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