There are many types of forklift truck, each designed to fulfil a specific purpose or to complete a certain task. For example, some forklifts operates better outside; others have the ability to reach loads located high up in racks. No matter what the purpose, it's important to understand each forklift, its capabilities, and suitability for the job you have in hand.

Last updated 24th October, 2019.

Counterbalance and reach forklifts are two commonly used types of truck throughout a variety of industries. If you have a specific task in mind, or you know you require an additional forklift, then make sure you make an informed decision as to which one is the best fit for you.

Counterbalance Forklift Trucks

The counterbalance forklift features two forks at the front and has the ability to drive up close to a load to pick it up and move it. The name comes from the counterweight in the rear of the vehicle. This is to compensate for the heavy load being lifted at the front.Counterbalance forklift trucks are versatile and can be operated both indoors and outdoors. They drive best on flat, smooth surfaces and should be used in more open spaces due to their large turning circle.The counterbalance forklift comes in both a three and four-wheel variety and can be powered by gasdiesel and electric. They are very powerful and useful trucks for a number of different environments, lifting a variety of heavy loads.

Reach Forklift Trucks

As the name suggests, the reach forklift is primarily designed to pick up loads high in racking or storage. They serve a different kind of job to the counterbalance forklift in a number of ways. Reach forklifts operate best inside, in environments such as warehouses. They are very manoeuvrable and perfectly suited to weaving between narrow aisles. They have the ability to reach loads that sit up high and can extend to distances beyond their stabilising legs. It is the combination of these stabilising legs and the battery that remove the need for a cumbersome counterweight to maintain the truck's balance. A reach truck provides a range of features to help you to do the job. Some reach trucks come with a tilt mechanism in the cab to help the driver gain a better view of the operation. Others have an open overhead guard to optimise the drive's view. In addition to this, reach forklifts can be fitted with a camera that shows the driver what is happening above their head on a video screen.


The reach forklift also features low under-carriage clearance and so we recommend that, prior to purchasing, you survey when the truck would be in operation. Look out for any uneven surfaces that could result in technical difficulties for the stability and longevity of your reach forklift. Aside from these two distinct types of a forklift, there are many other varieties available. It is important to take the time to research and understand the best type for your task.If you have any other questions about counterbalance or reach forklifts or would like any advice regarding finding the ideal forklift for you, then please contact PHL today. We offer support and have a huge range of stock to suit your every need.

See all our counterbalance and reach forklift trucks.


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