Lift trucks are used to lift, engage and transport palletized loads in warehousing, manufacturing, material handling, mining and construction applications. There are 3 basic kinds of lift trucks: a manual drive, motorized drive and fork truck. The load movement or travel is powered manually or by walking at the back of the machine with manual-drive lift trucks.
The motorized forklift models come complete with a motorized drive and in a lot of cases have a protected cab or seat in their design in order to keep the operator safe and comfortable. Fork trucks are a different type that are motorized and consist of features like backup alarms and cabs. In order to prevent the equipment from overturning, several forklifts are counterbalanced. Other kinds of forklifts comprise safety rails, a rotating element like a turntable or different kinds of hand rails.
Essential specifications to take into consideration when choosing forklifts consist of stroke and lift capacity. Stroke is defined as the difference between the fully-raised and the fully-lowered lift positions. Lift capacity is the maximum, supportable load or forcforce or load. Other specifications for forklifts consist of their fuel type and tire.
Forklifts consist of various fuel options such as: LP or liquid propane, CNG or compressed natural gas, propane, diesel fuel, gasoline and natural gas. There are 2 major types of tires for operating forklifts and fork trucks: pneumatic and solid. Solid or cushion tires do not puncture and require less maintenance compared to pneumatic tires. The cushion or solid tires do provide less shock absorption overall. Pneumatic or air-inflated tires on the other hand provide excellent drive traction and load-cushioning.
There are 7 classes of forklifts. The first class of forklifts, Class I, is either seated or stand-up 3 wheeled units that are electric-motor rider trucks. Normally, rider units are counterbalanced and can have either cushion or pneumatic wheels. Class II forklifts 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 include standing-rider or walk-behind operated electric-motor trucks. Automated pallet lift trucks and high lift models are often counterbalanced units. Class IV forklifts have seated controls and cabs. These models are rider fork trucks with IC or internal combustion engines. In addition, this class has cushion or solid tires.
Rider fork Trucks are incorporated in Class V. These machines would have cabs and seated controls, pneumatic tires and internal combustion or IC engines. Like Class IV lift trucks, they are usually counterbalanced. Class VI forklifts are tow tractor lifts that are designed for a sit-down rider. This class is supplied with electric or IC or internal combustion engines.
Class VII forklifts are the last classification and consist of rough terrain lift trucks, that are usually utilized in construction, logging and agricultural applications. Class VII forklifts consist of all employee carriers and burden carriers.