It was during the start of the 20th Century when the very first lift trucks were introduced. These equipment during the last 90 plus years has changed the material handling business and even the recycling business. The factors for safe operation, the forklift's evolution and the various different kinds are discussed below.
History of Forklifts
These powered industrial trucks, also referred to as forklifts and lift trucks, were invented and launched to the market during the latter part of the 19th century. Originally, these models were low lift trucks which were only capable of raising platforms a few inches from the ground. Usually, these types of machinery were utilized for moving material within a shop, like work-in-progress situations. During the late 1910s, high lift trucks initially emerged and improvements in truck design began to take root from there. The tier trucks eventually evolved and this allowed for better storage efficiency and stacking of loads.
There were really hard economic times in the 1930s. Nonetheless, throughout this specific period, labor was freely available but capital for investment was increasingly harder to come by. This situation greatly slowed the growth of lift truck usage.
In WWII, forklifts became a strategic part of the war effort. In that era, vast shortages in manpower happened resulting from the wartime enlistment. It was discovered that a forklift and its driver can handle the work of many men and were extremely productive. As the War continued, lots of women drivers filled the numerous demands. By the time the war was over, forklifts became a mainstay of the material handling business. They were used a lot in the Pacific war efforts. A few of the leftover pallets and forklifts in Australia left behind by the United States Military became the basis for the Commonwealth Handling Equipment Pool or CHEP, who today is known as the biggest pallet pooling company in the world.
Gasoline and diesel engines have numerous advantages. They are readily available around the globe; they are great for heavy duty workloads, they deliver consistent power throughout the shift and a lot of drivers are quite familiar with the source of power.
Some of the gas and diesel engines disadvantages comprise: they need much more maintenance compared to electric models, because of the emissions they release, they are not suitable for indoor applications, there is some difficulty and cost associated to oil and fluid disposal and they require a re-fueling station on-site if they are going to be in continuous use.