The forklift is a mobile equipment which utilizes 2 forks or prongs to lift and place loads into positions that will be normally hard to reach. Normally, lift trucks fall into 2 main categories: rough-terrain and industrial.
Most often, industrial lift trucks are used around train loading docks and truck loading docks in addition to in warehouse operations. These equipment have smaller tires that are designed to run on smooth surfaces. Normally, industrial forklifts are powered by an internal gasoline engine running on propane or diesel fuel.
There are several smaller industrial forklift models which use an electric motor running off an internal battery. As the name implies, rough terrain lift trucks are designed to run on rough and unpaved surfaces. Commonly, they are the ideal alternative for military and construction operation. Rough terrain forklifts usually have large pneumatic tires that are generally powered by internal industrial engines that run on diesel or propane fuel. These forklift models can have a telescoping boom, capable of lifting cargo up and out from the equipment's base or they may utilize a vertical tower, that is responsible for carrying cargo straight up.
During 1946, the rough terrain forklift emerged as a 2 pronged lift attachment was placed on a tractor chassis or a power buggy. This initial equipment was utilized around construction locations and was able to lift to a height of 30 inches or 76 centimeters and had a lifting capacity could lift 1000 pounds or 454 kg. Vertical tower forklifts were quickly developed for industrial application and rough terrain forklifts became famous as well. By the time the 1950s came around, there were available models which could lift up to heights of 30 feet or 9 meters and had lift capacities of 2500 lbs or 1135 kg.
The original 4-wheel drive rough terrain forklift was introduced in the year 1958. It offered a capacity of 2724 kg or 6000 lbs. and had a lift height of 7 meters or 22.5 feet or 1362 kg or 3000 lbs. and 11 meters or 35 feet. The first telescoping boom rough terrain lift truck emerged on the market in 1962. This unit allowed loads to be placed out from the base of the equipment both below and above grade.