Are you seeking a job as a lift truck operator but are unsure which lift truck(s) you should become certified on?
In today’s workplace there are a wide range of lift truck vehicles utilized for various tasks. It is important to keep in mind that the lift truck(s) being operated will be dependent upon the needs of the company. Let’s take a look at the 4 main types of the lift trucks that are presently operated in majority of workplaces.
COUNTER BALANCE (Forklift) LIFT TRUCK
The Counter Balance or more commonly known as Forklift is the staple lift truck in the industry and has always been the most popular lift truck due to its versatility. It can be operated indoors or outdoors, sit-down or stand-up, offers many fueling options (electric, propane, gas and diesel), can enter trucks and trailers to off load/ unload product, and lifting heights that can reach up towards 30 feet. Forklifts are basically designed to transport heavy materials to designated areas. This lift truck certification is always benefit to have and relatively easy to learn as it is very similar that of driving acar.
WALKIE / RIDER PALLET LIFT
The Walkie / Rider Pallet is an Electric (battery operated) stand up lift truck that allows the operator to either walk-with (walkie) or ride-on (rider) while using a control bar to complete functions. It does not does not have extending forks or forks that rise up more than approximately 6 inches. Its basic function is to transport pallets of material from one place to another. And can be used in any application that requires general stocking, floor-level order picking and loading and off-loading trucks and trailers. It is a very compact lift truck that majority of companies will have within their facility. Once getting used to the steering controls Walkie/ Riders are quite simple to operate.
NARROW AISLE REACH TRUCK
A Lift Truck that is has been growing in popularity over the last decade is the Narrow Aisle Reach Truck. It was designed to increase storage area by allowing for more racks to be placed within the same space. The Reach Truck has a scissor lift mechanism that provides a deeper reach capacity and offers great maneuverability in narrow aisles. It is battery operated stand up lift truck that can reach heights up to 40 feet and it used to transport pallets from one space to another. With more and more companies purchasing the Reach Truck, it definitely rates high on the list of certifications to have.
ORDER PICKER LIFT TRUCK
This stand up lift truck is equipped with a rising operator compartment designed for the manual preparation of orders and stock replenishment at heights, generally from the pallet racks and shelves. This type of lift truck can operate in very narrow aisles. The order picker operator is suited with a safety harness and then manually picks the product. Like the Reach Truck it can reach lift heights 40 ft or higher. The Order Picker is also becoming a growing favourite amoungst companies.
Now that the Lift Trucks have been broken down above, it is apparent that they all offer their own benefits and applications. As a recommendation, the Counter Balance Forklift is a great place to start for new individuals entering the workforce. The Narrow Aisle Reach Truck comes in a close second. However, it is also important to keep in mind that many companies now may have a combination of these lift trucks and some companies may have them all. As one builds a career as a Lift Truck Operator it would be wise to consider receiving certification on all the 4 lift trucks mentioned above. Not only do you beat out competition for jobs, you will impress your soon to be employer with all your credentials and possibly create some greater job security as the company may introduce more lift trucks in the future.
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