Forklifts (fork lifts) are used to engage, lift and transfer palletized loads in material handling, warehousing, manufacturing, and construction applications. There are three basic types: manual drive, motorized drive, and fork truck.
- Fork trucks - Also motorized, but include features such as cabs and backup alarms.
- Manual-drive forklifts - The load movement or travel is manually powered or walk-behind.
- Motorized-drive forklifts - These have a motorized drive and, in many cases, a protected cab or seat for the driver.
Some forklifts are counterbalanced to prevent the vehicle from overturning. Others include hand rails, safety rails, or a rotating element such as a turntable. Truck-mounted forklifts are mounted or mountable on the back or bed of a utility truck. These vehicles include truck-included packages as well as lifts that are sold independently for subsequent mounting.
There are eight different classes of forklifts.
|Class I||Forklifts are electric-motor rider trucks, either stand-up operator or seated three-wheel units. Rider units are counterbalanced and may have cushion or pneumatic wheels.|
|Class II||Forklifts are electric-motor trucks for narrow aisle or inventory stock/order picking applications. They may have extra reach or swing-mast functions.|
|Class III||Forklifts are electric-motor trucks, either walk-behind or standing-rider operated. Automated pallet lift-trucks and high lift models are often counterbalanced.|
|Class IV||Forklifts are rider fork trucks, with cabs and seated controls, internal combustion engines, and solid or "cushion" tires.|
|Class V||Forklifts are rider fork trucks, with cabs and seated controls, internal combustion engines, and pneumatic tires. Like Class IV forklifts, they are typically counterbalanced.|
|Class VI||Forklifts are sit-down rider, tow tractor lifts. They are supplied with electric or internal combustion engines.|
|Class VII||Forklifts are designed for use on rough terrain. Typical applications include agriculture, logging and construction.|
|Class VIII||Forklifts include all personnel and burden carriers.|
Lift capacity and stroke are important specifications to consider when selecting forklifts. Lift capacity is the maximum, supportable force or load. Stroke is the difference between the fully-lowered and fully-raised lift positions.
Additional specifications for forklifts include fuel type and tire type. Fuel choices include:
- Liquid propane (LP)
- Natural gas
- Compressed natural gas (CNG)
- Diesel fuel
There are two basic tire types for forklifts and fork trucks: pneumatic and solid. Pneumatic or air-inflated tires provide great load-cushioning and drive traction. Solid or cushion tires do not puncture and require less maintenance than pneumatic tires; however, solid or cushion tires offer less shock absorption.
A-A-58067 - Truck, lift, fork, diesel-engine-driven, pneumatic-tired, 15,000 pounds capacity at 24 inch load center
A-A-58068 - Truck, lift, fork, electric, sit down, solid tires, 6000 pound capacity at 24 inch load center, 180 inch minimum lift height
A-A-58069 - Truck, lift, fork, electric, order selector, high lift rider, 3000 pound capacity, 193 inch minimum lift
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