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Popular Forklift and Fork Truck Terms
In many commercial or industrial warehouse type settings, heavy equipment such as forklifts, or fork trucks are commonplace. In order to have a better, more comprehensive understanding of the terminology associated with these pieces of heavy equipment, we must first understand the terms associated with this industry. Below are several terms one should be familiar with when purchasing or renting heavy duty equipment such as forklifts.
Forklift - Typically, a small, electric powered vehicle with two power operated prongs at the front. These prongs are capable of moving up or down and can reach products stored many feet above the ground. A forklift's primary purpose is to lift heavy loads which are usually stacked on pallets. Forklifts are capable of working in narrow aisles and are typically found in industrial settings such as warehouses. Some forklifts are manufactured so that the prongs can be removed and replaced by any number of attachments available for rent or purchase.
Pallet Jack - Also known as a pallet truck, or pump truck, a pallet jack is typically a manually operated, hydraulic lift. Here, a person rolls the jack under a pallet which is on the floor. Using a pumping action with the handle, the jack lifts the pallet just enough to clear the ground in order to move it. Most pallet jack models are manually operated though some, oftentimes larger, can be electric powered.
Crane - A device for lifting and moving heavy objects. Typically, the load is suspended from a boom, beam or gantry. Cranes can be mobile, movable by way of wheels or tracks, affixed to the roof of a warehouse, or stationary such as those that build large buildings or skyscrapers.
Forklifts are often utilized in warehouse or construction settings. These trucks feature a pronged platform used to lift and transfer pallet loads from one place to another. This works by inserting steel forks under the bundle, lifting the load, and moving it. Forklifts are used in various applications, most often for material handling, warehousing, manufacturing, and construction.
Forklift action is achieved through hydraulics. This piece of machinery is integral for lifting and hauling heavy duty loads, such as pallets. Related accessories, such as portable dock ramps, are also used in the process. Forklifts have existed in this country for almost a century. Although they were first designed as tractors with platform attachments, the design changed shortly thereafter to incorporate a vertical lifting mast. Over the years, forklifts have changed as technology has emerged, allowing for increased productivity and safety.
Forklifts, industrial trucks, and equipment are available to buy, lease, or rent, depending on the duration a particular user needs it for. Often times, warehouses will have these material handling machines on site for workers to easily reach high loads, pick them up, and bring them to another area of the warehouse or to a truck. Some are meant for narrow aisles, while others are larger and wider. Some are automatic and some are manual.
Industrial truck dealers may offer several different types of forklifts, such as electric lift, stacker, turret, reach, and picking trucks. Contractors and other professionals may need to rent or buy forklifts and jacks if they don't already have one in their fleet. Also called high/low trucks, forklifts of all kinds have different industrial jobs to do.
Head to the internet for guidance, as you'll find discussion forums, photos of forklifts in stock, and construction job listings, along with news on the latest safety precautions regarding equipment.