Forklifts are utilized in warehousing, manufacturing, mining, material handling and construction applications to raise, engage and transport palletized loads. Lift trucks have 3 main kinds: a motorized drive, fork truck and manual drive. The load movement or travel is powered manually or by walking behind the machine with manual-drive lift trucks.
The motorized forklift models come equipped with a motorized drive and in numerous cases have a seat or protected cab in their design to keep the operator comfortable and safe. Fork trucks are another type which are motorized and comprise features like for example cabs and backup alarms. In order to prevent the equipment from overturning, several forklifts are counterbalanced. Other types of forklifts include safety rails, a rotating element such as a turntable or different types of hand rails.
Essential specifications to take into consideration when choosing lift trucks comprise stroke and lift capacity. Stroke is defined as the difference between the fully-raised and the fully-lowered lift positions. Lift capacity is the supportable, maximum load or forcforce or load. Other specifications for forklifts consist of their type of fuel and tire.
Different fuel options for lift trucks include: liquid propane or LPG, compressed natural gas or CNG, diesel fuel, propane, natural gas and gasoline. There are 2 major kinds of tires for operating forklifts and fork trucks: pneumatic and solid. Solid or cushion tires do not puncture and need less maintenance than pneumatic tires. The solid or cushion tires do provide less shock absorption in general. Pneumatic or air-inflated tires however provide great drive traction and load-cushioning.
There are 7 classes of lift trucks. The first class of forklifts, 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 forklifts are electric motor units that are used for stock applications or order picking in narrow aisle setting. These models offer extra reach functions or swing mast.
Forklift Class III lift trucks consist of walk-behind or standing-rider operated electric-motor trucks. High lift models and automated pallet lift trucks are often counterbalanced units. Class IV lift trucks have cabs and seated controls. These kinds of forklifts are rider fork trucks with IC or internal combustion engines. Furthermore, this class uses cushion or solid tires.
Class V forklifts are rider fork trucks. They have seated controls and cabs, 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 internal combustion or IC or electric engines.
Lastly, Class VII forklifts are the ideal option for use on rough terrain areas. They are a common feature in agricultural, construction and logging applications. Class VII lift trucks include all employee carriers and burden carriers.