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KEYLIFT FORKLIFT TRUCK TRAINING Professional Fork Lift Truck Training

Types Of Lift Trucks

How many types of lift trucks are there?

There are a number of different forklift trucks so in this article I’m going to run you through what they are and what they are used for.

Counter balance

Counter Balance With Fork Attachments

This is one of the most common types of lift truck. They usually feature protruding forks at the front of the machine that allow for easy operation and lifting. However different attachments can be fitted e.g clamps(for lifting bales), poles (for moving carpets) etc. These trucks have a weight at the back to offset the load at the front hence the name ‘counterbalance’. The user has maximum manoeuvrability on a counter balance truck allowing the operator to drive to their desired location with ease but they also offer high productivity at a low cost.

Reach Truck

Reach Truck

These trucks are named after their extended lift height and reach mechanism. This is useful in tight, high pallet situations. Often smaller than counterbalance trucks which means they can move into small gaps more easily. They are also very rigid which means they can lift heavy loads high. They give extended reach capabilities in narrow spaces and are best used inside and on even surfaces.

Pivot Steer

Pivot Steer Forklift Truck

This truck is a very useful tool in the warehouse industry. They have the capabilities of a counter balance and the manoeuvrability of a reach truck. They are generally used in tight racking and to load goods. These trucks are usually slightly more expensive than the counter balance or reach but its definitely a case of you get what you pay for in this instance.

Fun fact…these truck are referred to as ‘Bendi’ or ‘Flexi’ however these are just makes of pivot trucks.

Other Types Of Lift Trucks

Order Pickers

Order pickers are powered electrically, which reduces costs overall, and they have an elevated driver platform and elevating forks that allow easy placement of loads into pallet areas. These trucks are very efficient during distribution processes and allow drivers to pick items at height.

LLOP (Low level order picker)

Hand Pallet Trucks

These trucks slip the fork underneath pallets and use a hand-operated, hydraulic jack to lift loads. These trucks have a small chassis length which means they are easy to manoeuvre and are light so can be easily carried and stored. They are often used for ground-level manual movement of pallets so don’t take a lot of weight. They are more popular with small companies and work best in small spaces.

Powered Pallet Trucks

These trucks are similar to hand-operated pallet trucks and operate by slipping a fork underneath the pallet. The main difference between these cousins would be that these trucks are motor-powered. Some have rider platform which means that pallets can be distributed quickly around the warehouse saving time and can also can handle taller pallet stacks easier too. These trucks are often operated from a standing or walking position and are fully electric. There are different types of stackers including: retractable masts, adjustable straddle legs, low, mid and high level lifting capabilities. They are predominantly used for block stacking, vehicle loading, order picking and moving goods around the warehouse. See two varieties below

Powered Pallet Truck With Retractable Reach
Powered Pallet Truck (low Level)


Moffett forklift trucks work on the same premises as counter balance lift trucks but they are carried on the back of lorries. You’ve probably seen them on the rear end of lorries while driving on the motorway.

Moffett Forklift Truck


Telehandler lift trucks are used heavily in the construction industry. They have the same stability characteristics as a counter balance. The main difference here is how the forks work. As the name suggests they have a telescopic reach allowing operators to place loads in high locations at a considerable length away from the lift truck. Construction workers often place pallets of bricks high up on buildings for tradesmen.

JCB Telehandler Forklift

They are other types of lift trucks in the industrial sector but here we’ve just covered the main ones. We provide training on the trucks above so if you feel like a new career or you need to update your training with a refresher, please CONTACT US

General Enquires
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