Forklifts are a vital tool for countless businesses, reducing the human resources required and enhancing productivity in the workplace. While most of us are aware of the advantages of forklift trucks as a whole, there’s more to this unique vehicle than meets the eye. With plenty of different varieties and options available to suit many kinds of business or specific requirement, size is one of the main determining factors for these functional machines. We take a closer look at the larger class of forklift trucks on the market, why these machines are so important, and what industries would most benefit from investing in this practical technology.
What are big forklift trucks?
As the name suggests, big forklift trucks are a subsection of forklifts that are far larger in scale than their compact cousins. Typically powered by diesel, with one example being the powerful Doosan DL08P forklift, these large-scale machines are built explicitly for shifting larger loads in larger workspaces. The purpose, and drive, behind this technology is power and efficiency, providing a way to move heavy items that may otherwise require other expensive machinery such as cranes. In many ways, big forklifts have precisely the same functionality as their smaller siblings – but it’s the power, scale and force behind these bigger versions that set them apart.
The difference between smaller and bigger forklifts
While many forklifts are becoming smaller and more compact, to better suit cramped warehouses and tight corners, the same can’t be said for all industries. For construction projects, factories and even manufacturers that hold heavy products and materials, a lightweight forklift simply won’t cut it. As such, larger forklifts are designed more like classic construction vehicles – large tyres, the inclusion of cabins and a more enclosed choice of space are just a few of the things that set larger forklifts apart.
While smaller options are designed to be hopped in and out of countless times per day, a big forklift is more a continuous piece of equipment, which is one of the main differences between the two types on offer. The internal processes and mechanisms of each forklift are the same in essence for both larger and smaller forklifts. In each case, the purpose is transporting goods that would be too heavy to carry. What varies is the amount of weight each model can carry, as well as a few other space-saving features that are less of a priority in larger-capacity models.
What are the advantages of these trucks?
With a better understanding of what a big forklift is, it’s worth examining all the benefits of utilising this technology in business. While large-scale and high-capacity forklifts are indeed less nimble and speedy than their smaller alternatives, they come with a whole host of significant benefits for a specific audience. As heavy-duty machinery, these forklift trucks are not simply a low-investment addition to the workplace – they’re highly valuable tools that can be incredibly productive if used correctly. Here are just a few of the advantages that a big forklift truck can provide:
Higher carrying capacity
While smaller models of forklifts are better suited to doing multiple, small loads, big forklifts are designed to hold much higher loads in one go. This is essential for single items or bundles of objects with a high weight where it wouldn’t be possible or practical to divide the load into smaller weights. The 7 Series forklifts from Doosan, for example, hold a carrying capacity of 10-16 tonnes. With the average African Elephant weighing 6 tonnes, that means a big forklift of this style would be capable of lifting the equivalent of two elephants in one go.
For businesses where high volumes of weighty goods are a common occurrence, a big forklift provides the flexibility and productivity to move these items effortlessly. This ensures no wasted time with smaller carrying methods, and reduces the overall impact on employees – it only takes a single operator to lift 10 tonnes of materials. A much higher carrying capacity reflects the purpose and capabilities of these models, offering an entirely different functionality to other kinds of forklift truck.
Reduced travel time
In direct correlation to the much more advanced carry capacity that large forklifts offer, businesses can also save a great deal of time and human resources by utilising a single big forklift over multiple small options. Instead of making multiple trips, a forklift that can carry 15 tonnes of materials may only need to make a single trip. While large forklifts require a more significant amount of energy in the first place, this cost is greatly reduced by the lack of back-and-forth that’s necessary to transfer something from one place to another. This dramatically improves efficiency and ensures that materials used as part of a manufacturing process or even construction workflow are readily available in bulk as and when needed.
While the speed of the average large forklift is reduced in comparison to smaller, nippier models, these models more than make up for lack of momentum with stability. With a far larger surface area, everything gets where it needs to go on time, without any risk of spillage or other issues that can come from faster models less-suited to longer travel distances. In the case of some industries, slow and steady certainly does win the race.
Enhanced durability and robust design
It’s easy to see how big forklifts differ from other models just by looking at a picture of them. Rugged, robust and built to last, these models are more equivalent to hardwearing construction vehicles than they are to an internal warehouse or factory technologies. This additional layer of durability is essential for the role of this kind of forklift, plus their extra layer of safety to ensure a solution that’s instantly visible and capable of withstanding significantly wider outdoor environments. With an enclosed cabin and diesel engine, these workhorse-style trucks can work both externally and internally with ease, provided there’s space to manoeuvre and accommodate a larger model.
How are big forklifts used by businesses?
How can businesses use big forklifts? There are many ways that these productive pieces of technology can be utilised. For some companies with large-scale warehouses or open-place storage, the use of larger forklifts can entirely replace smaller and lighter models. For outdoor work, large forklifts are the ideal choice to navigate rugged ground and get high volumes of resources where they need to be in one go. In other industries, a sizeable external forklift can be used alongside smaller internal forklifts to provide an effective combined solution. For example, smaller forklifts could be used within a warehouse to package up a palette with 10 tonne’s worth of goods, which can then be transported to a different on-site location in a single run using the larger forklift.
What businesses/industries would benefit from the trucks?
Big forklifts may be a more specialised solution for businesses than their smaller, interior-space-friendly siblings. However, they’re still a valuable addition to countless different types of businesses worldwide, across many different industries and areas of business. Just a few of the areas where large forklift trucks can be an incredibly useful tool include:
Construction is notorious for being an industry with high volumes of heavy materials as a standard requirement. When it comes to the unloading and transporting of cement, bricks, and other heavy-duty materials, a large forklift truck provides the ideal solution. Both on-site, and in builder’s yards, these forklifts can reduce the time and human resources needed to transport and receive expensive goods that require appropriate handling effectively. Controlled lifting and movement ensure that valuable resources such as tiles and slabs aren’t damaged during movement – something the rugged and stable design of the Doosan 7 Series of forklifts provides easily.
We often think of retail as smaller items and goods. But when it comes to the distribution of larger retail products, such as washing machines, electronic goods and similar white goods, the use of a large forklift can allow for the quick and effective loading of lorries. Without resorting to lifting items one-by-one using smaller forklifts. For retail warehouses that frequently stock heavy items in high capacity, a large forklift is well worth the investment, especially when it comes to moving stock between different buildings and through outdoor areas.
The manufacturing of products and materials often involves the use and requirement of high volumes of materials, from plastics to metals to chemical solutions. Large forklifts provide a stable and safe way to move high amounts of materials to dedicated locations, as well as moving finished product from manufacturing to storage as required. For large-scale internal manufacturing line, the use of large forklifts can significantly reduce time spent moving products by condensing the process down to a few moves per day, as opposed to hundreds.
So, is a large forklift worth investing in? For some industries, sticking with smaller-scale forklifts is a more appropriate solution. With compact and functional models like the Doosan GX Series designed to be flexible in smaller working environments, this solution may be the ideal option. But for a business struggling with capacity when it comes to moving high volumes of items or products, investing into the Doosan 7 Series range offers the additional layer of functionality needed to succeed, and get ahead when it comes to moving and manoeuvring hefty products or materials.
If your industry requires the movement of a high level of heavy materials, then a big forklift truck is the ideal way to enhance productivity, reduce needed human resources and meet just about any weight requirement you may face. With up to 16 tonnes available to work with, nothing will ever be too heavy again.
If you are looking for a forklift, big or small, for your business then get in touch today to chat to one of our friendly team.