Forklifts are utilized to transfer, lift and engage palletized loads in construction, material handling, manufacturing and warehousing operation. With manual-drive forklifts, the travel or load movement is either walk-behind or powered manually. Motorized drive forklifts have a motorized drive. In numerous models, the forklift has a protected cab or seat for the operator. Fork trucks have features like backup alarms, and cabs and are additionally motorized. Various models of forklifts are counterbalanced in order to prevent the vehicle from tipping over. Other types of forklifts come outfitted with safety rails, or a rotating element like for instance a hand rail or a turntable.
Other specifications which are important to consider when selecting a forklift include the stroke and lift capacity. Lift capacity is defined as the supportable, maximum load or force. Stroke is defined as the difference between fully raised and fully lowered lift positions.
Some of the other important specifications for the forklift include fuel type and tire type. The available fuel choices include: natural gas, LP or liquid propane, compressed natural gas or CNG, electricity, propane, diesel or gasoline.
For forklifts and fork trucks, there are two basic kinds of tires which can be used. They are: solid and pneumatic. The solid or cushion tires need less maintenance than pneumatic tires and do not easily puncture. Pneumatic or air-inflated tires provide great drive traction and load-cushioning. At the end of the day, cushion or solid tires provide less shock absorption.
Normally used on rough terrain are Class VII forklifts. These equipment are usually used in agriculture, construction and in logging environments. Last of all, Class VIII forklifts include all burden and personnel carriers. Dual Fuel forklifts often fit in this class.