With so many forklifts options, it can seem like a daunting task to find the right one for your material handling needs. One option that you may have trouble with when purchasing a lift is whether to buy a stand-up or sit-down forklift.

Many companies purchase a sit-down lift because it is the standard, when a stand-up lift may be a better option. Here useful forklift information to help you decide between a sit-down forklift or stand-up forklift.

Sit-Down Forklifts

A sit-down lift is much more comfortable for the operator, and comfort can be key when using a forklift for an extended period of time. A sit-down forklift is best for the forklift operator that doesn’t have to leave the driver’s seat to move product.

Sit-down forklifts come in 3-wheel and 4-wheel models, depending on your specific needs. A 3-wheel forklift is a more suitable choice for navigating smaller spaces.

Stand-Up Forklifts

While sit-down lifts keep operators comfortable, stand-up forklifts have a few considerable advantages to the standard sit-down. One important benefit of a stand-up lift is visibility. Stand-up forklifts can also operate more efficiently in smaller spaces than even a 3-wheel sit-down lift. The turning radius is improved due to their compact nature.  In addition, not all operations allow for the use of a sit-down lift due to workload requirements.

How to determine which forklift suits your material handling needs

The lift experts at Forklift Select can help you choose the best truck for your specific needs whether you are picking piece-by-piece inventory or moving heavy pallets, working in tight quarters or in a large warehouse.

Some common questions to ask yourself when choosing a forklift:

  • How far will the forklift travel at one time?
  • Will the operator have to frequently get on and off of the machine?
  • Will the forklift need to be driven through narrow aisles or around sharp corners?
  • Will the forklift be used for extended periods of time throughout the day?
  • What type of flooring will it be used on?
  • What is the nature of the product being moved?

Training for sit-down and stand-up forklifts

Both models require specific training. There can be a big difference in speed capability, maneuverability, load handling, and general operation. Keep your facility OSHA-approved by ensuring your forklift drivers have the proper certifications for any forklift type used in your daily operations.


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