Choose the right forklift for the right job.
Pallet trucks are intended for the horizontal transport of pallets, and can be distinguished in manually driven models (the hand pallet jack or the hand pump truck) and electrical versions. If the transport distances and - to a lesser extent - the frequency of use and the weight of the load are limited, a hand pallet truck can be chosen. The hand pallet truck also offers advantages in the truck body; on the one hand thanks to its lighter weight, and on the other hand thanks to its compact dimensions, which guarantee a minimum of maneuvering space.
As transport distances increase, an electrically driven pallet truck offers a more efficient solution. These pallet trucks are equipped with an electric motor that controls the driving and lifting of the load. Thanks to the electric motor, electric pallet trucks also have a higher load capacity than hand pallet trucks. Electric pallet trucks are available in pedestrian and ride-on versions. For really long distances and frequent use, the ride-on versions. For really long distances and frequent use, the ride-on option offers additional convenience.
Stackers offer the possibility to transport the load both horizontally and vertically. Especially when the number of pallets to be moved, the lifting height and the weight of the load are limited. The stacker is a handy, cost-effective and easy aid to the warehouse. Its operation is almost identical to that of an electric pallet truck, where all movements are controlled by means of a drawbar. The load is almost entirely within the limits of the truck. This means that significantly less counterweight is required than, for example, the forklift truck, and the stacker can also operate in tighter areas. Because the support arms of the stacker truck drive under the rack to store or unload a pallet, extra space must be kept free at the lower level of the rack.
Generally speaking, we distinguish two types of stackers: narrow track and wide track. With narrow-track stackers, the support arms of the truck are placed so close together that the fork rests on the arms in the lowest position and only single-deck pallets can be transported. Wide-track stackers can also handle double-deck pallets because the fork falls between the truck's support arms in the lowest position. Stackers are also available in pedestrian and ride-on versions. The greater the travel distances, the more comfortable the operator will be.
If the frequency of use increases, if the goods are loaded and unloaded at higher lifting heights, or if the weight of the load is too high for a stacker truck, the forklift truck offers a solution. For example, in larger warehouses, where more pallets are moved, the higher speed of the forklift truck (compared to a stacker truck) provides additional productivity. Lift trucks also move loads both horizontally and vertically. Where the operator of a stacker truck walks behind or accompanies the truck, the driver sits in a cab of the forklift. This makes the forklift suitable for more intensive use. In addition, the lifting capacities and lifting heights of forklift rucks are greater than those of stackers.
The load is lifted via the fork (or other load handling device). This load handling device is suspended from the fork carriage, which hydraulically moved upwards along the mast. To prevent tipping, the truck is equipped with a counterweight. This means that a forklift requires a larger maneuvering space than a stacker truck. Depending on the design, the truck is equipped with three or four wheels. The number of wheels influences the maneuverability and thus the required aisle width. Forklift trucks are powered by either an electrical power source or an internal combustion engine.
Reach trucks combine the advantages of forklift trucks with those of stackers; they are fast, flexible and, thanks to their design, require only a small margin of maneuverability. As a result, the aisle width required for reach truck is significantly smaller than that of a forklift truck. This makes the reach truck an ideal internal truck for warehouses where high storage (and therefore narrower and higher aisles) and high productivity are required.
The reach truck's mast extend via a rail guide in the truck's support arms. When extended, the load centre remains within the support legs. When the load is stretched out, it is in front of the support wheels and the truck itself serves as a counterweight. Typical for reach trucks is the lifting height, nowadays up to 11 meters. Because the driver seated at right angles to the travel direction, the view of the aisles and working environment is maximised. Reach trucks are almost always equipped with solid tyres. Reach trucks with pneumatic tyres are also available for exterior use.
Order pickers come in various sizes and are intended for an application situation in which orders are picked over longer distances - and possibly at a higher level. The need for and advantages of an order picker increase as the number of orders to be picked increases. We generally distinguish between low lifting order pickers for higher lift heights, or vertical order pickers. The low lift order picker is ideal for use in narrow aisles, where multiple order are often picked simultaneously (on pallets or in roll containers). The high lift order picker, on the other hand, needs a wider aisle.
Tractors are designed to transport multiple goods horizontally and over long distances. The goods are placed on trailers or in roll containers, for example. The concept is often used to supply multiple locations on a production floor, for transport between the production floor and the warehouse, or at airports. Tractors are available with capacities of up to 25 tons and in numerous variants; both manual and stand-alone models, but mostly as a ride-on version. If desired, the tractor can be equipped with a cabin, for example when it is used outside - in all weather conditions.
Narrow aisle trucks, also called VNA trucks, are designed specifically for - as the name suggests - tall warehouses (up to over 13 meters) and narrow aisles ( around 1500 mm). As a result, the utilisation rate of the warehouse is very high. Broadly speaking, there are two types of narrow aisle trucks: the man-down truck and the man-up truck, also known as the combi truck. In the man-up narrow aisle truck, the operator is raised with the truck, so that goods can also be collected at higher heights. The man-down truck is only intended for the entry and exit of goods up to great heights.