Forklift trucks come in all shapes and sizes. Every truck is suited to its own environment, being ideal in some situations, but less effective than others. From the narrow and nimble reach truck, to the stocky and reliable counterbalance truck, there's a forklift for almost all occasions. To help you out, here is a rundown of the most popular types of forklifts and where they are best suited. If you're still unsure about which forklift would best suit your needs, feel free to

get in touch


Counterbalance Trucks

Counterbalance trucks are your default all-rounder. Available in petrol, electric and gas drives, counterbalance trucks are well suited to indoor and outdoor operations. Counterbalance trucks rely on their weight to offset the weight of what they're lifting, allowing safe lifting of heavy goods.3 wheeled counterbalance trucks combine flexibility and manoeuvrability, making them ideal for warehouses with racks both inside and out. Only having 3 wheels allows for excellent manoeuvrability and very tight turning circles. This all results in maximum productivity in a range of situations.

Rough Terrain

If your operation involves rough outdoor terrain, a rough terrain forklift with rugged tires is the way to go. Diesel powered and capable of excellent torque through mud and across challenging landscapes, rough terrain trucks are perfect for the outdoors. These trucks are cheap to run and easy to repair, so they're a great cost effective option for any outdoor operations regardless of the terrain.

Reach Trucks

Reach trucks are compact and efficient trucks that are excellent for high, narrow stacks. Their economic design allows them to manoeuvre through narrow aisles. Thanks to their stabilising legs, reach trucks can literally reach heights in excess of 10 feet safely. Thanks to the legs and heavy batteries, reach trucks offer maximum stability in a compact shape.Some reach trucks feature a camera on the fork carriage. This camera allows the operator to view the forks from the cab to help them line up the forks. For indoor operations in very high stacks, reach trucks are ideal.

Hand Pallet Trucks

Also known as pump trucks, hand pallet trucks specialise in the non-powered movement of pallet loads. Hand pallet trucks require little in the way of training compared to a full forklift truck. To raise a pallet, the operator slides the forks into the pallet. Next, they pump the handle to raise the forks and moves the pallet.Hand pallet trucks come in a variety of styles and shapes, depending on the need. They are commonly found in places where heavy lifting is required but forklifts are impractical, such as large supermarkets.


Side Loaders

Side loaders have their forks on the side of the truck, rather than the front. This unique design gives side loaders greater stability than counterbalance trucks when moving long or very wide loads. When moving loads such as planks of wood or pipes, side loaders really come into their own. The downside of these highly specialised trucks is that they lack the manoeuvrability and flexibility of counterbalance trucks.


Forklift trucks come in all shapes and sizes. These are some of the most popular varieties of trucks that cover a range of logistical situations. In general, counterbalance trucks are decent all-rounders, but don't just settle there.

Shop around

and consider what your operation really needs and pick a forklift that really suits your needs. If you would like to chat to the team about your situation and the forklifts your need,

feel free to get in touch



Keep up to date with PHL and all things forklift machinery.