How to Choose Between Sit Down and Stand Up Forklifts


As you equip or upgrade your warehouse, you may wonder which option makes the most sense for you – sit down or stand up forklifts? Here are a few factors to keep in mind that will help make a smart decision in terms of cost, efficiency, and safety. In this article, we will primarily discuss counter-balanced forklifts – those in which the back of the vehicle is weighted so that loads can be lifted on the fork without tipping. Here are a few factors to consider when making your decision.

Sit Down Forklifts

Sit down forklifts typically come in three- or four-wheeled models. Four wheels can lend stability, but three-wheeled forklifts can be more maneuverable, particularly in small spaces. Sit down forklifts are often preferred for jobs where the driver needs to operate the vehicle for an extended period of time or cover a long distance. It can prevent fatigue which can keep the driver sharper. They are also more stable on a steep grade or slippery surface. Typically, it’s easier to train a new operator on a sit-down forklift because their controls are similar to those of a car.

Stand Up Forklifts

For even tighter warehouse spaces, stand up forklifts may be the right fit. Because they don’t need to accommodate a seating area, these lifts have a tight turning radius and an overall smaller footprint. If the operator must get on and off the forklift frequently, the stand-up version is usually more efficient.

Stand up forklifts are popular for facilities with narrow aisles because they are easier to maneuver and turn around. They are also often used in potentially hazardous situations because the operator can dismount the vehicle and reach safety quicker than on a sit-down forklift.

Additional Considerations

It can also be helpful to discuss preferences with staff. They may be able to detail reasons you may not have thought of for choosing one over the other because they have hands-on experience.

If you have a high level of turnover, you may want to choose the forklift that is simplest to train for your needs. An even smarter option may be to work with a staffing firm that specializes in providing forklift operators. Eclipse Professional Service provides top certified and trained forklift operators for businesses looking to improve their warehouse operations. Contact us today to learn more.



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