Forklifts vs. AGVs: A Full Comparison

used forkliftBusiness owners have to decide if an AGV or a forklift is best for their company. Some believe that the AGV, or automated guided vehicle, is the way to go because of the benefits this mobile robot provides. Others believe that a forklift is better for its benefits. Weighing the pros and cons between the two will allow business owners to decide which makes more sense for their company.

Benefits of a forklift

Forklifts have many benefits and are a popular choice. It’s much cheaper to use a forklift than an AGV and the maintenance costs are lower, too. They operate at a faster speed compared to AGV’s and are more flexible in what they can do.

For a job that doesn’t require repetition, the forklift is more efficient and quicker than an AGV. Since the AGV would have to be specially programmed, the forklift has the advantage in flexibility of use because it can handle a variety of pallets and size of loads. Productivity will be high because users of the forklift won’t be prevented from doing a variety of non-repetitive jobs and will be able to choose from options to assist with productivity and safety needs.

Forklift operators are able to improvise on the spot because the forklift is run by a human operator rather than robotic programming. The forklift operator can spot debris and avoid danger on the floor by moving quickly to a new direction. Forklifts are a safer and more cost efficient choice.

Drawbacks of AGV

AGVs are automated guided vehicles like a mobile robot. It’s wired to move around the floor by following programmed navigation. Using magnetic strips and laser navigation, the AGV can move on its own without an operator. The only operator is someone watching a video streamed from cameras around the building assisting with navigation.

AGV’s are not cost effective for companies when they first bring them on like a forklift. And because they are automated, they often times will break down and they can be expensive to repair.

Business owners have to decide which option makes the most sense for their business, if they can afford an AGV or if they prefer the cost-effectiveness of the classic forklift since the AGV is still very expensive. Looking for forklifts for sale? We’ve got them!