Forklift side loaders, or sideloader forklifts, are perfectly adapted to handling particularly wide or long loads. They lift from the side, as the name suggests, to offer the greatest amount of stability.
Sideloaders are designed to work in narrower aisles and doorways. In an instance where a counterbalance forklift may struggle and become unstable, a side loader forklift is often the best option. It is especially effective when handling wood or piping. They carry their load on the side, allowing the operator a clear view of what is in front and behind them. This is ideal in an environment where aisles need to be carefully negotiated.
Types of Sideloader Forklift
There are three types of side loader forklift. The first has a large open bay with a mast and fork carriage built to travel perpendicular to the truck.
The second type of forklift sideloader slides the forks underneath the load and then turns its wheels to manoeuvre in any direction. This is a combination of a reach forklift and a counterbalance forklift.
The third and final side loader forklift is sometimes called a front side loader and it faces forwards just like a counterbalance forklift. The front mast can swing 90° to allow the forks to extend from the side. This means that the load can be transported parallel to the direction the forklift is travelling in.
Benefits of Side Loading Forklifts
Sideloaders don’t need to turn like standard forklifts, so they can drive up alongside the rack or the truck and easily unload and load from the side. Long loads such as timber, steel or pipes are more easily handled because the load is facing in the direction of travel. This reduces the overall width of the load.
The low deck and high cabin placed either forward or aft means the driver has an unobstructed view in front and behind. Sideloaders tend to operate in narrow-aisle situations and can often move between outside and inside environments.
Multi-directional and four-way side loaders can handle 1-ton to 55-ton containers and you can find models that run on battery or propane or diesel gas.
At PHL, we stock side loader forklifts from Linde, Jungheinrich, Combilift and other top quality brands. All of the forklifts have been inspected thoroughly and have a quality check carried out. This ensures that the entire range of forklifts we stock is of the highest standard possible.