Reach truck or counterbalance forklift truck?


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Reach truck and counterbalance forklift truck are the most commonly used types of fork lift trucks on the market for applications involve inside or outside material handling.

As each type of forklifts is designed for specific application, it's critical to find the right machine that suits for your business demand most. So come to see what the major differences between a reach truck and a counterbalance forklift truck are.

Reach truck

The reach truck is a type of material handling machine designed primarily for warehouse application where large storage density and fast storage or retrieval is required. It features excellent maneuverability and efficiency, offering maximum lifting height and being able to work in narrow warehouse aisles.

With extendable mast, the reach truck is able to reach easily into the racking and lift heavy goods up to great height within the warehouse. The load is carried partly within the body of the reach truck while being transported, which is why the machine can operate in such a narrow place as warehouse aisle.

Moreover, the reach truck powered by high capacity batteries is designed with little ground clearance and stabilizing legs, which ensure high productivity and high stability as well. The self-weight of stabilizing legs and batteries serve as the counterbalance weight to offset the load carried by the reach truck.

However, it's not suitable for outside operations or work on uneven or unsmooth surfaces considering of its low carriage design. As it is powered by batteries, the reach truck is unable to work outdoors in the rain or close to any place that has water.


Counterbalance forklift truck

Counterbalance forklift truck is the most common type of forklift truck overall, featuring a counterbalance weight designed at the rear of the truck body to offset the load lifted at the front. With various attachments and configurations, the counterbalance forklift truck can be widely used in a wide range of working environments, including construction, storage, yards, terminals and warehouse where it undertake loading, stacking and horizontal transport functions.

Most counterbalance forklift trucks are four wheel models providing the greatest weight capacities. Compared to reach truck, the counterbalance forklift truck has no outrigging legs or arms but a forklift protrude from the front of the truck body. The operator can drive the machine up to the exact location of the load or racking, thus if your business is to handle heavy duty or large tonnage cargo like wood, steel, stone, concrete or container, the four wheel forklift trucks are your best choice.

Three wheel counterbalance forklift trucks are also available. Compared with four wheel counterbalance forklifts, the three wheel forklifts are more flexible with tight turning radius when the space is limited; meanwhile, compared to reach trucks, three wheel counterbalance trucks are more versatile as they can be used for applications that involve both inside and outside operation.


SY500H-Tier 4F

Tier 4F

Operating Weight

Engine Power

Bucket Capacity

SY215C-Tier 3(US)

Operating Weight

Engine Power
116/2000 kW/rpm

Bucket Capacity
0.93 m³


Operating Weight

Engine Power

Bucket Capacity


Operating weight

Engine Power

Bucket Capacity
0.32 m³