FLT (Fork Lift Truck)

What is a counterbalance forklift truck?

Counterbalance forklift trucks are the most common type of forklift truck and the type most people instinctively think of when thinking about forklifts. They can be used in various conditions from indoor warehousing to outside loading and unloading of large goods vehicles.

On counterbalance trucks, the forks protrude from the front of the machine, with no out-rigging legs or arms, meaning the truck can be driven up to the exact location of the load or racking. This means that no reach facility is required and lends itself to straightforward operation.

Countrbalance machines are available as electric, gas or diesel powered, many have sideshifts, a mast tilt facility an often driver cabs.

As the name suggests, counterbalance trucks operate a counterbalance weight design with a weight at the rear of the truck off-setting the load to be lifted at the front. Electric counterbalance machines are able to operate with a smaller counterweight as the battery serves as ballast as well as a source of power.

What is a reach forklift truck?

Reach trucks are designed predominately for warehouse operations. They offer maximum lift weight with excellent manoeuvrability.

The name refers to the ability of the fork carriage to ‘reach’ out beyond the stabilising legs and therefore ‘reach’ into racking. The combination of this reach capability and the stabilising legs mean reach trucks can lift to great heights (in excess of 10 metres) while still operating in a very tight working environment.

The stabilising legs and batteries within a reach truck negate the need for any counterbalance weight within the truck construction.

While excellent for use indoors, reach trucks are not ideally suited to work outside. Their low undercarriage clearance can cause problems or uneven working surfaces, and their electric power systems can be prone to contact trouble if regularly shaken due to undulating working surfaces.