The Basics Of How A Sideloader Works… 

Sideloaders began as a way to safely and efficiently transport timber and other long loads ‘lengthways’ rather than ‘widthways’.  

Consider moving a roll of carpet through a doorway. Yes, you could probably bend it through the gap, but it’s much easier to tuck it under your arm!

Using sideloaders to carry long loads means the width is no longer the crucial factor.

The combination of forks and a ‘truck bed’ allows the load to be held securely and transported over longer distances. The forward-facing operator also has an unobstructed view, which is elevated to provide an even clearer view of potential obstacles.

Storage is also more efficient when long loads are carried this way, as aisles can be closer together and storage density can be maximised.

Securing a load along its length is also much more straightforward. Forklifts picking a tube or beam in the centre equates to a tightrope walker trying to find the perfect balance. With a long load collected and placed on the deck, the length is no longer a destabilising factor.

How Sideloaders Work to Improve Stability… 

Machines that lift loads have a particular challenge – how to accommodate the weight of the load whilst being stable and secure when handled. An added complication is the varying heights and distances from the machine the load will be lifted.

Imagine lifting a heavy box close to your body, and then the same box at arm’s length – the extra distance means the challenge is considerably harder! This is how sideloaders work to improve the stability of long loads.

Momentum (or dynamic stability) is also a factor, as this can dramatically shift the machine’s centre of gravity.

Manufacturers can use mathematical formulae to calculate the residual capacity of their machines at height – this is the maximum lifting capability with the mast fully raised and extended.

Above this weight, the machine becomes unstable, so it may be perfectly possible to move a load of 5 tonnes just a few feet off the ground, but from 3 or 4 metres upwards the load may be dangerously unstable.

Additional weight is therefore needed to maintain stability and is the reason why every machine must be rated for a specific maximum load capacity.

Forklifts achieve this by having a counterweight either low to the ground, in the case of most battery models or reach trucks, or built into the area behind the operator compartment in the case of a traditional counterbalance.

How Baumann Sideloaders Work

How To Choose The Right SideloaderBaumann Sideloaders are somewhat different. Of course, there is still the need to accommodate the weight from reaching out to loads at the side of the machine, and at heights of up to 6 or 7 metres, but the weight is spread across a wide area.

The width of the axles and the method of steering means the area of stability is rectangular in shape and much larger. Because of the way they steer, with a centrally pivoting steer axle, counterbalance forklifts usually have a triangular area of stability.

Without a load, the forklift’s centre of gravity is firmly inside the triangle. Adding weight to the forks shifts the centre of gravity towards the front axle. Once this reaches the front axle, it is at the edge of the stability triangle and will eventually exceed the safe load capacity.

Forklifts can also be easily overturned sideways if the centre of gravity leaves the stability triangle on either of the two sides. Here dynamic stability is a factor, with sudden stops, or turns, taking the centre of gravity outside the stability triangle.

Tilting a mast back to store a pallet in the heel of a fork is a good way of adding load security in the case of reach trucks and forklifts. In terms of how sideloaders work, this is achieved by tilting the whole chassis. Additional tilt is occasionally added via the carriage, but in most cases the chassis tilt is more than adequate.

Baumann sideloaders also feature automatic deck levelling, which adjusts to undulating ground conditions to ensure the deck remains perfectly balanced. View our sideloader product range here. 

Distributing weight and designing the perfect method to reach out to the load is discussed in How does a Baumann sideloader work? Part Two.

Don’t just take our word for it…

The message that has emerged from customers over the past few decades has been the quality, strength and reliability of the Baumann sideloaders. The company’s long-term approach puts real emphasis on the quality of manufacture and product reliability. With high-quality support, they have a new machine that improves their operation, reduces waste, provides greater comfort and productivity, as well as getting immediate fuel and maintenance savings. Read about our history here.

Get in touch with us here to talk about getting a new or used sideloader.