Know Your Forklift Stuff

Driver CPC, Forklift Truck & Manual Handling Training - Flexistaff Solutions Limited

Forklifts and MHE have become an integral part for many businesses in the 21st century. But knowing the difference between your flexi and your NVA can be confusing. So, we’ve put together a list of the 5 most common used MHE.

Counterbalance Truck

The most common and iconic of the forklift truck and MHE family. These trucks have forks at the front end of the vehicle. This enables this forklift to drive straight up to the lift position. The counterbalance truck is small and practical. Usually found in larger warehouses and outdoor areas. Often referred to as just ‘a forklift’.

These trucks come in electric, gas or diesel-powered models.


Pedestrian pallet trucks are most common in small to medium warehouses and industrial units. Designed for usage on smooth level floors. The smallest of the MHE on this list, the PPT specialises in transporting goods in smaller volumes.

A ride-on platform can be fitted to this type of forklift, where long distances need to be travelled. Often referred to as a P.O.E.T, this piece of MHE comes in three main types; low level, eye level, and high level.


This very narrow aisle truck is a specialised piece of MHE. Providing top performance in a high rack warehouse space. A VNA can provide exceptional pace of load handling.

At a shelf height of seven meters, this piece of MHE can process up to 30 pallets per hour. Considerably more than counterbalanced forklifts or reach trucks. The VNA truck can both move and lift at the same time. With a VNA, pallets can be transported at a considerable height and diagonal direction at high speeds.

Reach Truck

Reach trucks are narrow-aisle, right-angle stacking pieces of MHE. They are considered Class 2 lift trucks in material handling.

Ideal for unit load handling with rack interface, this piece of MHE is designed to operate in narrow aisles. It is best for storing and retrieving pallets in racks. They come equipped with a pantograph mechanism and can shelve pallets one or two-deep. This version is known as a deep-reach lift truck.

These lift trucks are designed to maximise unit load capacity. They achieve this by narrowing aisles and promoting product throughput.

Flexi Truck

The final piece of MHE on this list is the flexi truck. These Boast lifting heights of up to fourteen metres and the ability to operate in very narrow aisle ways. This MHE provides a more cost-effective alternative to a standard warehouse forklift. The Flexi truck can:

· Transport 25% more pallets per hour than a traditional reach truck.

· Complete ‘road to rack’ function, eliminating double pallet handling.

· Reduce handling costs by up to 50%.

· Provide high density warehouse storage with first in/first out access.

· Put away pallets in racking 25% faster than a reach truck.

· Provide positive front wheel drive, allowing ‘Push Back’ racking operation.

· Work inside and outside of a warehouse.

There you have it. Your ultimate guide to the most common MHE and forklifts.

Need forklift or MHE training? [Flexistaff] offer novice and refresher courses on all manner of MHE.