The forklift is a mobile equipment that uses 2 prongs or forks to carry and place loads into positions which will be normally difficult to reach. Usually, lift trucks fall into 2 main categories: rough-terrain and industrial.
Most often, industrial forklifts are utilized around truck loading docks and train loading docks in addition to in warehouse applications. These machines have smaller tires that are designed to run on smooth surfaces. Usually, industrial forklifts are powered by an internal gasoline engine running on propane or diesel fuel.
There are several smaller industrial lift truck models that utilize an electric motor running off an internal battery. As the name implies, rough terrain forklifts are designed to run on unpaved and rough surfaces. Normally, they are the great choice for military and construction applications. Rough terrain lift trucks normally have large pneumatic tires which are usually powered by internal industrial engines which run on diesel or propane fuel. These lift truck models could have a telescoping boom, that can carry loads up and out from the equipment's base or they can use a vertical tower, which is responsible for lifting loads straight up.
During 1946, the rough terrain forklift emerged as a 2 pronged lift attachment was placed on a tractor chassis or a power buggy. This first machinery was used around construction locations and was able to lift to a height of 76 cm or 30 inches and had a lifting capacity could lift 1000 pounds or 454 kg. Vertical tower forklifts were quickly developed for industrial application and rough terrain forklifts became popular too. By the time the 1950s came around, there were available units that can lift up to heights of 9 meters or 30 feet and had lift capacities of 2500 pounds or 1135 kg.
In 1958, the original 4-wheel drive rough terrain forklift was introduced with a capacity of 6000 lbs. or 2724 kg and had a lift height of 22.5 feet or 7 meters or 1362 kg or 3000 lbs. and 35 feet or 11 meters. The first telescoping boom rough terrain lift truck emerged on the market in the year 1962. This unit enabled cargo to be positioned out from the base of the machine both above and below grade.