Forklifts are mobile machines that utilize 2 prongs or forks in order to place loads into positions that would usually be difficult to reach. Normally, lift trucks fall into 2 main categories: industrial and rough-terrain.
Industrial lift trucks are most commonly utilized around truck and train loading docks in addition to many warehouse applications. These machines have smaller tires which are designed to run on paved surfaces. Typically, industrial forklifts are powered by an internal gasoline engine running on propane or diesel fuel.
Smaller lift trucks may run off an internal battery charging an electric motor. And as the name implies, the rough terrain forklift is designed to be operated on rough and unpaved surfaces. Usually, they are the ideal option for construction and military applications. Rough terrain forklifts normally have large pneumatic tires that are generally powered by internal industrial engines that run on diesel or propane fuel. These lift truck models could have a telescoping boom, capable of carrying loads up and out from the base of the machine or they could utilize a vertical tower, which is responsible for carrying cargo straight up.
The rough terrain forklift emerged during 1946, after a 2 pronged lift attachment was attached to a tractor chassis or a power buggy. This first machinery was utilized around construction sites and was able to raise to a height of 76 cm or 30 inches and had a lifting capacity could carry 454 kg or 1000 pounds. Vertical tower forklifts were quickly developed for industrial application and rough terrain forklifts became famous as well. By the time the 1950s came around, there were units available which can raise up to heights of 30 feet or 9 meters and had lift capacities of 1135 kg or 2500 lbs.
In the year 1958, the original 4-wheel drive rough terrain lift truck was introduced with a capacity of 6000 lbs. or 2724 kg and had a lift height of 22.5 feet or 7 meters or 3000 lbs. or 1362 kg and 35 feet or 11 meters. The very first telescoping boom rough terrain forklift emerged on the market in 1962. This model allowed cargo to be placed out from the base of the machine both below and above grade.