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Comparison: Ride-On vs Stand On Materials Handling Units

Filed under: Forklift Basics

There are a number of ways that materials handling units can be driven including ride-on, stand-on or push behind.

Each method of driving has applications where it is the best method.

This week’s blog compares ride-on and stand-on forklifts, highlighting 5 differences between the two types of units. 


Ride-on forklifts generally offer less visibility to operators than stand-on forklifts.

Seated operators only have forward facing visibility.

When reversing operators must twist their body to look over their shoulder, this can pose significant discomfort and lead to physical injuries in some cases.

In comparison operators of stand-on forklifts are able to freely move their body to adjust for greatest visibility; allowing maximum visibility regardless of the direction the forklift is travelling.

ride-on vs stand-on forklift visibility comparison

Operator Comfort

Operator comfort is seen as an area where ride-on forklifts have the greatest advantage over stand-on units.

The ability to sit down whilst working is considered more comfortable by the majority of workers.

There is a general belief that comfortable employees are more productive.

So keeping operators off their feet and comfortable during their shifts can be beneficial to operations.

Long Runs VS Short Runs

The type of work being undertaken by operators is one of the most important factors when deciding which unit type is best suited to the task.

In general ride-on forklifts are more appropriate for long run operations where operators are travelling long distances for extended periods of time.

This is closely connected to the previously discussed point of operator comfort.

With employees seeking more comfort when operating over long distances.

Ride-on forklifts are also more effective when operating outside or on uneven ground, as seated employees are less likely to be buffeted around due to the uneven ground.

Stand-on forklifts are ideal for short run operations where operators only need to stand up for short periods of time.

They are ideal to be used for small order picking in warehouses, where the floor is smooth to operate on eliminating the potential of buffeting from uneven ground.

Operator Dismounts

Another criterion to compare units is operator dismounts, how often operators must dismount from the unit during a shift.

For operators on long runs that only dismount once a movement, ride-on forklifts are more applicable as operators will only have to complete any pre-start checklists/procedures such as engaging seatbelt or driver verifications a limited number of times per shift.

In comparison to continually having to complete the checklists/procedures every time they dismount on short-runs. 

For operators on short runs who are constantly dismounting a stand-on unit may be more appropriate as they are already standing to easily dismount. 

Without a seat being present there is less likely to be seatbelts or pre-start measures that need to be completed each time they dismount and return to the unit.

ride-on vs stand-on forklift dismount comparison

Crash Protection and Safety

In the event of a crash operators seated in a unit are less likely to be thrown around and are generally better protected.

Extra protection is provided when most seats have seatbelts installed to keep operators stationary if a crash were to occur.

Stand-on operators are potentially at more risk as there is a greater chance that they can be dislodged from the operator cage in the event of a crash.

ride-on vs stand-on forklift crash protection and safety comparison

To further discuss any of the differences between the two type of units or to find the best solutions for your needs contact us on 13 22 54 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Published By: Paul Hinz

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