Counterbalance forklifts: Stand up and Sit Down Trucks
There are two kinds of counterbalance forklift trucks. Stand-up and Sit-down. We will get the to difference in moment. Let’s first examine what counterbalance truck is.
A counterbalanced forklift is a industrial truck that can lift loads and transport them around a warehouse or industrial facility. It does this by counterbalancing the weight of the load with cast iron or the forklift’s lead acid battery, which is located in the rear of the truck.
A counterbalanced forklift is considered a multi-purpose utility truck that can be used on docks or in aisles at least 10 to 12 feet wide.
Types of counterbalanced lift trucks:
As mentioned, there are two key types of counterbalanced forklifts.
The operator can sit-down to operate the forklift, or they can stand-up in it. This kind of truck can handle pallet loads stacked four high. Warehouses and distribution centers mostly use counterbalanced lift trucks for shipping and receiving. It also makes an ideal lift truck to move pallets in and out of storage racks. Counterbalanced lift trucks are referred to as Class 1 fork trucks in the materials handling business.
Sit-Down Counterbalance Trucks
Sit-down fork trucks are further subcategorized between a 3-wheel or a 4-wheel. If the forklift operator is moving from dock to storage and not stepping off the vehicle truck often then a sit-down style of forklift model is usually preferred. Sit-down counterbalanced trucks are used for long-run duty (long duration trips), where the operators rarely gets off the vehicle during a workshift.
A sit-down counterbalance has a lower profile. So it has optimal vertical clearance to avoid overhead obstructions. The sit-down counterbalanced trucks can also better navigate grades. They have lower wheel loading. They can also travel faster than a stand-up counterbalanced truck. Three-wheel counterbalance trucks are preferred for for small aisle requirements. They also are use for operations that require a lot of maneuverability.
Stand-Up Counterbalanced Trucks
A stand-up counterbalance lift truck will have a shorter head-length than a sit-down lift-truck, which gives the operator more room to maneuver in crowded docks and tight spaces. This also makes the stand-up truck a good choice if a warehouse needs to add more space to increase storage.
Here are some options available on a stand-up counterbalance truck that you may consider:
- Multifunctional handle versus levers plugging versus braking – this means the opposite direction can be selected while traveling to stop.
- Visibility for travel in all directions.
- Counterbalanced lift trucks come in a variety of capacities from 2,000 to 6,000 pounds.
- Fork lengths can vary and masts can are available in a variety of heights.
Size of the truck and mast
If your company is considering acquiring a counterbalance forklift, be sure to consider these specifications in choosing the size of the truck and mast once you have decided the stand up vs. sit down configuration.
For the mast, choose:
- Overall collapsed height
- Elevated height
- Extended height
- Hydraulic functions like side shift or mast tilt
For the tractor size, you’ll need to choose:
- Maximum weight of load
- Height reach
- Hydraulic functions
- Mast needed to hand load and height requirements
When not to choose a counterbalanced forklift
Counterbalanced forklifts are not ideal for all warehouse operations. They are not good options for case or piece picking, working in narrow or very narrow aisles. And they are poor choices when load storage and retrieval si above 260 inches.