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In industrial or commercial warehouses, forklift trucks are used to lift, move, and load heavy pallets that are used to store products. Forklift trucks are usually gas powered and have a lift mechanism that uses hydraulic hoses. Controls in front of the driver allow them to raise and lower the load once it has been moved to the desired space. Forklift trucks are also useful on construction sites, loading dock, or in storerooms.

To maximize storage space, forklifts are used to stack loaded pallets on top of each other. The stacks can be made as high as the forklift can reach. Heavy duty lift applications require the use of sideloaders, while in warehouses it is common for workers to use reach trucks or order picker trucks to access equipment and products in an inventory. Narrow aisle forklifts are specifically designed to move in small spaces.

A forklift may have a driver’s seat with controls, or there may be an area for the operator to stand and control the unit. The driver is always behind the forks so that the pallet being lifted can be visualized. On smooth concrete in indoor settings, walkie forklifts are used. These electric lifts have wheels that are designed for motion on smooth concrete. Forklifts in industrial settings can increase efficiency, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance storage space. Many forklift sellers and manufacturers also offer repair or maintenance service to help extend the lift’s lifespan. Read More…

Leading Manufacturers

The Raymond Corporation

Greene, NY | 607-656-2311

Tilt-Or-Lift, Inc.

Maumee, OH | 419-893-6944

UniCarriers

Marengo, IL | 800-871-5438

Clark Material Handling Company

Lexington, KY | 859-422-6400

Hyundai Forklift

Norcross, GA | 877-509-2254

Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks

Houston, TX | 888-648-5438

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In most forklifts, a hydraulic system is what gives the lifting mechanism its power and makes it possible to carry so much weight at one time. Some forklifts have electric actuator controlled lifts, but these are more rare. Sideloaders have a lifting platform that extends from the side of the forklift, while all other types have a lifting platform on the front of the vehicle.

If a lift is expected to carry extremely heavy loads, stabilizing bars can be added to reinforce the platform as it raises and lowers loads. One type of forklift known as a straddle truck has a wider base than a typical forklift. This is so that it can operate in heavy duty settings and lift larger loads. A turret forklift can raise a load high off of the ground and rotate it at a 90-degree angle.

For instances where a pallet needs to be moved across a floor or loaded into a tractor trailer, platform trucks are used. Platform trucks are not a type of forklift, but they can be used in some similar applications. A platform truck is composed of a simple flatbed on wheels that can fit under a pallet. A handle is used for manual transportation, and a lever allows a load to be raised or lowered just a few inches off of the ground.

To increase maneuverability, many forklifts have tilting or rotating frames and wheels. Forks can be adjusted to different widths depending on their use. Most pallets have a standard size to accommodate the forks of a lift. Forklifts are powered by either an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. Due to increasingly strict emissions standards, electric forklifts are becoming more popular in many facilities.

The wheels of a forklift can be fitted with outriggers for stabilization. Tires vary from solid rubber to pneumatic. Forklifts are also loaded with safety features to protect drivers and people around them. These features include: sirens, horns, flashing lights, headlights, signal lights, a seat belt, and guard rails. Improper use of a forklift could result in serious injury, so it is imperative that anyone operating a forklift first receives the proper training.

Forklift Informational Video