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Types of Container Forklifts

There are three main types of container forklifts available. Before comparing container handlers for sale, it’s important to know which one is the best fit for you. Learn more about each type here:

Reach Stacker

The first type of container handler is the reach stacker. Reach stacker forklifts have an extendable boom arm that lifts cargo up and away from the base. These machines can stack containers in multiple rows.

Reach stacker forklift in a shipyard near cargo containers

Most reach stackers can stack four containers high in the third row and five high in the first. Thanks to their multidirectional boom arm, these container handlers offer more depth.

However, this depth comes at a price. A reach stacker forklift has lower selectivity than other options. In other words, you’ll need to perform more dead picks to retrieve a stored container.

Because these machines grab containers from the top, they can carry more weight. On average, a reach stacker can handle up to 100,000 pounds of cargo. Consider browsing reach stackers for sale if you need to move heavy loads with more depth.

Loaded Container Handler

Loaded container handlers move heavy cargo up and down along a straight mast. Like reach stackers, these machines grab containers from the top. Twist-locks attach at each corner to secure the load before lifting.

Top loaded container handler moving large shipping containers

Because they lift from the top, this equipment is often called a top loader container handler or a top picker container handler. Carrying cargo this way allows the machine to carry more weight. A loaded container handler generally has a load capacity of about 90,000 pounds. This is only 10,000 pounds less than the average capacity of a reach stacker forklift.

Since they have a straight mast, these machines can only stack one row deep. On average, top picker container handlers can stack six containers high. Save space by stacking upwards with a top loader container handler.

Top picker container handlers offer less depth, but higher selectivity. Use a loaded container handler to retrieve the container you need with efficiency.

Empty Container Handler

Unlike the previous two types, empty container handlers carry cargo at the sides. To grab a load, twist-locks attach to each corner of the side of a container. Like loaded container handlers, this equipment has a straight mast.

Empty container handler grabbing cargo from the sides

Empty container handlers only have a lift capacity of around 20,000 pounds. As their name suggests, these machines are designed to carry empty containers. Because of this, they can lift multiple containers at once.

An empty container handler uses fast lifting cycles to increase efficiency. This equipment is also known for being durable and reliable. Search empty container handlers for sale to find equipment that can handle all weather conditions.

Since empty container handlers have straight masts, their depth is limited. This equipment can only stack cargo in one row. Compare empty container handlers for sale if you need high selectivity and low load capacity.

Depth, selectivity, and load capacity all play a role when choosing a container handler type. Use Industrial Forklift Truck to browse the largest selection of container handlers for sale.

Recommended Industries for Container Handlers

Container forklifts have many different applications. These machines are often found at intermodal shipping yards, railyards, demolition sites, and construction areas. Sometimes you’ll even find container handlers in general warehousing industries.

Container forklift loading heavy cargo onto a platform

Most shipping container forklifts are used to unload cargo from ships and load it onto trucks or into piles for storage. Selectivity and accessibility are important factors to consider for these tasks.

Keep in mind that container forklifts aren’t always used at shipyards. Construction operations sometimes use them to transport heavy industrial materials. Junkyards also use container handlers to transport vehicles.

If any of these applications sound like a fit, browse our selection of container handlers for sale. Find equipment for your business with Industrial Forklift Truck.

New vs. Used Shipping Container Forklifts

A new container forklift can cost you close to $200,000. Granted, this equipment is durable and will last for decades. However, prices on container handlers for sale are still unaffordable for many operations.

Shipping container forklift placing freight onto the bed of a semi-truck

If you want to instantly lower your upfront investment, consider purchasing used equipment. High-quality used machinery is a great way to save money.

To take advantage of these savings, you’ll need to find quality equipment. Unfortunately, there are lots of scams out there.

Find used container forklifts you can trust with Industrial Forklift Truck. We partner with pre-screened dealers to provide reliable, refurbished container handlers for sale.

Buy equipment for your operation with confidence. Get upfront pricing on all your options straight to your inbox. Compare new or used container handlers for sale with Industrial Forklift Truck.

How to Find the Best Deal on Container Handlers for Sale

Shipping container forklifts offer fast lifting cycles, high stacking, and reduced freight costs. Still not sure what exactly you’re looking for? Turn to Industrial Forklift Truck.

We’ll match you with equipment that fits your needs. Then, we’ll send you free pricing and information on all of your options.

Receive a variety of listings straight to your inbox. Search our inventory for the perfect match. Get the best deal on equipment by comparing machinery in one place.

Browse reach stackers for sale in your area. Compare prices on loaded or empty container handlers for sale online. Find the equipment your business needs without the hassle.

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