For businesses that raise and move heavy materials and merchandise on a regular basis, there is probably no more valuable or effective equipment as the lift truck. Lift trucks are a common site in dockyards, manufacturing plants, distribution depots, lumber yards, agriculture, warehouses, shipping and receiving and other work places that has to handle loads ranging from 3000 to 30,000 plus lbs.
The forklift is used most frequently to keep the flow of operations running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Though forklifts are a large investment, the amount of man hours they can save and the injuries they reduce from heavy lifting can make the purchase pay for itself eventually.
Available on the market nowadays are a lot of different units from a lot of different manufacturers. These various models are made specially to deal with some specific tasks. So as to make sure that you don't buy more than you require or the wrong type of machine, it is important to evaluate your company's needs and compare to the various units offered on the market. Speaking with a licensed forklift distributor is a very good idea and so is doing your own research on the World Wide Web.
When looking at forklifts by the kind of fuel, the following kinds are available:
Electric: Electric lift trucks use large, heavy, rechargeable batteries which are lead-acid based. These batteries can run for approximately 5 or 6 hours straight. Electric models are great for indoor use due to their lack of emissions. They are a popular choice for retail spaces and warehouses as they put zero emissions into the air where people are working and provide a fairly low cost per hour of operation.
Internal Combustion: IC lift trucks work with a variety of fuels. Some models take CNG or compressed natural gas, others take diesel, LP or liquid propane or gasoline. In comparison to electric forklifts, the internal combustion or IC units accelerate faster, are easier to refuel and could carry heavier loads. These units are typically more pricey to use compared to their electric counterparts.
Fuel Cell: Hydrogen fuel cell forklifts are the latest in lift truck technology. These models provide the zero emissions and quietness of electric forklifts but provide the fast refueling capability of an internal combustion model.
There are a range of outdoor Nissan units which provide synchronized steering. This feature returns the wheel knob to the original position automatically following completing a turn. Outfitted with solid pneumatic tires to offer a comfortable ride both indoors and outdoors, these tires are more resistant to both wear and damage.