What are Industrial Side Loader Forklifts?

Industrial side loaders have forks that are placed to the side of the truck. These forks can carry long or wide loads are usually inaccessible or hard to reach with straightforward forklifts. Because of this feature, side loader forklifts are more suitable for working in narrow aisles. Loads such as steel, pipes, and timber should be carried by a side loader (also called a lateral forklift) since these materials are more easily handled if they are facing the direction being traveled. This setup helps minimize the overall width of the load and equipment.

There are three different types of side loader forklifts. The enclosed cab forklift is most commonly used outdoors, while the stand-up ones are mostly used indoors. Multidirectional or multi-way forklifts have wheels that rotate by 90 degrees, resulting to easier transportation to any direction. 

What are the Features of Side Loader Forklifts?

There are many additional features that side loaders have that can be more advantageous than using forklifts. Unlike forklifts, side loaders do not need to turn. They can drive up along the aisle and can unload and load from its side. Because the loads are carried on the side, the operator of the forklift can see more clearly in front and behind.

Side loaders have a flatbed, making the loads more stabilized. Manufacturers of this type of forklift developed side loaders as multidirectional machines, enabling them to move in all four directions by changing the direction of its wheels. This type of forklift has crab steering or having two wheels that operate independently from each other. This allows the lift to travel sideways into narrow storage aisles. There is a knob located inside this forklift which controls both lift and lower functions, making speed control more accessible and easy.

Some side loader forklift models have ergonomic technologies, like a high backrest, recessed swivel seat, and infinity variable armrests, all of which improve operator productivity. Other models have a cushioned floor and an operator compartment with controls that are easy to reach.

Side loader forklifts are not that hard to maintain. Some models come with a hinged battery cover for easier accessibility, and other lifts have a steel motor compartment that covers all key components, making the maintenance routine quicker and less hassle.

In addition to the mentioned features, operators can also modify the truck performance in accordance with their working style. Adjustable parameters such as acceleration, travel speed, braking force, and lift limits can be done to boost operator productivity. The operator can also set a password to the particular side loader forklift that they are working with so that the settings cannot be easily changed by other workers.

One disadvantage of a side loader forklift is that it is not as maneuverable as normal forklifts. However, as said earlier, some manufacturers have developed multi-directional side loaders making them easier to operate and manipulate. Additionally, side loader forklifts cater only to very specific needs, which are long and wide loads.

These lateral forklifts can be used for applications such as long load handling, pallet-less handling, specialty racks, and narrow aisle storage. Industrial side loader forklifts are best for maximizing and utilizing space and decreasing load damage.

Side Loader Forklift Manufacturers 

Raymond Side Loader Forklift

Raymond 9300

Model 9300
Battery 48 volt
Capacity (lbs) 6000
Elevated Height 360” maximum

Raymond 9400 Side Loader

Model 9400
Battery 48 volt
Capacity (lbs) 12000
Elevated Height 367” maximum

Yale Side Loaders

Very Narrow Aisle Forklift Turret Truck

Yale Side Loader Forklift

Model NTA030SB NTA035SB
Load Capacity (lbs) 3000 3500
Battery 48 72
Max Travel Speed (mph) 6.5 6.5
Max Lift Speed (ft/min) 83 79
Lower Lift Speed (ft/min) 98 118


Hyster Side Loaders

Hyster V30-35ZMU

Model V30ZMU V35ZMU
Load Capacity (lbs) 3000 3500
Battery 48 72
Max Travel Speed (mph) 6.5 6.5
Max Lift Speed (ft/min) 83 79
Lower Lift Speed (ft/min) 98 118