If you need an electric counterbalanced forklift, you have to consider whether a 3-wheel or 4-wheel configuration is better for your application. To help with this decision, check out the quick reference guide below for the high level advantages and disadvantages of each configuration.

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3-Wheel Electric Forklift

3-wheel forklifts excel at indoor applications on flat smooth floors. Made for warehouse applications, these machines work well in tight aisles with high racking applications. However, due to their compact size, generally, they have a lower load capacity.


  • Smaller turning radius
  • Lower cost
  • High racking applications


  • Lower load capacity range - up to 5,000 lbs
  • Less stable when turning with loads
  • Does not work well on rough terrain or gravel
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4-Wheel Electric Forklift

4-wheel electric forklifts work well in a wider range of environments, and can climb a steep incline while carrying the product. They can traverse uneven surfaces, and are suited for rougher yards. With a larger body, the load capacity can be higher. 


  • Handles rougher terrain
  • Higher load capacity range
  • Ability to climb a steep incline


  • Wider turning circle
  • More expensive

While each brand and model has its own advantages and disadvantages, these guidelines can assist in the decision between a 3-wheel or 4-wheel electric forklift. Take advantage of a sales representative's expertise to consider different options as you embark on a forklift purchase. 

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