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Forklifts are utilized in manufacturing, warehousing, material handling, construction and mining applications to raise, engage and transfer palletized loads. Lift trucks have 3 main kinds: a fork truck, manual drive and motorized drive. The load movement or travel is powered manually or by walking behind the equipment with manual-drive forklifts.

Motorized-drive model forklifts are equipped with a motorized drive. In lots of instances, a protected cab or seat is part of the design to keep the operator comfortable and safe. Fork trucks are another type which are motorized and consist of features such as backup alarms and cabs. In order to prevent the vehicle from overturning, some lift trucks are counterbalanced. Other models include safety rails, a rotating element like a turntable or other kinds of hand rails.

When selecting forklifts, important specifications to take into account include stroke and lift capacity. Stroke is defined as the difference between the fully-raised and the fully-lowered lift positions. Lift capacity is the maximum, supportable load or forcforce or load. Other specifications for forklifts comprise their tire and fuel type.

Different fuel options for lift trucks consist of: LP or liquid propane, CNG or compressed natural gas, diesel fuel, propane, gasoline and natural gas. There are 2 major types of tires for operating fork trucks and forklifts: pneumatic and solid. Cushion or solid tires do not puncture and require less maintenance compared to pneumatic tires. The cushion or solid tires do provide less shock absorption overall. Pneumatic or air-inflated tires however provide excellent drive traction and load-cushioning.

There are 7 classes of lift trucks. The first class of lift trucks, Class I, is either stand-up or seated 3 wheeled units that are electric-motor rider trucks. Typically, rider units are counterbalanced and may have either pneumatic or cushion wheels. Class II lift trucks are electric motor units which are used for stock applications or order picking in narrow aisle setting. These types of forklifts provide extra reach functions or swing mast.

Forklift Class III lift trucks include walk-behind or standing-rider operated electric-motor trucks. Automated pallet lift trucks and high lift models are normally counterbalanced units. Class IV forklifts have cabs and seated controls. These kinds of forklifts are rider fork trucks with internal combustion or IC engines. In addition, this class has cushion or solid tires.

Rider fork Trucks are included in Class V. These equipment would have seated controls and cabs, pneumatic tires and IC or internal combustion engines. Like Class IV lift trucks, they are usually counterbalanced. Class VI forklifts are tow tractor lifts which are designed for a sit-down rider. This class is supplied with internal combustion or IC or electric engines.

Finally, Class VII forklifts are the ideal option for use on rough terrain areas. They are a common feature in construction, logging and agricultural applications. Class VII forklifts include all burden carriers and personnel carriers.

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