In material handling, construction, warehousing and manufacturing applications, forklifts are usually utilized to transport and lift palletized loads. With manual-drive forklifts, the load or travel movement is either powered manually or walk-behind. Motorized drive forklifts have a motorized drive. In various types of forklifts, the forklift has a protected cab or seat for the operator. Fork trucks include features such as cabs, and backup alarms and are also motorized. Several models of forklifts are counterbalanced so as to prevent the vehicle from turning over. Other kinds of forklifts are available with safety rails, or a rotating element such as a turntable or a hand rail.
Other specifications that are vital to think about when choosing a forklift are the stroke and lift capacity. Lift capacity is defined as the maximum, supportable force or load. Stroke is defined as the difference between completely lowered and fully raised lift positions.
Several of the other important specifications for the forklift include fuel type and tire type. The available fuel choices are: LP or liquid propane, natural gas, electricity, CNG or compressed natural gas, propane, diesel or gasoline.
There are two basic types of tires utilized for fork trucks and forklifts: pneumatic and solid. The cushion or solid tires require less maintenance compared to pneumatic tires and do not puncture as easy. Air-inflated or pneumatic tires provide great drive traction and load-cushioning. At the end of the day, solid or cushion tires provide less shock absorption.
Generally used on rough terrain are Class VII forklifts. These kinds of equipment are often used in agriculture, construction and in logging environments. Lastly, Class VIII forklifts include all personnel and burden carriers. Dual Fuel lift trucks typically fit in this class.