The forklift has become such an invaluable piece of machine found and used in most warehousing and industrial operations, ever since its introduction to the market more than 90 years ago in the 1920's. Among the forklift's pioneers, Clark has grown to become an industry top supplier in the material handling industry. Other popular names in the making of these machines consist of: Mitsubishi, Cat, Toyota, Yale, Hyster and Nissan.
The Hyster type of lift truck has become among the industries most popular manufacturers. In fact, in some places, the word "Hyster" is synonymous with forklift. Other common names for this industrial lifting equipment include: high/low, lift truck, jitney, fork truck and stacker truck.
The ancestor of today's equipment was first made in the early part of the 19th century. At this time, battery-powered, small models were invented for the purpose of moving traveler's luggage at the Altoona train station within Pennsylvania. In WWI, some different kinds were made in England specially for use in the material handling business. These equipment evolved as a solution to the manpower shortage at that time.
The modern equivalents come in a range of sizes and configurations. There are the big truck-mounted lift truck units which are also known as sod loaders and then the opposite end of the spectrum has small hand truck units. There are also a line of automated versions known as forklift automated guided vehicles which are practically robotic in nature. These units were developed as a means of lowering operational expenses and to improve productivity.
A common forklift is able to use a huge range of attachments that are capable of being added for a range of specific functions. The motors could be IC or internal combustion units, working on diesel, gasoline or propane, or there are battery operated options that require regular charging. Typical warehouse units would usually be rated to raise between roughly 1 and 5 tons.
Ever since their evolution, lift trucks have become a priceless part of the material handling business. Many of these models are used every day all over the world to complete tasks which used to require much more man-power. Operators should take stringent training programs in order to operate these heavy equipment safely and legally. Numerous employees have longer careers now and better health overall due to their not having to lift items manually anymore as the forklifts are capable of handling those situations now instead.