What Makes Reach Truck Different From Forklift?

In areas including manufacturing and warehousing, forklifts and reach trucks may be found almost everywhere. When you are in need of new machinery, you may want to have a better understanding of the distinctions between a forklift service and a reach truck.

Even if their applications are similar, each vehicle has a unique set of characteristics that make it more suited for certain kinds of work. For instance, each vehicle is capable of lifting a pallet weighing 2,000 pounds to a height of 10 feet above the ground. A forklift is required in order to transport a pallet that weighs 7,000 pounds. A reach truck is required in order to lift the 4,000-pound pallet up to a height of 30 feet from the ground. Let’s evaluate the reach truck and the forklift to assist you in making the most informed decision possible on which piece of equipment to purchase for your business.

Reach Truck Overview

Since the reach truck is a more compact vehicle than the forklift, it is able to maintain a higher degree of agility. Because of its narrower chassis and its ability to store goods closer to its wheelbase, it is able to function effectively in warehouses that have aisles that are narrower and places that are more confined. A reach truck does not have a counterweight but instead has two stabilising legs on the outside that help disperse the load’s weight.

Although it is possible to take a front stance on certain types, the typical seating position for the operator is on the side, which maximises both comfort and mobility. The visibility of the operator is improved by a number of different elements used on reach trucks. The cab may tilt to provide the driver with a greater view of their surroundings, or it may contain an above guard that is open. The operator of many reach trucks is provided with a camera that, when connected to a video screen, displays what is occurring over the operator’s head.

Forklift Overview

The forklift is one of the most well-known and adaptable pieces of equipment used for moving and storing materials. They are used in the shifting, stacking, and lifting of pallets in warehouses as well as industrial facilities. Because it is one of the most often used pieces of machinery, the forklift comes in a wide variety of subcategories that are each optimised for a certain job. The sort of forklift that most people think of initially, which is also known as a counterbalanced forklift, is the classic forklift.

A forklift service may be used for a variety of tasks. Indoors or out, they are useful on loading docks or in the middle of a warehouse aisle. They function best in a passageway that is 10–12 feet wide for maximum efficiency. Pallets piled in blocks of up to 4 feet in height are no problem for them.

There is a wide range of forklift capacities, from 3,000 to 6,000 pounds, with some models going as high as 15,500 pounds. They are chosen over lighter material handling trucks due to their high lifting capacities and general usefulness.

Principal Parallels and Distinctions

When comparing a reach truck with a counterbalance forklift, what are the key distinctions? Check out the specs and features of each and see which one best suits your needs:


The cabs of forklifts face forwards, so the operator can constantly keep an eye on what’s directly in front of them. However, greater weights may impair one’s line of sight. Reach trucks come with a variety of attitude choices, the most frequent of which is a cab that faces in the opposite direction. The use of new mast designs, tilting cabs, and video feeds all contribute to an increase in visibility for the operators here.

Capacity of Lift

Depending on the type, reach trucks typically have a basic lift capacity ranging from 3,000 to 5,500 pounds. The lifting capability of the majority of forklifts is far larger, ranging anywhere from 3,000 to 19,000 pounds. Even more, weight may be moved by one of our high-capacity forklifts, which can move anywhere from 28,000 to 100,000 pounds.

Turm Radius

Lift trucks, on average and depending on the design, have a turning radius that is 35% smaller than forklifts. Because of this, they are able to operate in aisles that are smaller. While forklifts typically need a clearance of 12 feet, certain reach trucks are able to function in aisles that are just 8 feet wide.

Height of Reach

In most cases, a forklift’s reach is limited to no more than 19 feet. Additionally, the maximum reach of certain reach trucks is 41 feet.


Both forklifts and reach trucks employ forked arms to lift and transport pallets, although only one of them really has the term “fork” in its name. Technically speaking, a reach truck is only a specific kind of forklift service truck. It improves upon the forklift by allowing for greater heights to be reached and by providing additional support for loads through stabilising legs.

Power and Fuel Source

Forklifts may run on a variety of power sources, whereas reach trucks must rely on a single 36-volt electric battery. The fuel source is up to you; options include gas, diesel, LPG, and even a battery.


Forklifts, a reach truck, or perhaps something more specialised, Jialift can provide it. You can shop for a wide variety of high-quality products to enhance your warehouse’s efficiency. We provide full maintenance services, replacement parts, equipment rentals, and fleet management advice in an effort to become a reliable business partner for your warehouse.