What is a sideloader?

When it comes to handling long and bulky loads, a Sideloader provides a number of advantages over a traditional, front-loading forklift. True to its name, the Sideloader is a type of forklift that’s designed to load and unload from the side of the machine.

The operator’s cab is located on the front left hand side and the bed, also known as the platform or deck, is positioned to the right of the cab. The bed contains a central section called the well; this is where the forks are positioned.

When picking up products, the mast and forks reach out to lift the load at its central point and then lower it onto the bed. The low height of the bed provides the operator with excellent visibility of their surroundings while the load is safely carried forward. Another advantage is that the entire machine can be tilted horizontally much like a tilting mast on a traditional forklift truck.

What is a Sideloader used for?

Sideloaders were originally developed for the timber and lumber industry because they’re designed to carry very heavy, long loads without the risk of tipping and other types of accidents. These machines were designed to help eliminate the challenges of carrying a long load with a frontloading forklift. For example, when the forks are lowered on a traditional forklift, it’s difficult to see the width of a load moving forward. When the forks are raised, moving forward becomes dangerous and may cause tipping accidents.

These potential dangers are eliminated when carrying long, bulky loads sideways. Sideloaders provide superior visibility because the operator is positioned at the side of the load giving them an unobstructed view of their surroundings. Another benefit is that a Sideloader can handle long loads indoors and outdoors on different types of surfaces. These advantages have made Baumann Sideloaders an excellent choice for the auto, plastics, steel, timber and concrete industries.


Sideloaders are ideal for narrow-aisles where space is at a premium. Since these machines transport materials sideways, more aisles can be created in the same amount of square footage. At the end of the day, a Sideloader has a smaller footprint because, when long loads are carried on the side, there is nothing added to the width of the machine. This makes it easier and far safer when maneuvering long loads in narrow aisles outdoors in a yard and through warehouse doors.