3-Wheel Forklifts Vs. 4-Wheel Forklifts

4-wheel forklift (Courtesy: Crown Lift Trucks at flickr.com)

Although the styles of forklifts have some similar characteristics, there are a few features that are different, which can affect how the forklifts operate and in what conditions they offer the optimum results.

Differences Between The 3-Wheel And 4-Wheel Lifts

Of course the major difference is that extra wheel. The three-wheel configuration permits the lift to perform best in compact places where there are smaller turning radius than other types of lifts. If your warehouse is commonly crowded and feature narrow aisles, the 3-vheel variety would probably be best for your situation. Use of this forklift permits quicker load handling, cargo management, and better efficiency. Moreover many 3-wheel lifts don’t feature a wide base and extra structural integrity that 4-wheel lifts feature.

Meanwhile, the 4-wheel lift is most comfortable in most common warehouses. These lifts are more stable and take up more space turning 180 degrees. They are better suited for a wider range of loading and unloading situations and are better for navigating on surfaces with slight inclines.

Advantages And Disadvantages of 3-Wheel Forklifts

It isn’t surprising that each has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, the advantages of 3-wheel forklifts include:

• Smaller turning radius
• Better maneuverability
• Better indoor use
• Lower Maintenance costs.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of 3-wheel lifts include:

• Less lifting capacity
• Not appropriate for most outdoor activities

Advantages And Disadvantages Of 4-Wheel Forklifts

Advantages of 4-wheel lifts include:

• Stronger design
• Best stability
• Safer on rough terrain, inclines, and uneven surfaces

Disadvantages of 4-wheel forklifts include:

• Higher maintenance costs
• Larger turning radius
• Greater fuel consumption if a gasoline powered lift

A 3-wheel forklift can function in an aisle with a width of between 3-meters and 3.4- meters. Its turning radius is in the range of 1.4-meters to 1.8-meters. What this means is that the 3-wheel forklift can maneuver in warehouses with more racking. The lift allows warehouse managers to use space more efficiently and allows for expanded storage space.

However, the lower load capacity means that the 3-wheel forklift can’t elevate more than 2,000 kg.

Although it is true that the 3-wheel forklift is less stable than its 4-wheel cousin, it is also true that a 3-wheel electric forklifts is as stable as a 4-wheel version on even surfaces. Therefore, if you’re going to expect a forklift to handle very uneven surfaces, it is suggested that you rely on an internal combustion engine forklift.

The load capacity for a 4-wheel lift is much greater than a 3-wheel lift. The 4-wheel lift can raise loads of up to 25 tons. However, it has difficulty maneuvering in tight spaces. The 4-wheel lift can handle aisle widths of between 3.4-meters to 3.8-meters. It has a turning radius of 1.9-meters to 2.1-meters.

So, the 4-wheel forklift is well suited for warehouses with unrestricted aisle widths and requires a lifting capacity of more than 2.0 tons.

It is advised that you consider these parameters when determining whether to use a 3-wheel or 4-wheel forklift in your warehouse.

(Sources: certify.net and mitsubishiforklifts.co.za)

3-wheel forklift (Courtesy: Hala Heavy at Flickr.com

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