Lift trucks are used to lift, engage and transport palletized loads within warehousing, manufacturing, material handling, mining and construction applications. There are 3 basic kinds of lift trucks: a fork truck, manual drive and motorized drive. The load movement or travel is powered manually or by walking at the rear of the equipment with manual-drive forklifts.
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 to keep the operator comfortable and safe. Fork trucks are another kind that are motorized and comprise features like for example cabs and backup alarms. In order to prevent the machine from overturning, several lift trucks are counterbalanced. Other models comprise safety rails, a rotating element like for example a turntable or different types of hand rails.
Important specifications to take into consideration when selecting lift trucks consist of stroke and lift capacity. Stroke is defined as the difference between the fully-lowered and the fully-raised lift positions. Lift capacity is the maximum, supportable load or forcforce or load. Additional specifications for lift trucks comprise their tire and type of fuel.
Forklifts comprise different fuel options such as: liquid propane or LPG, CNG or compressed natural gas, propane, diesel fuel, gasoline and natural gas. There are 2 major types of tires used for operating fork trucks and forklifts: solid and pneumatic. 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 in general. Pneumatic or air-inflated tires on the other hand offer great load-cushioning and drive traction.
There are 7 classes of forklifts. The first class of forklifts, Class I, is either seated or stand-up 3 wheeled units which are electric-motor rider trucks. Typically, rider units are counterbalanced and can have either pneumatic or cushion wheels. Class II forklifts are electric motor units which are used for stock applications or order picking in narrow aisle environments. These models provide extra reach functions or swing mast.
Class III lift trucks are either walk-behind or standing-rider operated electric-motor trucks. Automated pallet lift trucks and high lift models are often counterbalanced units. Class IV lift trucks have seated controls and cabs. These kinds of forklifts are rider fork trucks with IC or internal combustion engines. Furthermore, this class utilizes cushion or solid tires.
Rider fork Trucks are included in Class V. These machinery would have cabs and seated controls, pneumatic tires and internal combustion or IC engines. Similar to Class IV lift trucks, they are normally counterbalanced. Class VI lift trucks are tow tractor lifts that are designed for a sit-down rider. This particular class is supplied with IC or internal combustion or electric engines.
Class VII forklifts are the last classification and consist of rough terrain lift trucks, that are normally utilized in logging, agricultural and construction applications. Class VII lift trucks include all personnel carriers and burden carriers.