Forklifts are essential equipment for a work facility such as warehouses that store and transport a massive amount of products and materials. These powered-industrial trucks not only help move heavy objects safely, but also improve storage capacity as they can easily reach pallets placed high off the floor.
However, choosing the right forklift for your work operations is crucial, but can be a daunting task. While choosing between gas or electric lifts, you also need to decide whether a stand-up or sit-down forklift is the ideal option for your particular requirements.
Moreover, identifying the best type of forklift truck for your warehouse operations can also save time and money as well as assure the safety of workers.
At first, you might only consider your own comfort when it comes to using forklifts, but there are plenty of factors to weigh before you pick the right one for your workspace. Consider the four key factors that will help you when choosing between stand-out and sit-down forklifts:
Employees need to wear seatbelts to protect themselves from known hazards. In a sit-down forklift, employees are mandated to buckle their seatbelts, which might affect productivity because of the on and off lift movement during a shift.
A stand-up forklift, on the other side, enables the driver to stand on and off easily, which might increase productivity.
For any warehouse, space is the first thing that can increase or decrease productivity. Some have narrow aisles and a small room to maneuver material handling equipment or turning them around.
A sit-down forklift mostly has a larger wheelbase and a wider turning radius than other lift models, making them complex to operate smoothly in small spaces. With their smaller maneuverability and turning ratios, a stand-up forklift might be the perfect choice in the environments, which has narrow aisles to ease truck driving.
The Operator Training Factor
Maneuvering sit-down forklifts is slightly easy as compared to stand-up that includes a series of controls and levers. While the controls might vary between individual forklift models, operator training is crucial as per the OSHA requirements to encourage the overall safety of the workplace.
Workplace Safety Needs
While a sit-down forklift is suitable for operators who don’t leave the truck frequently during the shift, dismounting in emergencies can become a problem.
Sit-down forklifts provide comfort to the operators and are perfect for those who drive them for longer periods, whereas with stand out forklifts, it becomes easy to dismount and respond in emergencies.
If your workplace is more prone to hazardous activities, you can go for a stand-out lift, so you have the time margin to get up and take action quickly. For instance, if your work operations require you to sit behind the wheel more often, then sit-down is the better choice.
There are many factors associated while choosing a sit-down or stand-up forklift. Many of these considerations affect operator comfort or productivity, but the top concern should always be the operator safety. Before reaching the decision, consider these points to make the right choice for your unique work environment.
Regardless of your choice on the type of forklift, you need to make sure that your team follows the maintenance procedures and schedules for all your MHE (Material handling equipment). While this can be a complicated task in and of itself, you can expect good ROI from your equipment investment if the lift truck is operating at high performance!