Lift trucks are used within manufacturing, warehousing, mining, material handling and construction applications to lift, engage and transport palletized loads. Lift trucks have 3 basic kinds: a fork truck, manual drive and motorized drive. The load movement or travel is powered manually or by walking behind the equipment with manual-drive forklifts.
The motorized forklift models come complete with a motorized drive and in lots of cases have a protected cab or seat in their design to keep the operator safe and comfortable. Fork trucks are another kind that are motorized and comprise features like for example backup alarms and cabs. In order to prevent the vehicle from overturning, several lift trucks are counterbalanced. Other models consist of safety rails, a rotating element like for instance a turntable or other kinds of hand rails.
Essential specifications to take into consideration when choosing forklifts include 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. Additional specifications for forklifts consist of their tire and type of fuel.
Forklifts comprise various fuel options such as: liquid propane or LPG, CNG or compressed natural gas, diesel fuel, propane, gasoline and natural gas. There are 2 major kinds of tires for operating forklifts and fork trucks: solid and pneumatic. Cushion or solid tires require less maintenance than pneumatic tires and do not puncture. The cushion or solid tires do provide less shock absorption in general. Pneumatic or air-inflated tires on the other hand offer excellent load-cushioning and drive traction.
There are 7 classes of lift trucks. The first class of lift trucks, Class I, is either seated or stand-up 3 wheeled units that are electric-motor rider trucks. Usually, rider units are counterbalanced and can have either pneumatic or cushion wheels. Class II lift trucks are electric motor units that are used for stock applications or order picking in narrow aisle setting. These models provide extra swing mast or reach functions.
Class III lift trucks are either 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. Additionally, this class has cushion or solid tires.
Class V lift trucks are rider fork trucks. They have cabs and seated controls, pneumatic tires and IC or internal combustion engines. Like Class IV lift trucks, they are normally counterbalanced. Class VI lift trucks are tow tractor lifts which are designed for a sit-down rider. This class is supplied with internal combustion or IC or electric engines.
Lastly, Class VII lift trucks are the ideal option for use on rough terrain areas. They are a common feature in construction, logging and agricultural applications. Class VII lift trucks consist of all burden carriers and personnel carriers.