Classification of Forklift Trucks
For less than a century, the forklift truck has been working its magic. Even now, this piece of equipment is found in every warehouse operation throughout the globe.
The first forklifts were built as a result of manpower shortages which were caused by WWI. Companies like Yale & Town and Clark introduced the material handling equipment which utilized powered lift tractors inside their factories. In the year 1918, Clark saw the potential for these equipment and began selling them.
From a basic tractor with an attachment, the forklift design changed in the 1920s, to a dedicated machinery equipped with a vertical lifting mast. The forklift developed and became more advanced with the Second World War. The forklift played a key part during this time in the handling of supplies for various armies all around the globe. It was also at this time that wooden pallets were introduced which solidified the need for the lift truck within the material handling business.
Forklifts gained momentum and continued to develop as soon as WWII ended. In the 1950s, forklifts that use batteries made an appearance. There were other more specialized forklift models introduced like for example the Narrow Aisle Reach truck. This model was made by the Raymond Corporation. In the 1960s and 1970s, improvements were made in the electronic controls area. This made forklifts much more versatile and businesses were able to look at warehouse efficiency.
Nowadays, the forklift can be powered by numerous fuel options like electric battery, diesel, gasoline, CNG or compressed natural gas, LPG or liquid propane gas. The first hybrid forklift was developed by Mitsubishi. It now runs on lithium ion and diesel battery. This particular kind consumes 39% less fuel than existing models. Statistics show that its carbon dioxide emissions are approximately 14.6 tons less compared to those kinds of forklifts that are powered by IC or internal combustion engines.