Equipment Specs
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Equipment Specifications - RitchieSpecs
Free specifications for all classes of equipment
Toyota FG35 7,000 lb. Forklift
Forklifts, also known as a type of lift truck, are used to lift and carry heavy objects from one place to another. They first arrived in the form of hoists in the late 1800s and have evolved over the past two centuries. The advancement of forklifts was propelled when World War I created the need for an implement that could work in the absence of men and power.

Most forklifts use the rear wheels to turn because it gives the operator easier control. They are generally heavy in weight to provide stability for carrying heavy objects. The weight of the forklift can also determine what it can carry in terms of weight.[1]


[edit] History

Before the advent of forklifts there were hoists, which were used for lifting and moving. Hoists comprised of chains and winches on wooden platform trucks. The wooden trucks later incorporated electric motors and traction batteries.

[edit] Implements for the War

During the First World War, trucks were produced with an electric platform that could be both raised and lowered.[2] In 1917, Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries of Ipswich created the British version of the platform truck, known as the type "B" Stevedoing truck. This design was complete with leaf springs in the front for a smoother ride and had a three-wheeled configuration. The battery-operated truck paved the way for many improvements to come.[3]

[edit] Clark's Contributions

Clark Co. produced a three-wheeled machine for the purpose of transporting materials around its factory. The tructractor, as it was called, ran on a petrol engine and carried boxes in its metal carrier located in front of the driver. This 1917 invention drew much attention from visitors who requested similar machinery for their factories.[4]

Clark Co. was also responsible for further improvements. The Truclift in 1920 was the first truck to have a hydraulic lift. The towtractor, otherwise known as the "Duat" developed bewteen 1923 and 24, was the first actual forklift truck combination.[5]

Yale GLP050TFNUAE086 4,650 lb. Forklift

[edit] Yale's Forklifts

Yale Co.'s electric truck with an elevated mast arrived to the scene around the same time. It included an elevated platform that was capable of lifting two tons up to the height of 49 inches (124 cm).[6] This was considered the very first forklift.[7]

Yale Co. also produced a series of forklifts during this time. These inventions included a high lift platform truck with forks attached to the front end of the machine. Yale's models, produced from 1923 upwards, include the Model K20, a narrow high platform truck; Model K21, a wide high platform truck; the Model K22, a general utility truck with an elevating platform; the Model K23, a low platform; and the Model K24, a three-wheeled tractor truck.[8]

Yale Co. was responsible for producing the first forklift to have a clamp attachment in 1929, as well as designing forks on the front of a lift truck in 1934.[9]

[edit] Modern Improvements

By 1950 forklifts were designed to fit into narrower aisles and were capable of lifting materials as much as 50 feet (15 m) off the ground. This advancement also meant that more items were falling from a greater height and compromised the safety of the driver, so manufacturers started developing load backrests and operator cages. By 1980 it was standard procedure to have an operator restraint system on forklifts.

Power sources have also since evolved, from battery power to electricity, propane, and compressed natural gas. Manufacturers will likely use hydrogen fuel cells to power the machines in the near future.[10]

[edit] Features/How it Works

Forklifts comprise a motive machine with wheels, which is powered by a transmission and a drivetrain. They can be powered by liquid propane, diesel, or gasoline.

Lift-All LFT60D 6,000 lb. Forklift
Forklifts require counterbalance, which is necessary in order for the machine to lift large, heavy objects safely. The counterbalance is usually an iron mass that is attached to the back of the engine.

The mast, which is responsible for lifting, lowering and tilting the materials that it carries, is operated with hydraulic cylinders and rails that interlock to allow for the lifting/lowering operations.

The fork is an L-shaped component that is used to carry the materials. It is attached to the carriage via hook or latch. The front part of the fork is what is inserted underneath the load and enables the load to be placed on what is referred to as a pallet.

The forklift also comprises a backrest, which is attached to the carriage in order to prevent the materials from tilting backwards. The cab of the forklift is where the operator's seat, pedals, and switches are located, all of which are protected against falling objects by an overhead guard made of metal.[11]

Numerous forklift attachments are available, including:

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] Additional Photos

1993 Jungheinrich GDP20AEV2440 Forklift
1997 Manitou TMT320 Piggyback Forklift
2006 Hangcha CPCD50HXW19 5-ton Forklift
Caterpillar GC25K 4,350 lb. Forklift

[edit] Used & Unused Forklifts for Sale

Search for unused and used forklifts being sold at Ritchie Bros. unreserved public auctions.

[edit] References

  1. Forklift: How Does It Work. Machine. 2008-09-24.
  2. Lift Trucks. Datakey. 2008-09-24.
  3. History. Warehouse News. 2008-09-24.
  4. Lift Trucks. Data Key. 2008-09-24.
  5. History. Warehouse News. 2008-09-24.
  6. History. Warehouse News. 2008-09-24.
  7. Lift Trucks. Data Key. 2008-09-24.
  8. History. Yale. 2008-09-24.
  9. History. Yale. 2008-09-24.
  10. Lift Trucks. Data Key. 2008-09-24.
  11. Forklift Lease Truck. Forklift Biz. 2008-09-24.
  12. Products. Cascorp. 2008-09-24.