Sit-Down Versus Stand-Up Forklifts Part 2
Last week, we discussed a few of the key differences between sit-down and stand-up forklift models, and we discussed some of the benefits of models with full cabins, seats and control panels operated by a seated driver. This week, we’ll list a few considerations to keep in mind before buying or leasing a stand-up lift truck model, which can include a powerless hand truck, a walking powered forklift, a walker-rider model or a riding lift in which the operator stands at the controls.
The first key benefit of the stand-up option should come as no surprise: cost. If you’re operating under budget constraints, most of the lift-truck models at the lower end of the cost spectrum involve a stand-up operation. But, with a simple design and lower cost, you’ll also have to account for reduced height and weight limits.
There’s a benefit to limited specifications for height and weight if you don’t require high reaches or carry heavy loads. If your inventory and handling needs won’t be changing much as your business grows (for example, your shelves won’t rise as your customer base expands), then there’s no value in buying more truck than you need. Investing in a smaller unit with long life and low maintenance needs may be just the right move for you.
With smaller and simpler lift truck models, mass, velocity and momentum are all reduced, which reduces the force and potential damage resulting from a collision. A walking lift truck is unlikely to collide with a pedestrian in the workplace. Seated and standing ride-on lift trucks may be equally dangerous regardless of the position of the driver, but again, the standing feature includes all the truck models at the safest end of the spectrum.
Fatigue and ergonomics
Depending on the nature of your workforce (average age, physicality, etc.), a standing truck may be easier on bones and joints during a short shift than a seated model. Extended sitting may lead to certain vascular and musculoskeletal injuries that could be avoided by standing, especially if seat settings can’t be customized for each individual user. Sitting may also result in reduced vigilance and slower reaction times.