When choosing the right type of forklift for your business, one of the things that you will undoubtedly stumble across is the fact that there are both 3-wheel and 4-wheel forklifts to choose from.
Before blindly picking one or the other, it is important to understand the differences between these two types of forklifts. After all, when you are making this decision, there are a variety of things to consider such as the lifting capacity, cost, reliability, and quality of the build.
But the one thing that a lot of potential forklift owners get confused about is whether or not they need a 3-wheel or 4-wheel forklift. While this decision is one that can easily just come down to personal preference, there are indeed a few key differences between both of these types of forklifts that you should know about.
Let’s take a look at a few of these differences…
More does not always mean better
When buying anything, most people just tend to assume by default that somehow “more” equates to better, and this is not always the case.
When it comes to forklifts, just as with any other heavy machinery, you should not make your decision based on the fact that it has one more wheel than that other forklift that caught your eye. On the contrary, the number of wheels should come second only to the needs of your business. In other words, if a 4-wheel forklift would better suit your company, then that is the choice you should stick with.
However, don’t be mistaken… a 3-wheel forklift offers a few advantages over its 4-wheel counterpart such as a tighter turn radius and more versatility.
Lift capacity isn’t determined by the number of wheels
One thing that people often incorrectly believe is that the lift capacity is determined by the number of wheels on the lift truck. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, there are plenty of examples of 3-wheel forklifts that easily surpass the lift capacity of 4-wheel forklifts.
When in doubt, refer to the manufacturer’s specs to determine lift capacity.
3-wheel forklifts are actually really stable
While 4-wheel forklifts look more stable than a 3-wheel forklift, looks can be deceiving.
Thanks to modern stability systems present on forklifts, a 3-wheel forklift can actually give just as much stability as any other forklift on the market.
The technology that makes this possible is a set of sensors that are located within the mast and these sensors monitor load data and then shift the center of gravity of the truck to compensate and prevent the lift truck from tipping over.