Certificate Verification
Search to verify your certificate
Operate Reach Truck Vs Forklift Courses Which To Choose

Operate Reach Truck Vs Forklift Courses Which To Choose

Nov 20 2023 at 16:24

Are you or your employees considering a career in material handling or logistics? Or perhaps you are an employer looking to invest in training for your workforce. In either case, one crucial decision you will face is whether to choose a forklift or a reach truck training course. These two types of equipment are vital in distribution centres, warehouses, and various industrial settings, each with its unique set of applications and advantages. To help you make an informed decision, we look into the differences between the Operate a Reach Truck and Forklift courses.


The basics of a forklift and reach truck

Forklifts are considered more versatile and general-purpose compared to reach trucks. They are commonly used across a wide range of material handling tasks, both outdoors and indoors. Forklifts come in various types, including pallet jacks, rough terrain forklifts, counterbalance forklifts, and more. Recognised by the two forks that slide under palletised loads to lift and transport them, forklifts are capable of lifting heavy loads both horizontally and vertically.

On the other hand, a reach truck is a specialised type of forklift designed for use in tight spaces and narrow aisles. Also referred to as ‘narrow aisle reach truck’ or ‘narrow aisle truck’, reach trucks are known for their exceptional manoeuvrability, narrow profile, and the ability to lift loads to significant heights within a storage facility or warehouse. They are typically used for high stacking in racking systems, making them ideal for efficiently utilising vertical storage space.


Key differences between the courses

To help you decide which course suits your needs or the needs of your employees, we discuss the key differences between the Operate a Reach Truck and Forklift courses below.


1. Application

The primary difference between the two courses lies in their intended applications, as reiterated here;

  • Forklift course: A forklift certification course is more versatile as it prepares individuals for a variety of material handling tasks in different settings. Whether you’re working in a manufacturing facility, construction site, warehouse, or even a retail store, forklifts are essential equipment for moving heavy loads.
  • Operate a Reach Truck course: This course is tailored for individuals or employees who will be working in distribution centres or warehouses with narrow aisle storage systems. Reach trucks excel in efficiently utilising vertical storage space and are ideal for operations that require high stacking in confined spaces.


2. Load capacity

In terms of load capacity, forklifts typically have a higher weight capacity compared to reach trucks. Forklifts are designed to handle a wide range of loads, including heavy and bulky items, making them suitable across a number of applications and industries. Conversely, reach trucks are more specialised and are better suited for lighter loads in high-stacking scenarios.


3. Stability

Forklifts are generally more stable than reach trucks due to their broader wheelbase. This makes them a preferred choice for outdoor applications, uneven surfaces, and rough terrains. Reach trucks, however, are designed for indoor use in controlled environments with smooth floors.


4. Lift height

Reach trucks are known for their impressive lift height capabilities – they can reach heights of up to 30 feet or more, making them suitable for high stacking. Forklifts, while capable of lifting loads to a considerable height, may not match the reach of reach trucks.


5. Manoeuvrability

One of the standout features of reach trucks is their exceptional manoeuvrability, which is designed to navigate tight spaces and narrow aisles with ease. This makes them perfect for warehouses with high-density storage systems. In contrast, forklifts, while versatile, may not be as agile in narrow spaces.


6. Cost considerations

The cost of equipment and training should also be a factor in your decision. Generally, reach truck courses and equipment may be more specialised and, therefore, potentially costlier. Forklift training tends to be more readily available and cost-effective due to their widespread use.

At Wong Fong Academy, if you are a resident of Singapore who is 25 years or older, you have the option to utilise your SkillsFuture credits to reduce the cost of either course.


Forklift or reach truck course – which to choose?

The decision whether to choose a forklift or reach truck course ultimately depends on your specific needs or the needs of your employees. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed choice:


  • Choose forklift training if:

1. You work in an industry with diverse material handling needs.

2. You want a more cost-effective equipment and training option.

3. The material handling tasks involve both indoor and outdoor applications, including rough terrains.

4. You or your employees require versatility in handling various types of materials and loads.


  • Choose reach truck training if:

1. The storage facility has a level and smooth indoor floor surface.

2. Exceptional manoeuvrability in tight spaces is crucial for your operations.

3. The primary job requirement involves stacking loads to significant heights.

4. You or your employees will be working in a warehouse with narrow aisles and high-density storage systems.



In the choice between Operate a Reach Truck and Forklift courses, the decision should align with the demands of your industry and job roles. Whether you choose reach truck or forklift training, investing in proper training and certification ensures efficiency, safety, and compliance with industry standards. By making the proper choice, you can equip yourself or your employees with the skills needed for success and efficiency in material handling and logistics.

Are you considering providing your team with essential training programmes to enhance their knowledge and expertise? Look no further; Wong Fong Academy offers specialised courses designed for employees who want to ensure safety in the workplace. Feel free to get in touch with us today for more information.