What is the difference between a forklift and an order picker?

There are many instances in life where we use terms interchangeably. Where it seems like two different terms really mean the same thing. However, the truth is that there is a reason why two or more terms are used, especially when it comes to equipment. This is the case of the forklift and order picker.

While there are clearly a number of similarities between the two, these are still two different pieces of equipment that are often found in construction or warehouse locations. Understanding the difference is important, especially if you are seeking employment as an operator of one of these devices or if you run a business where they are needed.

Let’s Dive into the Weeds

To understand the fact that there is a difference between the two begins with the type of licence requirements needed for each of the positions. A forklift operator is required to have a forklift licence, something that requires an extensive amount of training. Once training is completed, the person is required to become certified to be able to operate a forklift. This can be quite an extensive process because of the potential for injury that can occur.

While the requirements for an order picker are not astringent, they are still required to get a licence. This is still a piece of heavy machinery that requires training to prevent injuries and accidents.

This is an important distinction, but is not the only one. An order picker is one who goes up into the air with the load and places the pallet on a shelf or in another similar location mechanically. They may also move smaller loads on and off the order picker manual.

The forklift operator sits on a seat where they are held securely in place by a seatbelt. They have a steering wheel and hand controls that enable them to move the forklift around the construction site or warehouse. Much like driving a car, it contains breaks and an accelerator, giving you the ability to stop and start, turn, and move as needed.

Main differences between a forklift and an order picker

It is important to see that there is a significant difference between the two when it comes to a forklift and an order picker licence . The order picker is moving the vehicle to the area where the item will either be taken off the shelf and lowered to the ground or taken from the ground and raised to the shelf where it will be placed. Because nothing is being done other than lifting and raising the pallet, there is no need for a special licence.

The forklift operator is moving around a location. Not only do they need to know how to drive the forklift so they do not cause an injury, but carrying a huge load on the front of the forklift is not easy. This requires a lot of skill and instruction to ensure that all safety protocols are being met. After all, you do not want to see the load fall off the forklift, either getting damaged or seriously injuring somebody, maybe even killing them.

The order picker operates by battery while the forklift usually uses gas, with some being electrically powered. These tell you that there is a significant difference between the two. The forklift operator requires a lot more training, and this is why they are also paid a significantly larger amount of money.

If you have any questions please ask your forklift licence centre which is Trainix!