When you are a forklift fleet manager for an operating business, you need to answer some hard questions. Questions like how many forklifts to incorporate into the fleet to get maximum output without adding redundancy? How to train the operators to ensure optimal safety levels while maintaining high levels of efficiency? Perhaps, the most important question for a fleet manager is to find an answer to is what type of forklift they need to use for everyday operations.
Of course, the answer can range in its variety depending on a number of factors such as what type of material that needs to move. How quickly does the material need moving? Where does it need to move, Etc. However, beyond the movement of material, fleet managers must also take into consideration the safety of the operators themselves.
This is where the debate between conventional counterbalance forklifts and the newer Moffett truck mounted forklifts sparks. Due to the unique working mechanisms and functional capabilities of each, both have their merits and demerits. However, the easiest way of comparison between the two is to compare them on the following dimensions:
- How efficient are they in the movement of material?
- How safe are they in usage for the operators?
As such, fleet managers wondering whether the conventional counterbalance forklifts are as efficient as a truck, mounted forklifts need to assess their comparison not only on how efficiently they transport material but also on how apt they are at keeping their operators safe. After all, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that there are around 100,000 forklift-related accidents every year with 35,000 being serious or fatal. Therefore, a fair assessment of their functionality would take into account their cost-effectiveness as well as safety capabilities.
What Is The Basic Difference Between The Two?
Before we begin to compare the two, it would be helpful to know the basic difference between their working mechanisms and structural designs. The working principle behind the counterbalance forklift is evident from its name. The counterbalance forklift has two simple forks at the front, a driver’s pit in the center and a counterbalance at the back. The load that the forks lifts counteracts by the counterbalance at the back of the forklift, thus preventing the forklift from tipping.
However, in the case of truck-mounted forklifts, there is no counterbalance at the back. Instead, the truck-mounted forklift has a horizontally moving mast that lifts the load and two hydraulic stabilizers that maintain stability. The forklift is most stable when the horizontally moving mast extends outwards fully; this lowers the center of gravity and reduces chances of tipping. Due to this ingenious design, both new and used Moffett piggyback forklifts are extremely popular in the material handling industry. So much so, that there are hundreds of retailers of the Moffett forklift all across North America, such as Bobby Park Truck and Equipment who provides authentic and genuine Moffett forklifts to businesses all over the country.
Which One Offers Better Safety?
So now, onto answering the first question, which one of the two offers better safety? Though counterbalance forklifts have been around for a long time and they come equipped with standard safety features such as seat belts, they have been at the center for many forklift-related accidents. This is because their fundamental design offers little prevention against tipping if the weight of the load becomes heavier than the weight of the counterbalance at the back. In this case, the combined center of gravity of the load and the forklift moves out of the “Triangle of stability” and causes the forklift to tip forward, particularly over slopped and rough surfaces.
However, when it comes to Moffett truck mounted forklifts, they come with a wide range of safety features that come with special designs to minimize the dangers and risks of forklifts operation. Some of the latest safety features include:
- Interlocking seat belt for the driver
- Overhead guard, test by ROPS (Rollover Protective Structure) and FOPS (Falling Object Protective Structure)
- Maximum visibility all around the forklift (360 degrees)
- Flashing beacon, work lights and reverse bleeper
- LED road light for transport on truck or trailer
Which One Is More Efficient?
Although counterbalance forklifts need to move various materials in various industries, the Moffett forklift takes the cake here as well. Moffett forklifts work in a wide range of industries from poultry, agriculture, and construction to defense and fire and rescue services. Moreover, the fact that Moffett forklifts can be mounted on the back of trucks carrying the material (hence the name “Truck mounted”) makes them far more efficient than the conventional counterbalance forklifts since this saves tremendous cost and time on behalf of the business.