Types of Warehouse Forklifts
A warehouse forklift is a material handling machine designed to increase efficiency. Use this equipment to stock orders, retrieve pallets, unload inventory, and more. Different types of warehouse lifts are available to fulfill different applications.
Some warehouse forklifts are only suitable for indoor facilities, while others can be used outside. Some offer higher reach, while others offer more load capacity. Learn about each warehouse forklift type below.
Warehouse forklifts can be either pneumatic or cushion forklifts. This distinction refers to the tire type. A pneumatic forklift has large pneumatic tires. These tires are air-filled with deep treads that grip uneven surfaces. Pneumatic forklifts are ideal for outdoor applications.
These counterbalance forklifts have a load capacity between 30,000 and 50,000 pounds. The average lift height of a pneumatic forklift is 15 feet.
Use a pneumatic forklift for outdoor warehouse applications like loading and unloading trucks. This type of warehouse forklift is also great for indoor-outdoor warehouse operations.
Cushion forklifts have cushion tires, which are made of smooth rubber. These tires are solid rather than air-filled, so they’ll last longer since they cannot be punctured by industrial debris. Plus, because cushion tires are easier to make, cushion forklifts are cheaper than pneumatic options.
Because they offer no traction, cushion tires are only meant for indoor use. Their size allows for a smaller turning radius. Use a cushion forklift in tight indoor spaces.
Cushion forklifts are quieter and more mobile than pneumatic options. Standard counterbalance cushion forklifts can carry up to 22,000 pounds. These sit-down forklifts have a lift height between 10 and 15 feet.
If your warehouse has tight aisles less than 12 feet wide, a narrow aisle reach truck or order picker might be a better option. Learn about these warehouse forklift types below.
Order Picker Lift
An order picker lift is another type of warehouse forklift with cushion tires. Unlike sit-down forklifts, these machines are controlled by a standing operator. The order picker lift raises the operator and platform into the air. This makes it easy to hand-pick orders from high rack shelving.
Consider investing in an order picker if you need to case pick or retrieve piece-part orders. Gain quick, direct access to every piece of inventory with an order picker lift. Plus, many models are narrow, which is ideal for tight warehouses with aisles that are less than 12 feet wide.
Different order picker lifts have different capabilities. Mid-level models have a lift height between 15 and 25 feet. High-level models have a lift height of up to 30 feet, with extended options available for 35 feet of reach.
These warehouse forklifts have an average load capacity of around 3,000 pounds. Keep in mind that this equipment is used to move boxes and piece-part orders. Because of this, these machines have a lower capacity than those that carry full pallets.
Another piece of warehouse lifting equipment is the reach truck. A reach truck is another type of stand-up forklift, controlled by a standing operator. This makes it easy for the operator to get on and off of the equipment frequently.
Reach trucks are ideal for indoor warehouse operations. These machines offer a tight turning radius. Their forks also rotate a full 180 degrees. This makes it easy to retrieve pallets in narrow aisles. Choose this type of warehouse lift if your facility has aisles less than 12 feet wide.
A reach truck has an average lift height between 20 and 40 feet. The load capacity is generally around 4,500 pounds. These numbers vary based on the model you choose.