Difference between Stacker and Forklift

For a person unfamiliar with warehouse work, it is often difficult to differentiate between machines known as pallet trucks, stackers, and forklifts. In this post I explain the main differences between this type of equipment, which are mainly intended to organize the warehouse, although they can also be given other uses.    Difference between Stacker and Forklift

PALLET TRUCKS  Difference between Stacker and Forklift

Pallet trucks, also known as pallet trucks, are equipment that is usually used in the warehouse area to move merchandise. The main characteristic of pallet trucks is that it is a transport device, not a lifting device, and they usually have a large load capacity, which varies depending on the model.

The pallet truck can be manual or electric and they are very useful for loading and unloading goods that need to be moved over short distances. In the manual pallet trucks the operator handles them on foot, while the electric ones the operator can be mounted on them or go on foot.

Advantages of hand pallet trucks:  Difference between Stacker and Forklift

  1. Its cost is lower
  2. The cost of maintenance is also lower, because it does not have electrical components.
  3. They are usually very durable, so they can be used for several years in the jobs for which this type of equipment is designed.

Disadvantages of a manual pallet truck:

  1. The operator has to apply more force and in the long term it could cause some kind of discomfort in the operator if the amount of weight is too high.
  2. Compared to electrics, they are more limited in terms of the total weight they can carry.

The price of a pallet truck usually ranges from 250 euros to 2,000 euros, depending on the model, load capacity and material with which it is made.


Stackers are a bit similar to pallet trucks, but are characterized by having the ability to load, transport and raise goods to a greater height. In general, they tend to have a height capacity of up to 5 meters. It is the most common machinery in warehouses where it is necessary to stack different types of goods, one on top of the other. As with the previous type of machinery, a stacker can be manual, semi-electric or fully electric.

The load capacity of manual stackers is usually 500 to 1,000 kg. While the semi-electric can reach a load capacity of up to 1,500 kg and lift up to 3,300mm in height. On the other hand, electric lifting devices are the most versatile and the load capacity can reach up to 1,800 kg and a height capacity of up to 6 meters in the most specialized models.


This type of team is the most specialized of the three. Its main characteristics are that it can withstand a much higher load capacity than a pallet truck or stacker, even supporting up to 8 tons. It is ideal for transporting large containers. Regarding the height capacity, it can reach a lift of up to 8 meters.

Depending on the power and functionalities, the budget for acquiring a forklift usually ranges from 5,000 euros to 80,000 euros in the cases of the highest performance equipment.

Main differences between pallet trucks, stackers and forklifts:

  1. Pallet trucks are equipment designed to transport merchandise from one place to another.
  2. The main characteristic of the stackers is the ability to lift to greater heights than a pallet truck, that is, they specialize in palletizing .
  3. Forklifts are a version with more load capacity and height, focused on transporting and lifting much heavier containers that require more power.

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