What is an Electric Stacker?

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  • Written By: T. Briseno
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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An electric stacker is a kind of compact forklift that often is used to maneuver in smaller spaces. It is a piece of heavy equipment typically used in industrial and manufacturing environments for lifting and placing broad and flat items, such as pallets, tubes, and slabs. Metal prongs, or arms, jut out horizontally from the vertical body of an electric stacker, and these prongs move up and down on the vertical shaft through the use of a hydraulic lift system. Wheels on the bottom of the stacker allow the operator to position the arms within or under an object so it can be lifted and moved to a new location or loaded for delivery.

Central to the power of an electric stacker is a core system for handling weight. This part of the machine can manage the lifting and holding of objects weighing in the tons (more than about 1,000 kilograms). Operation control panels and a small seat or foot platform for the operator are on one side of this core. An L-shaped iron or steel prong feature is attached on the other side of the core and is a movable element of the stacker. It can be raised and lowered vertically along the core as the stacker is guided into position to pick up or set down an object.


Environments where pallets are used generally rely on electric stackers for moving goods. A pallet containing multiple boxes, for example, can be moved as one unit rather than moving each individual box. Order fulfillment centers also can access units of goods for delivery to customers by using stackers to retrieve and consolidate order contents in a warehouse. Crates containing multiple types of items also can be loaded with an electric stacker.

Construction sites may utilize stackers for moving building materials as well. Using large earth movers is often necessary for foundational work, but an electric stacker may be utilized for materials and building infrastructure handling. Pallets of cumbersome or oversized wall and floor components, for example, can be moved with a stacker.

Consumers may see an electric stacker at work in larger hardware or warehouse superstore environments. Bulk food and electronics items can be displayed and retrieved for buyers with a stacker, and bound lumber or piping generally is easier to move with machinery than by manual lifting. Electric stackers may be seen in roadside or public works projects, as they may be well suited for positioning small but heavy components of infrastructure projects such as concrete pouring molds and piping.


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