Common Forklift Types
Cushion Tire Forklifts
Cushion Tire Forklifts feature solid rubber tires that cannot be punctured, and are best suited for concrete, asphalt and smooth surfaces. They can operate on other surfaces, however the surface must be compact, hardened & somewhat smooth. They are commonly found in the two most popular fuel/power types (LP & Electric), but can be found in diesel & gas power as well. Other types of Cushion Tire Forklifts are Sit Down Electrics, Stand Up Electrics, Narrow Isle, Walkie Stackers, and Walkie Reachers. Common operating capacities range from 2,000lbs. – 40,000lbs. with common lift heights ranging from 4ft. – 24ft.
Pneumatic Tire Forklifts
Pneumatic Tire Forklifts feature tires inflated by air, and can operate on smooth and rougher outdoor/indoor surfaces. They are commonly found in the two most popular fuel types (LP & Electric), but can be found in diesel & gas power as well. Just as in a cushion tire forklift the driver sits in a traditional automotive type driver's compartment, and does not stand. Common operating capacities range from 2,000lbs. – 50,000lbs. with common lift heights ranging from 4ft. – 24ft.
Rough Terrain Forklifts
Rough Terrain Forklifts are generally pneumatic tire type units that are very large in capacity & lift height. Generally found in stockyards, industrial, mining, and large manufacturing settings. The front, and sometimes rear, tires are mounted on an articulating suspension that gives them the ability to operate not only in rough terrain environments but also on grades of varying degree. More often than not these machines are diesel or gasoline powered with large combustion engines. These highly specialized machines are costly, but do the job that other forklift types simply cannot perform safely.
Stand Up Electric Forklifts
Commonly found in warehouses around the world. Stand Up electric forklifts are a more compact type of forklift than either Cushion or Pneumatic sit down forklifts making them ideal for areas of operation that are more confined. Such as: warehouse isles. The most common electric voltages are 24v, 36v, 48v. When purchased they generally come with battery chargers that maintain the unit's power while not being used. The tires are more often than not cushion type tires best suited for smooth surfaces. The operator stands on a pressure-activated pedal that unlocks or enables safe operation of the unit. Common capacities range from 2,000lbs. – 5,000lbs. with common lift heights ranging from 10ft. – 24ft.
Glossary of Common Terms
Side Shift – Side Shift is a feature that generally isn't
standard on most forklifts. Side shift gives the operator the ability to
shift his load to the left or the right for more precise placement. In a
forklift without side shift you must steer the forklift into the exact
location you want your load to be placed. With side shift you simply
steer the machine close to where you want it and shift your load left or
right for exact placement. No repositioning of the machine to get your
load where you want it.
Two Stage Mast or Two Stage Upright – The term Two Stage Mast or Two Stage Upright refers to the number of masts or uprights on a forklift. Once the carriage and forks reach the height limit of the first upright or mast the second mast rises out from within the first mast to bring it to the top of the units reach height. Two Stage Mast forklifts or Two Stage Upright forklifts typically have lift heights of approximately 10.5ft..
Triple Stage Mast or Triple Stage Upright – Identical to the Two Stage Mast or Two Stage Upright forklifts the Triple Stage has a third mast or upright that rises up from within the second mast or upright to lift the carriage & forks to the machines maximum lift height. Typical Triple Stage forklifts have lift heights of approximately 16ft.
Carriage – The carriage is the component on the front of the forklift mast or upright, which the forks are mounted to. Most forklift attachments are also mounted to the carriage. There are carriages that are specific to side shift functions, and even carriages that are specific to hydraulically adjustable fork spacing.
Tire Pressing – Cushion type forklift tires that do not require air and are solid rubber are changed out by using a custom hydraulic press that removes or replaces the tire on the rim. It is the only way to remove & replace these types of tires.
Full Free Lift – Full Free Lift is a feature that allows the carriage to rise to the maximum height of the first mast or upright while not raising the second stage mast or upright at all. This feature enables the operator to remove stacked loads in trailers without getting the second stage mast in the way of the lift or rising up into a restricted ceiling.