Deutsch: Gabelstapler / Español: Carretilla elevadora / Português: Empilhadeira / Français: Chariot êlêvateur / Italiano: Carrello elevatore
A forklift truck (also called a lift truck, a fork truck, or a forklift) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials short distances. The forklift was developed in the early 20th century by various companies including the transmission manufacturing company Clark and the hoist company Yale & Towne Manufacturing. Following World War II the use and development of the forklift truck has greatly expanded worldwide. Forklifts have become an indispensable piece of equipment in manufacturing and warehousing operations.

In the industrial context, a forklift is a powered industrial truck that is used to lift, move, and transport heavy loads over short distances. Forklifts are essential for moving large and heavy materials in manufacturing, warehousing, construction, and other industrial settings.

Examples of forklifts in the industrial context include:

  1. Counterbalance forklifts: These are the most common type of forklift and are used for lifting and moving heavy loads indoors and outdoors. They are equipped with two forks at the front and are designed to balance the weight of the load with the weight of the forklift.

  2. Reach forklifts: These are used for lifting and moving loads in narrow aisles and high storage racks. They have an extending mast that allows them to reach further than a counterbalance forklift.

  3. Order picker forklifts: These are used in warehouse settings to pick and transport individual items from high shelves. They have a platform that the operator can stand on to pick items from shelves.

  4. Pallet jack forklifts: These are used for moving and lifting pallets and other heavy loads on flat surfaces. They are often manual, but some are electric-powered.

  5. Rough terrain forklifts: These are used for outdoor work in rough terrain and are equipped with larger wheels and a heavier frame than indoor forklifts.

Similar things to forklifts in the industrial context include:

  1. Hand trucks: These are hand-operated devices with a platform or a set of wheels for moving heavy loads over short distances.

  2. Cranes: These are lifting devices that use a pulley system and a cable to lift and move heavy loads. They are often used in construction and industrial settings.

  3. Conveyor belts: These are systems that move materials along a fixed path, often used in manufacturing and warehousing to move goods from one area to another.

  4. Skid steers: These are small, versatile machines with a variety of attachments, such as forks or buckets, that are used for lifting and moving heavy loads in tight spaces.

  5. Scissor lifts: These are platforms that can be raised and lowered to lift workers and materials to different heights. They are often used in construction and maintenance work.


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