What is a counterbalance forklift truck?
A counterbalance forklift truck is the most widely-known type of forklift. They are used for materials handling purposes in a variety of industries, from manufacturing and wholesale, to retail, logistics and warehousing.
The forks on a counterbalance protrude stick out from the front of the truck, meaning the truck can be driven right up to the materials it’s moving. Because of this, no reach facility is required and operating the mast is more straightforward.
Counterbalance trucks are powered by:
What gives them their name?
Counterbalance forklifts have a counterbalance weight design. This means that the rear weight of the truck off-sets the load at the front, creating stability while lifting.
What makes them useful?
It’s the versatility of counterbalance trucks that makes them so sought after. They are suited to everyday use in a range of different settings, lifting, carrying and moving materials from A to B. They are also relatively compact in design and don’t get in the way.
The benefits at a glance:
- Widely available
- Versatile and multi-purpose
- Manoeuvrable in tight spaces
- Can be fitted with side-shift attachments
- Powerful and durable
Buying a counterbalance forklift that meets the job at hand
Most counterbalance forklifts require even ground to operate safely, but can be used within indoor and outdoor environments. Make sure you specify what type of work your vehicle will be doing to your forklift dealer, in order to get the right truck.
- Diesel-powered counterbalance forklift = mainly outdoor.
- LPG-powered counterbalance forklift = both outdoor and indoor.
- Electric counterbalance forklift = mainly indoor.
Check the mast heights and load capacity
Compared to reach forklift trucks, counterbalance forklifts don’t reach quite so high. However, there are fluctuations in mast heights and larger trucks will often have higher maximum lift capacities, so make sure you select one that matches your operation.
Equally, there will be maximum load weights specified with each model of counterbalance forklift. These have to be stuck to for health and safety reasons, not to mention the proper maintenance of your forklift.
Used counterbalance forklift, or new?
Many businesses prefer to invest in brand new forklift trucks for peace of mind. If you’re going to be using your forklift for a large number of hours per week, it can make sense to buy a vehicle with no previous mileage.
For many other organisations, buying a used counterbalance makes more sense. It enables them to get the ideal vehicle at an affordable price. When buying used, simply do your research and select a dealer who fully services and refurbishes the trucks they supply.
For more advice on buying used forklift trucks, read this blog ‘5 things to check before buying a used forklift truck.’
If you’d like to talk to someone about which type of forklift might be right for your operation, get in touch with our Yorkshire-based forklift experts to request a site survey. To find out if we cover your area, call us on 0113 393 2881 or email email@example.com.