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