Sit Down vs Stand Up Forklifts: Which is Best?

LPG Forkllifts

Warehouse owners have always thought of the traditional sit down forklift as the be all and end all of efficient, productive business operations, but this isn’t necessarily the case. There are other options available, including the stand up forklift, that could make an impact in your warehouse.

Before committing to the purchase or hire of a sit down forklift, you should consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is the nature of my warehouse operations?
  • Are my aisles narrow and/or does my warehouse contain small, tight spaces?
  • Are my forklift operators making long distance runs or many short distance runs with several stops and starts in between?
  • How much time does it take for my operators to move on or off the forklift?
  • Can I increase productivity more so with a sit down or stand up forklift?

Sit down forklifts

The focus on sit down forklifts is primarily down to the level of importance that has been placed on operator comfort and safety, but this doesn’t mean to say that a stand up forklift comprosies on either of the aforementioned. With a sit down forklift, the driver is typically positioned in a forwards position whilst still allowing for the twist and movement of the shoulders and back, ensuring maximum visibility.

Sit down forklifts come in either three wheeled models or four-wheeled models, with the three-wheeled variety being perfect for smaller, more compact spaces. Here at Refurbished Forklifts, we have a range of used three-wheeled electric forklifts available for use throughout even the smallest of warehouses.

A sit down forklift is considered to be the most comfortable of material handling machines and so they’d be perfect for carrying out operations over long distances or for applications that would take a considerable amount of time to execute. This helps to relieve your workers physically, ensuring they’re unlikely to sustain injuries to the back, arms or legs as a result of heavy lifting.

The pros of sit down forklifts

  • They can move at faster speeds
  • Lift and lower speeds are fast
  • Ensures operator comfort when driving forwards
  • Operators can be off their feet while driving their forklift
  • Safe on slippery, loose or uneven surfaces
  • Avoid costs of training workers to use stand up forklifts by sticking with sit down ones

The cons of sit down forklifts

  • Drivers might not be as alert as when they’re standing
  • Visibility will be limited when driving in reverse
  • Drivers will have to twist their torso to get the same amount of visibility as those who are operating a stand up forklift
  • Constant twisting and turning to allow for increased visibility could lead to injury and discomfort over time

Stand up forklifts

Otherwise known as a stand on or electric rider, this particular forklift type is best suited to forklift operators who are required to get on and off their vehicle on a highly-regular and frequent basis.

Generally, stand up forklifts are shorter than their sit down counterparts and can be used to easily manoeuvre in and around small, confined spaces – perfect for warehouses of a limited size and capacity or for premises who have used warehouse racking to its maximum potential.

The pros of a stand up forklift

  • They’re shorter than sit down forklifts, making for a safer ride for the standing operator
  • Getting on and off the forklift is far quicker and easier
  • A parking brake doesn’t need to be applied manually as it’s automatically done when the vehicle comes to a stop
  • They can navigate around narrow aisles and confined spaces effortlessly
  • It helps avoid strain and discomfort when reversing as turning can be done far more easily and with little strain
  • Sideways position of the operator allows for better visibility all round

The cons of a stand up forklift

  • The operator might not experience as much comfort as they would in a sit down forklift
  • Operators will need to get to grips with a joystick to steer the vehicle rather than levers and a steering wheel
  • Additional training might be needed in order for operators who are used to sit down forklifts to drive a stand up alternative

Refurbished Forklifts have a wide range of different material handling equipment available to customers throughout the UK, from high-quality used warehouse equipment, including reach trucks and order pickers, to meticulously-reconditioned second-hand forklifts, including electric, LPG and diesel, we’ll have a reliable, high-calibre material handling solution that’ll meet your needs and all for a reasonable price. For more information, get in touch with a member of our expert team – we’re always happy to hear from you.

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