Forklifts are used within warehousing, manufacturing, material handling, construction and mining applications to lift, engage and transfer palletized loads. Lift trucks have 3 main kinds: a manual drive, motorized drive and fork truck. The travel or load movement is powered manually or by walking at the back of the equipment with manual-drive lift trucks.
Motorized-drive model forklifts are equipped with a motorized drive. In lots of instances, a seat or protected cab is part of the design to keep the operator comfortable and safe. Fork trucks are a different type which are motorized and include features such as cabs and backup alarms. In order to prevent the machinery from overturning, some forklifts are counterbalanced. Other models include safety rails, a rotating element like for example a turntable or different types of hand rails.
Important specifications to take into consideration when selecting forklifts consist of lift capacity and stroke. Stroke is defined as the difference between the fully-lowered and the fully-raised lift positions. Lift capacity is the supportable, maximum load or forcforce or load. Other specifications for forklifts consist of their fuel type and tire.
Forklifts comprise different fuel options like: liquid propane or LPG, compressed natural gas or CNG, diesel fuel, propane, gasoline and natural gas. There are 2 basic types of tires utilized for operating forklifts and fork trucks: solid and pneumatic. Cushion or solid tires do not puncture and require less maintenance than pneumatic tires. The solid or cushion tires do offer less shock absorption overall. Pneumatic or air-inflated tires however offer excellent drive traction and load-cushioning.
There are 7 classes of forklifts. The first class of lift trucks, Class I, is either stand-up or seated 3 wheeled units which are electric-motor rider trucks. Usually, rider units are counterbalanced and may have either cushion or pneumatic wheels. Class II lift trucks are electric motor units which are used for stock applications or order picking in narrow aisle environments. These models offer extra reach functions or swing mast.
Forklift Class III lift trucks consist of standing-rider or walk-behind operated electric-motor trucks. Automated pallet lift trucks and high lift models are usually counterbalanced units. Class IV lift trucks have seated controls and cabs. These models are rider fork trucks with internal combustion or IC engines. Furthermore, this class utilizes solid or cushion tires.
Class V forklifts are rider fork trucks. They have cabs and seated controls, pneumatic tires and internal combustion or IC engines. Like Class IV forklifts, they are normally counterbalanced. Class VI lift trucks are tow tractor lifts that are designed for a sit-down rider. This class is supplied with electric or IC or internal combustion engines.
Finally, Class VII forklifts are the perfect option for use on rough terrain areas. They are a common feature in agricultural, construction and logging applications. Class VII lift trucks consist of all personnel carriers and burden carriers.