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Stackers vs Forklifts: Choose the Right Equipment for Your Operation

by Carllaen Joshua Gonzales 30 Nov 2023 0 Comments

Choosing the wrong equipment for your warehouse can make it so that a task that's supposed to take 10 minutes, instead takes you 5 hours. So it's important to choose the machine to keep your operation running smoothly and efficiently.

In this article, we compare pallet stackers and forklifts. These are two machines that  are often used in warehouses and other industrial environments. Let's take a look at the differences between them, as well as when to pick one over the other.

What are stackers?

Stackers, sometimes referred to as walkie stackers or pallet stackers, are flexible machines made to raise and move pallets in small spaces. It is a type of wheeled vehicle used for short-distance transportation, stacking, and loading and unloading. They are available in a variety of designs and can be electric or manual.

Stackers vs Forklifts

Advantages of using stackers:

  1. Maneuverability - Stackers are perfect for tiny warehouses or locations with limited space since they are extremely agile and perform well in confined places.
  2. Cost-effective - Manual stackers are a more affordable option because they are less expensive up front and require less maintenance than forklifts.
  3. Ease of use - Stackers can be used by almost anyone due to their ease of usage and relatively low training requirements.
  4. Less environmental impact - They create an environmentally friendly workplace since electric stackers emit fewer emissions, while manual stackers emit none at all.
  5. Safety - Stackers reduce the chance of accidents by being built with safety features including overload prevention and anti-roll-back systems.

What are forklifts?

Forklifts are industrial trucks with forks that are used to lift and move big, heavy objects. There are several varieties of forklifts available, such as reach, rough terrain, and counterbalance models, each with a distinct purpose.

Forklift versus pallet stacker

Advantages of using forklifts:

  1. Heavy lifting capability - Forklifts are essential for industries with significant material handling needs, as they can carry heavy loads that stackers cannot handle.
  2. Versatility - Forklifts can be used for a variety of jobs other than simple pallet handling because they can be fitted with various accessories, such as clamps, buckets, or platforms.
  3. Speed and efficiency - Forklifts can move large loads over longer distances faster, greatly boosting overall warehouse productivity.
  4. Outdoor use - Rough terrain forklifts are made to handle uneven or unpaved areas, so they are great for outdoor settings like lumber yards and construction sites.

Which machine should I use?

Consider the following factors before choosing between a forklift and a pallet stacker:

Lifting height and capacity

Stackers can support loads usually between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds (900–1800 kg), while forklifts are able to carry loads ranging from 3,000 to 50,000 pounds (1,360-22,680 kg), depending on the model. 

Stackers can lift loads up to a height of approximately 15 feet (4.5 meters), while some forklifts are able to lift loads up to a height of 30 feet (9 meters).

Workspace constraints

Stackers are ideal for maneuvering in confined places, narrow aisles, and small spaces because of their compact form. Forklifts have a wider turning radius and are harder to manage in extremely small aisles, but make up for their versatility in handling a variety of tasks.

Cost considerations

Stackers are less expensive than forklifts in general. For companies with smaller budgets and fewer material handling requirements, they are an affordable option. Meanwhile, forklifts are a wise investment for businesses that demand adaptability and have high lifting requirements, even though they are more costly.

You can learn more about this in our article on forklift cost.

Training and certification

Stackers are typically easier for operators to understand because they are smaller, less complicated devices with fewer controls and require less rigorous training. On the other hand, you need to be trained and certified to operate a forklift. Ensuring the safe operation of the equipment and adhering to industry norms are crucial.

Forklifts in use

In conclusion, the choice between a stacker and a forklift comes down to your specific needs. Consider the factors discussed above and evaluate them to determine the most suitable equipment for your business. Making the right decision will lead to higher productivity and efficiency in your warehouse.

Need a new forklift or pallet stacker?

If you're looking to get an affordable electric stacker or maybe a new, high-quality forklift, then look no further than WarehouseWiz. We offer a wide array of new and pre-owned forklifts across Canada, as well as electric pallet stackers for your needs. We are proud to offer equipment that is affordable, without compromising on quality. 

Contact us today and let us help you choose the right equipment for your needs!

Get a quote

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