Forklift Truck Classification
For less than a century, the forklift truck has been working its magic. Even now, this type of machine is found in every warehouse operation all around the world.
The first forklifts were built because of manpower shortages which were caused by WWI. Companies like Yale & Town and Clark introduced the material handling equipment that utilized powered lift tractors inside their factories. In the year 1918, Clark saw the potential for these machines and started selling them.
It was in the 1920s that the forklift design changed from a tractor with an attachment to a dedicated machine which was equipped with a vertical lifting mast. The forklift developed and became more sophisticated with the Second World War. The forklift played a key part during this time in the handling of supplies for various armies throughout the world. It was also during this time that wooden pallets were introduced that proved the need for the forklift in the material handling business.
When the Second World War ended, the forklift gained momentum and continued to develop. During the 1950s, forklifts which use batteries made an appearance. There were other more specialized kinds of forklifts introduced like the Narrow Aisle Reach truck. This particular type was made by the Raymond Corporation. In the 1960s and 1970s, improvements were made within the electronic controls area. This made forklifts a lot more versatile and businesses were able to look at warehouse efficiency.
Nowadays, the forklift can be powered by numerous fuel options such as electric battery, diesel, gasoline, CNG or compressed natural gas, liquid propane gas or LPG. The very first hybrid forklift was developed by Mitsubishi. It presently operates on lithium ion and diesel battery. This type uses 39% less fuel than existing models. Statistics prove that its carbon dioxide emissions are about 14.6 tons less compared to those forklift models which are powered by internal combustion or IC engines.