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