A forklift is a versatile machinery. It is a small vehicle which has attachments on the front which allow it to move and lift a variety of loads. Forklifts are common features in warehouses and factories. A forklift driver must obtain special training, especially because these machines operate on rear-wheel drive and this can be very hard to get used to until one is familiar with it. Because the forklift carries its load at the front, the center of gravity is continually shifting and this results in the machine being unstable quite often.
The forklift driver will sit in the area known as the "cat." Its an area protected by metal bars that stretch overhead like a roof. On the front of the machine, the mast is located. The mast is the mechanism which lowers and raises the load with the use of hydraulic cylinders.
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The top portion of a lift truck is known as the overhead guard. The foot guard is the part which separates the load from the cabin. A counterweight is located at the forklift's back and is installed there that allows you to keep the equipment from falling over.
The blades and Apron
Usually, the load apron is responsible for keeping the load positioned while the forks, or metal arms, cradle the cargo. The tines can be tilted in order to balance the load. This is accomplished with the hydraulic hoist arm and the tilting ram that powers the upward movement of the fork.
The Lift Structure
The guard of the load apron extends well above the apron. It functions to keep the load stable as the blades carry it along the track of the arms of the upright.
The forklift's internal engine enables power to be sent to the wheels of the machine. This is what moves the forklift. The wheels have brakes installed in order to allow the operator the chance to stop or slow down the equipment as needed.
The lift is operated utilizing hoist controls which look like a bunch of stick-shaped levers. The lift truck is driven by using the steering wheel to turn, similar to a car or truck.
Load Rating Plate
The specific safety rating plate is bolted in the cabin. This load rating plate details the weight limitations for each particular forklift.