Lift trucks are used in manufacturing, warehousing, mining, material handling and construction applications to raise, engage and transfer palletized loads. Lift trucks have 3 main types: a manual drive, motorized drive and fork truck. The travel or load movement is powered manually or by walking behind the machinery with manual-drive forklifts.
The motorized forklift models come complete with a motorized drive and in lots of cases have a seat or protected cab in their design to keep the operator comfortable and safe. Fork trucks are another type which are motorized and consist of features such as backup alarms and cabs. In order to prevent the vehicle from turning over, some lift trucks are counterbalanced. Other kinds of forklifts comprise safety rails, a rotating element like a turntable or different types of hand rails.
When choosing lift trucks, important specifications to take into account comprise lift capacity and stroke. 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 lift trucks consist of their fuel type and tire.
Different fuel options for lift trucks comprise: liquid propane or LPG, compressed natural gas or CNG, propane, diesel fuel, gasoline and natural gas. There are 2 basic kinds of tires for operating fork trucks and forklifts: pneumatic and solid. Cushion or solid tires do not puncture and need less maintenance compared to pneumatic tires. The solid or cushion tires do provide less shock absorption in general. Air-inflated or pneumatic tires on the other hand provide great drive traction and load-cushioning.
For lift trucks, there are 7 classes. Class 1 forklifts incorporate electric-motor rider trucks, seated or stand-up 3 wheeled units. Typically, rider units may have either pneumatic or cushion wheels and are counterbalanced. Class II lift trucks are electric motor units that are used for stock applications or order picking in narrow aisle setting. These models offer extra reach functions or swing mast.
Forklift Class III lift trucks include walk-behind or standing-rider operated electric-motor trucks. Automated pallet lift trucks and high lift models are usually counterbalanced units. Class IV lift trucks have cabs and seated controls. These models are rider fork trucks with internal combustion or IC engines. In addition, this class utilizes solid or cushion tires.
Rider fork Trucks are incorporated in Class V. These equipment will have seated controls and cabs, pneumatic tires and internal combustion or IC 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 particular class is supplied with internal combustion or IC or electric engines.
Lastly, Class VII forklifts are the perfect choice for use on rough terrain areas. They are a common feature in construction, logging and agricultural applications. Class VII lift trucks consist of all personnel carriers and burden carriers.