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Four-wheel forklifts may be the most common, but the 3-wheel forklift is a model that offers its own singular advantages. The appearance is admittedly quirky and may take some time to get used to, but many forklift operators come to embrace the 3-wheel forklift and appreciate the unusual look of a vehicle with three wheels. Depending on the working environment, forklift operators may find it more effective to operate a 3-wheel forklift, so before purchasing a vehicle you should conduct a complete assessment. This post gives a basic introduction to the 3-wheel forklift, supplying you with the important factors and considerations that you need to bear in mind before purchasing one.
Which working environment is most appropriate for the 3-wheel forklift?
The ideal working environment for the 3-wheel forklift is determined by the unusual dimensions of the vehicle. Simply put, the 3-wheel forklift is a good deal less bulky than the traditional 3-wheel design. This makes it a great fit for working conditions in which aisles are narrow and there is not ample room to turn. Because 3-wheel forklifts are much lighter and more compact, they make loading and unloading pallets, as well as transporting loads, more quick and efficient.
In general, 3-wheel forklifts perform much better indoors than outdoors. This is due to a number of factors. First, most 3-wheel forklifts have cushioned tires that are more suitable to the floor of a warehouse. Second, the vehicles do not offer the same level of stability as traditional 4-wheel models, and it is therefore much easier for them to tip over. Indoors working environments are not subject to the steep gradients that can exist in outdoor work settings, not to mention weather concerns such as rain, ice, leaves, and corrosion. When you consider that overturned forklifts are responsible for the greatest proportion of forklift-related fatalities, it becomes that much more important to only use 3-wheel forklifts in the safest of conditions.
Before purchasing a 3-wheel forklift, it is important to conduct a risk assessment. Evaluate how large your aisles are, as well as the size of the working facility. If you require forklift operators to shift between indoor and outdoor working environments, it may be more effective to simply expand the aisles and use only 4-wheel forklifts. However, if you have operators who spend a great deal of time loading and unloading pallets and transporting cargo indoors, the 3-wheel forklift is really the superior option.