Forklifts are used to transport, lift and engage palletized loads in construction, material handling, warehousing and manufacturing applications. With manual-drive forklifts, the travel or load movement is either walk-behind or manually powered. Motorized drive forklifts have a motorized drive. In many models, the forklift has a protected cab or seat for the operator. Fork trucks include features like backup alarms, and cabs and are additionally motorized. Some models of forklifts are counterbalanced in order to prevent the vehicle from tipping over. Other models are offered with safety rails, or a rotating element such as a turntable or a hand rail.
Other factors that are important to think about when selecting a forklift include the lift capacity and stroke. Lift capacity is defined as the supportable, maximum load or force. Stroke is defined as the difference between fully lowered and completely raised lift positions.
Some of the other key specifications for the forklift are fuel type and tire type. The fuel choices available are: natural gas, liquid propane or LP, CNG or compressed natural gas, electricity, gasoline, propane or diesel.
There are two basic kinds of tires used for fork trucks and forklifts: pneumatic and solid. The solid or cushion tires need less maintenance compared to pneumatic tires and do not easily puncture. Air-inflated or pneumatic tires offer load cushioning and great drive traction. At the end of the day, solid or cushion tires provide less shock absorption.
Class VII forklifts are normally designed to be utilized on rough terrain. These machinery are usually utilized in construction, agriculture and in logging environments. Last of all, Class VIII forklifts have all personnel and burden carriers. Dual Fuel forklifts frequently fit in this class.