Sit Down VS Stand Up Forklifts – which is best?

Many warehouse operators think of the traditional sit down forklift as being the best for their operation but is that really the case? Have they considered the options?

Here are some points to ponder before you sign the purchase order for your next forklift:

  • What is the nature of your operational area, ie., surface type, traffic patterns, travel distances, etc. ?
  • Do you have narrow aisles or tight areas to maneuver around/through?
  • Does the forklift operator make long distance runs or many short runs with starts and stops?
  • What percentage of the time is the operator moving on and off the lift?
  • Can you increase productivity by using a stand up truck or a sit down model?

Sit Down Forklift

Sit_down_Forklift

Forklift manufacturers are now focusing on operator comfort and its impact on productivity.  “A happy operator is a productive operator” is the new mindset of the leading manufacturers.  Tying into that point is the ability of the operator to see the load at all positions of the lifting/lowering process, and during the forward/reverse movement of the forklift.  The driver positions are typically forward facing on a sit down truck (with a twisting of the back and shoulders) for reverse travel whereas the stand up unit will allow the operator’s body to turn in any number of directions quite easily.

Stand Up Forklift

Stand_up_rider

Test Drive – If you are in the market for a new forklift this is a good time to consider new options. Forklift Manufacturers are generally happy to send a Sales Representative, who is well versed in specific forklift applications, to your facility to survey your specific application and make recommendations on product types. This information can be extremely valuable in reducing forklift expenses and operational costs.

Operator Training – The transition from one type of lift to the other can be a concern as the control systems are placed in different locations and function in different ways. Typically a sit down truck will utilize traditional lever controls (or finger tip controls) whereas a stand up unit will have a hand/wrist control forthe lift/lower, tilt, and side shift. This can lead to questions of how to operate the forklifts efficiently and safely.

Most Forklift Dealers will provide operator training (sometimes with a cost) with the purchase of a new forklift. Proper training can alleviate the concerns of the operators so that they feel comfortable in operating the new equipment.

With over 15 years of experience, Toyota Material Handling (TMH) is the industry leader in forklift and aerial lift training & certification. Having trained thousands of operators, our certified instructors ensure complete compliance with federal and state OSHA requirements.  Check out our training and certification offerings .

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *