The Difference Between Counterbalance and Reach Forklifts

You wouldn’t bring a limousine to tow a car out of a ditch, and you wouldn’t send a mud-splattered pick-up truck to pick up a visiting dignitary from the airport. When choosing a vehicle, you have to keep the environment and the job in mind, and the same is true of forklifts. Knowing the difference between counterbalance and reach forklifts will help you choose the right vehicle for your company.

Counterbalance Forklifts

Characteristics

Counterbalance forklifts are what those outside of the industry would consider a “typical” forklift. This variety has forks in front of the cabin and relies on a counterweight to lift loads, hence the name. To operate this type of forklift, operators have to draw close to the load they intend to lift and keep in mind the stability triangle to avoid tip-overs.

When To Use Them

The benefit of counterbalance forklifts is their versatility. Operators can use them both indoors and outdoors, making them a good choice for warehouses or construction projects. They do well in settings where there is more space to maneuver, and loads are not unreasonably high up.

Reach Forklifts

Characteristics

Reach forklifts are a more specialized form of forklift. As the name suggests, they are designed to reach loads that are on higher shelves. Because of this, they cannot rely on the counterweight model. Typically, the forks are placed on the side of the cabin, with a mast that is built against the cabin wall. Other types, such as the variable reach forklift, find their forks at the end of a crane-like mechanism that’s far removed from the cabin.

When To Use Them

The key difference between counterbalance and reach forklifts is when and where they can be used. Most reach forklifts are designed for use in warehouses only, reaching shelves that are higher and navigating aisles that are narrower than counterbalance forklifts can manage. The exception to the rule is the variable reach forklift, which is typically used in large-scale construction.

Whatever the job or job site, if you’re looking for used forklifts for sale in Ohio, Toyota Material Handling has the perfect lift truck for the job.