which allows it to provide a better turning ability and maneuverability, making it an ideal choice for small spaces or narrow aisles at the size of 3.5 metre.

2. Side Loader Forklift

Side Loader Forklift Malaysia

The design of the side loader forklift is different from the other common forklifts as the forks are mounted on the size of the truck, but not the front. This type of forklift is suitable for narrow aisles or for handling loads that are not as straightforward as a pallet. Due to the design, it can be used for carrying materials with a longer length such as pipes or long sheets of wood.

3. Forklift Stacker

Forklift Stacker Malaysia

As the name indicates, a forklift stacker is used to lift loads at a high altitude with a maximum height of 5.4 meters. It is ideal for the warehouse or store that has equipped the storage system at a high height. Forklift stacker is best known for their ease of use and lower prices than other conventional forklifts.

4. Reach Truck

The usage of the reach truck is similar to the forklift stacker with the extendable forks and both are suitable for stacking and retrieval of palletized goods at various levels in the warehouse. However, there are some key differences between the reach truck and the stacker. Reach truck possesses a bigger size, is able to handle heavier loads and reach a higher location than a stacker. Generally, the operator runs the reach truck from the inside of the equipment, while the operator of the stacker runs the equipment from the outside due to its smaller size. A stacker is suitable for smaller and narrower spaces and aisles as compared to the reach truck

Reach Truck Malaysia

5. Rough Terrain Forklift

Rough Terrain Forklift Malaysia

As the name implies, a rough terrain forklift is made to run on uneven, rough, unpaved, or difficult terrain. It has inflatable tires with thicker threads, a more powerful engine that can provide better maneuverability and stability to be run on uneven ground. the body size is also longer and larger than other traditional forklifts and it is considered the largest type of forklift. The rough terrain forklift is designed for heavy-duty lifting applications and commonly used in construction sites or for military purposes. Due to its functionality, it is pricier than other traditional forklifts.

6. Telescopic Handler Forklift

Telescopic Handler Forklift Malaysia

A telescopic handler forklift or telescopic forklift is a combination of a forklift and crane. It has a single telescopic boom and the twin forks are attached to the extendable arm that is used to move the pallets. A standard model of telescopic handler forklift is able to lift 5,500 lbs of items to and from up to 19 feet in the air. This type of forklift is very suitable to be used in tight spaces and for completing the work at the height that normal forklifts are unable to reach. The most common application of the telescopic handler forklift is on construction sites and agriculture due to its greater flexibility.

7. Pallet Jack

Pallet Jack Malaysia

A pallet jack is also known as a pallet truck, pump truck, or pallet pump. It is the most basic form of a forklift that is used for moving pallets within a warehouse. Unlike other types of forklifts that use fuel or electric engines, a pallet jack uses a hydraulic jack to lift the load from the ground. It is smaller in size and not capable of lifting large loads. It also has limited reach, so only suitable for moving loads from one place to another place at the ground level. In this case, the cost of a pallet jack is much lower than other types of forklift.

How to Choose the Right Forklift

We need to consider a few criteria when choosing a forklift for our usage. Firstly, to determine the capacity which is the weight that we need to lift, so we can choose the right capacity that fits our job requirement. Secondly, measure the height of the space, to check whether the forklift can pass through the opening and what is the highest location that the forklift is required to reach when lifting the item. We also need to consider the types of fuel we want to use, it can be either powered by electrical or gas. Lastly, to analyze the terrain and check whether the ground surface is smooth or uneven. It is also important to calculate the weight of the job site to make sure that the ground is able to sustain the forklift. These are the basic factors that we have to consider for better and safer usage of the forklift and working environment.

MecHero Malaysia sells and rents different types of forklifts for a wide range of industrial applications. You can always contact us at +6011-7000 7687 or email us at for an inquiry about the types of forklift in Malaysia. As a steel and online hardware store in Malaysia, we also supply a wide range of steel materials, general hardware, or mechanical components. Tell us your requirements now and we can advise you accordingly.

Forklift Supplier Malaysia

Photo credit: Media from Wix, madeinchina, linde, indiamart, skcmaquinarias, techno

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