Kalmar Forklift

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The forklift is one of the most popular tools of modern industry. Manufacturing facilities, warehouses, distributing centers, and many other commercial applications depend on forklifts of all types and sizes to keep thier workload running easily. Other businesses only need a forklift to unload deliveries for more than an hour a day. Either way, having a forklift that can perform well for your specific needs is an important part.

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Forklifts sometimes named for the L-shaped “forks” typically used to lift shipping pallets, but they can be outfitted with different accessories for picking up spools, drums, or other specific loads too. Also called “lift trucks” they are available for both indoor and outdoor jobs and can move around with loads of 3,000 lbs
to 30,000 lbs or more. If your usual load is less than 1.5k lbs, a pallet jack or hand truck is probably a much easier choice.

Purchasing a forklift is a gigantic investment for small businesses, and you need to make sure you get one that can handle your needs without overspending.

Before looking at forklifts or investigating dealers, you need to determine exactly what you need the forklifts to do. Some questions you need answered before you start comparison shopping:

-How heavy and what size are your typical loads?
-How high do you need to lift the load?
-Will you be using it indoors, outdoors, or both?
-How much room do you have to maneuver? How wide are your narrowest aisles?
-How many hours per day will it be used?
-Will you need a gas, diesel or electric lift?
-Do you need solid tires, cushion type or rough terrain?
-Do you need tractor tire type forklifts?
-Will you need osha approved safety extras?
-How many loads will you be loading in a day?
-What types of material will you be handling?

Important Forklift Facts:

There are two types of tires to choose from: cushion tires, which are made of solid rubber, and pneumatic tires, which are inflated with compressed air. For internal applications, cushion tires are the best choice; for outdoor work, you may want more expensive pneumatic tires.

A third option, solid pneumatic tires, are ideal for outdoor environments where there is a high risk of popping regular pneumatic tires: lumber yards or recycling centers where nails or glass can be scattered around. They combine the solid-rubber construction of cushion tires with the rough terrain capabilities of pneumatic tires, and typically are more expensive than the other two types.

Kalmar Forklift

What makes up a forklift:
1. The frame itself, which is a motive machine with wheels powered through a transmission and drive train.
2. An LPG, gasoline or diesel fueled internal combustion engine, or a battery-powered electric motor.
3.The counterweight, which is a heavy iron mass attached to the rear of the machine, necessary to compensate for the load. In an electric forklift, the large lead-acid battery itself may serve as a counterweight.
The mast, which is the vertical assembly that does the work of raising, lowering, and tilting the load; the mast is hydraulically operated and consists of a cylinder and interlocking rails for lifting and lowering operations and for lateral stability.
4. The lifting mast, which comprises flat metal plate(s) and is moved along the mast by means of chains.
5. Forks, which are the L-shaped members that engage the load. The back vertical portion of the fork attaches to the carriage by means of a hook or latch; the front horizontal portion is inserted into or under the load, usually on a pallet. Alternatively, a variety of other equipment is available, including slipsheet clamps, carton clamps, carpet rams, pole handlers, and others.
6. The strong back rest, which is a rack-like extension attached to the carriage to prevent the load from shifting backward.
7. The driver's overhead guard, which is a metal roof, supported by posts, that helps protect the operator from any falling objects.
8. The cab, with a seat for the operator and pedals and switches for controlling the machine—the cab is typically open and bounded by the cage-like overhead guard assembly.

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Important Tips To Remember:

Be up to date with training.
OSHA training may seem like an unnecessary hassle and expense, since the rules are not strictly enforced. However if you have a fork lift accident, OSHA will investigate your training and licensing procedures and can levy significant fines if you have not followed all the procedures.

Know your max capacity.
Attachments like sideshift, adjustable forks, and spool handlers reduce load capacity of fork lifts. Every fork lift should have a capacity plate attached to it detailing what its capabilities are in its current configuration.

Check out multiple brands...
If you aren’t familiar with fork lifts, I strongly recommend renting a couple of different models for a month each. You will be able to get a much better sense for the strengths and weakness of different types of lifts.

… but stick with one brand once you decide.
If you're planning to buy more than one forklift, standardizing on one brand gives you the advantage of dealing with one dealer for all your warranty and repair needs. Your operators will also benefit by not having to learn the control and handling quirks of multiple types of fork lifts. In some cases, this may not be possible, since not every manufacturer makes every type of fork lift and you may need multiple specialized machines.

Friday, 27-Mar-2015 01:51:38 CDT

 

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Kalmar Forklift

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