Forklift Truck Classification
For little under a century, the forklift truck has been working its magic. Even today, this particular type of machine is found in every warehouse operation throughout the world.
Because of World War I, there were shortages of manpower that resulted in the creation of the very first forklifts. Companies like Yale & Town and Clark introduced the material handling equipment that used powered lift tractors in their factories. In 1918, Clark saw the potential for these machinery and started selling them.
It was in the 1920s that the forklift design evolved from a basic tractor with an attachment to a dedicated machine that was equipped with a vertical lifting mast. The forklift developed and became more sophisticated with WWII. The forklift played a vital role during this time in the handling of supplies for different armies throughout the globe. It was also during this time that wooden pallets were introduced which proved the need for the forklift in the material handling industry.
When WWII ended, the forklift gained momentum and continued to develop. During the 1950s, battery driven forklifts made an appearance. There were other more specialized forklift models introduced like the Narrow Aisle Reach truck. This kind was made by the Raymond Corporation. In the 1960s and 1970s, improvements were made within the electronic controls area. This made forklifts much more versatile and companies were able to look at warehouse efficiency.
Today, the forklift could be powered by numerous fuel options such as diesel, electrical battery, compressed natural gas or CNG, gasoline, liquid propane gas or LPG. The very first hybrid forklift was developed by Mitsubishi. It presently operates on lithium ion and diesel battery. This particular model utilizes 39% less fuel than existing models. Statistics show that its carbon dioxide emissions are roughly 14.6 tons less than those forklift models which are powered by internal combustion or IC engines.