Forklift Truck - Design Types

Design Types

The following is a list, in no particular order, of the more common lift truck types:

  • Hand pallet truck - no power system of any kind
  • Walkie low lift truck - powered pallet truck, usually Electrically Powered
  • Rider low lift truck - usually Electrically Powered
  • Towing tractor - Maybe Internal Combustion Engine or Electric Powered
  • Walkie stacker - usually Electrically Powered
  • Rider stacker - usually Electrically Powered
  • Reach truck - Variant on a Rider Stacker forklift, designed for small aisles, usually Electrically Powered, named because the forks can extend to reach the load. There are two variants, moving carriage, which are common in North America, and moving mast which are common in the rest of the world, and generally regarded as safer
  • Electric Counterbalanced truck- comes in Stand on End Control, Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the most numerous
  • Internal Combustion Engine Powered Counterbalanced Forklift- comes in Stand on End Control, Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the most numerous. Engines may be diesel, kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, butane, or propane fueled, and may be either Two Stroke Spark Ignition, Four Stroke Spark Ignition (common), Two Stroke Compression Ignition, and Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems.
  • Electric Forklifts - Powered by lead-acid batteries, several types of forklifts are electric: cushion tire forklifts, scissor lifts, order pickers, stackers, reach trucks and pallet jacks. Electric forklifts are primarily used indoors on flat, even surfaces. Electric forklift batteries last 6 consecutive hours or throughout an 8-hour shift with 2-3 breaks. Batteries prevent the emission of harmful fumes and are recommended for facilities in food-processing and healthcare sectors.
  • Sideloader - comes in Stand on End Control, and Sit Down End Control, which is the most numerous. It may be Electrically Powered, or have an Internal Combustion Engine. Engines may be diesel, kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, butane, or propane fueled, and may be either Two Stroke Spark Ignition, Four Stroke Spark Ignition (common), Two Stroke Compression Ignition, and Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some Sideloaders have Hybrid drivetrains.
  • Telescopic handler - comes in Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the most numerous. Usually has an Internal Combustion Engine. Engines are almost always diesel, but sometimes operate on kerosene, and sometimes use propane injection as a power boost. Some old units are Two Stroke Compression Ignition, most are Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some Telescopic handlers have Hybrid drivetrains.
  • Walkie Order Picking truck - usually Electrically Powered
  • Rider Order Picking truck - commonly called an "Order Picker"; like a small Reach Truck, except the operator rides in a cage welded to the fork carriage, while wearing a specially designed safety harness to prevent falls. A special toothed grab holds the pallet to the forks. The operator hand transfers the load onto the pallet one article at a time. This is an efficient way of picking less than pallet load shipments, and is popular for use in large distribution centers.
  • Articulated Very Narrow Aisle Counterbalanced trucks - sometimes called "Flexi or Bendi Trucks" after two of the largest manufacturers. Comes in Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the most numerous. May have an Internal Combustion Engine or an Electric Motor. Electric Motors are most common. Engines may be diesel, kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, butane, or propane fueled, and may be either Two Stroke Spark Ignition, Four Stroke Spark Ignition (common), Two Stroke Compression Ignition, and Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some units have Hybrid drivetrains.
  • Guided Very Narrow Aisle truck - A counterbalance type Sit Down Rider Electric Forklift fitted with a specialized mast assembly. The Mast is capable of rotating 90 degrees, and the forks can then advance like on a reach mechanism, to pick full pallets. Because the forklift doesn't not have to turn, the aisles can be exceptionally narrow, and if wire guidance is fitted in the floor of the building the machine can almost work on its own. Masts on this type of machine tend to be very high. The higher the racking that can be installed, the higher the density the storage can reach. This sort of storage system is popular in cities where land prices are really high, as by building the racking up to three times higher than normal and using these machines, it is possible to stock an incredible amount of material in what appears to be a small space.
  • Guided Very Narrow Aisle Order Picking truck - A counterbalance type Order Picking Truck similar to the Guided Very Narrow Aisle truck, except that the operator and the controls which operate the machine are in a cage welded to the mast. The operator of course wears a restraint system to protect him against falls. Otherwise the description is the same as Guided Very Narrow Aisle truck.
  • Truck Mounted Forklift / Sod Loader - comes in Sit Down Center Control. Usually has an Internal Combustion Engine. Engines are almost always diesel, but sometimes operate on kerosene, and sometimes use propane injection as a power boost. Some old units are Two Stroke Compression Ignition, most are Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some Telescopic handlers have Hybrid drivetrains.

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