GETTING TO KNOW A FORKLIFT

Forklift Mast

Mast

This is the “business end” of the forklift which does all the work. When selecting a forklift, make sure the lowered mast height does not exceed the height of your facilities lowest door clearance. Concurrently, be sure the extended / fork height meets your needs.

Tires

Cushion Tire

– solid rubber compound pressed tire, available with tread or smooth and also in a non-marking rubber compound.

Standard Pneumatic Tire

– for use on dirt or gravel surfaces due to the fact they provide slightly better traction but are susceptible to flats as they are air filled.

Solid Pneumatic Tires

– for use on hard packed outdoor surfaces as they do not work as well as standard pneumatic tires on loose surfaces. Flats are not an issue as these are solid rubber and will last much longer than a stardard pneumatic tire.

Counterweight

Counterweight

This is located at the backend of your forklift and provides the weight that counterbalances the load you are attempting to lift.

Overhead Guard

This is the top on the forklift and provides rollover and overhead protection to the operator.

Outriggers

These are the “straddles“ that surround the load you are attempting to lift in your reach trucks or straddle stackers. By straddling the load and bringing it into the body of the forklift it will allow a smaller turning radius and less counterweight.

Fuel

There are primarily four fuel options to consider for your forklift

Diesel

– provides the most torque, power and longevity for outdoor applications.

Liquid Propane Gas

– commonly used for indoor applications due to lower emissions but is great for outdoors as well. Lpg reduces power by about 15% from that of a gasoline engine

Gasoline

– although gasoline is rarely used anymore in forklifts, it is available and is used for outdoor applications.

Electric

– for use mainly indoors on smooth concrete surfaces as emissions is lowest compared to other fuel sources.

Forks

Know the size of your load and select the right length forks. 42” are most common for a standard 48” long pallet but various size loads will require different fork lengths. Longer forks will decrease a forklifts overall turning radius.

Hours

Forklifts use hours instead of miles on an odometer. The more hours used the more wear and tear on the forklift.