Types & Classes of Forklifts
Forklifts are a great investment for any company that needs to move and transport materials. They're especially helpful for companies with large warehouses, like manufacturers of furniture or sporting goods. Forklift rentals can be quite costly, but owning your own forklift is more cost-effective in the long run because you only have to pay for the purchase price and not the rental fees as well. While using your own forklifts is more cost effective, it is equally important that you get proper forklift training in Melbourne or elsewhere through recognised institutes.
Before making such an expensive decision to buy your own forklift, it is important to know about all of your options so you can choose the best one for your business.
Types of forklifts
There are three main different types of forklifts: counterbalanced trucks, rough terrain lifts, and sit-down countershaft models.
Counterbalance trucks do what their name suggests; they are great for using in warehouses where you need to move heavy items. These trucks are also good for moving around pallets of material because they have a low centre of gravity and can tip easily, so the object being lifted won't fall over.
Rough terrain lifts are great if your warehouse is on uneven ground or off-road situations.
Sit down countershaft models are best used in tight spaces like hallways inside buildings, which makes them perfect for use by grocery stores that receive shipments directly into their stockrooms.
There are four main classes of forklifts:
Class I – Electric. These forklifts are powered by electricity and do not require fuel. They have a set of controls which allow you to drive, lift or lower the forks depending on your needs.
Class II - Internal combustion engine (ICE). Forklift trucks that run on ICE only need regular maintenance such as changing their oil periodically. These forklifts run using fossil fuels like gasoline or diesel. The engine heats up a cylinder causing pressure inside the chamber, this in turn causes a plunger to move which produces mechanical work used for powering equipment at factories and warehouses around the world.
Class III - Rack & pinion steering. This type is more complicated than others because it has steering wheels instead of levers.
Class IV – Articulated. Articulate-classed forklifts have the ability to drive in forward or reverse without having to turn around first as they can rotate 360 degrees on their own axis by means of a turntable under the front end that brings it into any position.
Forklift Trucks are heavy duty machines that can help you move large loads in warehouses, factories and other areas where there may be obstacles or tight spaces. Forklifts run on different types of power sources which include internal combustion engine (ICE), electric battery powered forklifts, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) forklifts and compressed natural gas (CNG).
The types of forklift trucks
1. Reach Trucks - Reach trucks are forklifts with a fork which extends horizontally to the left or right.
2. Pallet Jacks - A Pallet Jack is also known as a hand truck. It has small wheels to move across smooth floors. These forklifts have smaller forks than other types so they can easily manoeuvre around obstacles like tables and shelves. They cannot lift heavy items but work well for moving loads from one place to another within warehouses and manufacturing facilities. They can lift products up to 600 lb (272 kg) in weight if they have anti-tip safety cages attached. Pallets often come equipped with metal strapping that allows them to be lifted by hand using stretch wrap equipment without causing damage during transport.
3. Rough Terrain Forklifts - These types of forklift trucks function well on rough terrain like grasslands and farm fields as opposed to smooth flat surfaces found in a warehouse setting. Their ability makes it possible for these vehicles to move through smaller openings than other types and are very useful for outdoor warehouses and farms.
4. Cargo - These forklifts are designed to lift pallets, boxes or other cargo rather than a person as is the case with order picker forklift trucks. They usually have a larger load capacity but they tend not to be moveable in tight spaces
5. Order Pickers - Forklifts that function more like an automated crane by having their forks raised and lowered vertically over stacked goods on shelves operating within warehouse racking systems. The mechanical arms of these types of vehicles can extend up to 30 feet (nine meters) vertically from its base which makes it easier for operators to reach higher areas where human mobility would normally pose difficulty.
Uses of forklift trucks
The main uses of these vehicles include:
Transporting materials throughout factories;
Cargo transport in ports;
Loading and unloading trucks, ships, aircraft etc.;
Carrying equipment up and down multi-level workstations in large factories;
They are the most commonly used electric trucks for many purposes.
It is important to make sure to use the right type of forklift for your needs, and you can learn about the right way to use this type of equipment through a forklift course in Melbourne. This will help you save money and time in the long run because improper use can lead to heavy fines. Hence, it's important that you fully understand what each type is capable of doing before deciding which one you need.