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What is a sideloader and why do I need one?

A narrow-aisle forklift made for lifting very heavy and long items is called a sideloader lift truck. They work best for load handling in steel service centers and for manufacturing where long, bulky items are a normal product. The operator stands in a compartment sideways, giving them full visibility in all directions. It is categorized as a Class 2 lift truck.


A Raymond sideloader has a lift capacity of 12,000 pounds with a vertical stacking height of 30 feet. They are designed to loads that are up to 26 feet long. This makes a sideloader lift truck an ideal choice for bar stock, tubing, laminates, lumber, carpet and furniture. They also are suited for rack storage, feeding machine tools. An unloaded sideloader can travel at speeds up to 5.4 miles per hour, but as with most lift trucks, have the capabilities to program travel speeds. This feature ensures operator and control and can match speeds to application.

Since not all operations are created equally, a sideloader bed length is very customizable. Although the standard bed length is created to fit a variety of bulky and heavy loads, up to 60 inches are available. It’s important to consider with adding this much length that you may need to increase aisles and guide rails to accommodate a bed length of this size. Other options are also very customizable to specific warehouse operations, such as lift capacities, mast heights, fork lengths, lights mirrors and other accessories. Sideloader lift trucks can be electric like all Raymond models, diesel or Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

Raymond sideloader lift trucks come standard with these capabilities:

Independent wheel turn: each set of wheels is designed to turn independently. This helps for tight maneuvering to increase productivity and for space utilization.

It’s important to be in compliance with OSHA on all lift trucks, including sideloaders. This means that all operators must complete an operator training class on each class of truck that is intended for use. Raymond Handling Concepts Corporation offers Safety on the Move, a program designed to work with your operators on completing operator training and safety.

Every Raymond lift truck is backed by the Raymond Asset Protection, which is considered to be the industry’s strongest and most comprehensive warranty.

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