Forklifts have been around for years, in several forms, the most common being the counterbalance type where the weight at the rear of the machine counterbalances the weight of the load. In 1986 Cecil Moffett of Clontibret, Ireland, invented the Moffett Mounty truck mounted forklift. This was a new concept allowing a relatively light weight forklift to ride on the back of a lorry without taking up load space. The machine is still technically built around the counterbalance principle, but the wheels are moved forward under the load, meaning the fulcrum point is further forward reducing the need for such a heavy counterweight.

So what are the benefits of truck mounted forklifts?

Save labour and hire costs

If you or your customer don’t have a forklift on site then the chances are you’ll normally have to borrow one from a friendly local company, or hire one in. Borrowing a forklift isn’t always easy and can come with strings attached, and hiring one in can mean also having to hire a certified operator. With a truck mounted forklift the machine is driven by the lorry driver, so there’s no wasted labour and it comes on the back of the delivering lorry. This removed entirely the delivery and collection costs of hiring a separate machine in and halves labour costs. Even if you or your customer has a forklift, having a self offload vehicle allows that machine to keep on working its usual job which can save an hour or two of labour. As we all know that hour or two can make a big difference on site.

Health and safety

For sites with no forklift often the only way of unloading is by hand. Manual lifting of even relatively light loads from the bed of a lorry can result in strain and injury providing you or your customer with problems with staff taking time off sick, or even HSE prosecution.


Time is money, and having a lorry on a site or in a yard can be a big inconvenience in some situations. Manual unloading of goods by hand is clearly slow, but even with a hiab palletised goods can take a long time to unload as every pallet has to have lifting chains attached and removed with the operator or a banksman going between the vehicle and the ground (see health and safety above!).


In some situations there just isn’t room to get a lorry of any size. For example let’s say your customer is building a large extension on their 6 bedroomed house. They might need 20 packs of bricks, but they have brick gateposts you can barely get a Transit van through. With a Moffett we can park near the property and take each pallet through the gate individually. You would not be able to do this with a hiab or crane lorry, and doing it with a pallet truck and tail lift would not be possible on most sites due to uneven ground and loose surfaces etc.

Our Moffett M4 machines all have all-wheel-drive with diff locks and large diameter pneumatic tyres. They can tackle rough terrain as this video shows. This enables us to put goods directly where they are needed, reducing the need for manual lifting and re-positioning later.