Moffett Forklift

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The forklift is one of the most popular tools of today's industry. Distribution houses, warehouses, manufacturing plants, and many other commercial applications depend on forklifts of many different types and sizes to keep daily workload running easily. Other businesses only need a forklift to unload deliveries for a couple of hours a day. Either way, having a forklift that can perform well for your specific needs is important.

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Forklifts are 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 applications and can run with loads of 1275 lbs
to 30,000 lbs or more. If your usual load is less than 1,200 lbs, a pallet jack or hand truck is probably a cheaper choice.

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Purchasing a forklift is a huge investment for small businesses, and you need to make sure you get one that can handle your job without going over you expense budget.

Before you begin looking at forklifts or checking with dealers, you need to determine exactly what you need the forklifts to do. These would be important questions to ask before you start comparison shopping:

-How weighty and how big are your normal loads?
-How high do you need to lift the load?
-Will you be working with it inside, outdoors, or both equally?
-How much room do you have to move around?

Important Forklift Facts:

Height
A close second to “How much do you need to lift?” is “How high do you need to lift it?” If your primary use for the forklift is loading and unloading trucks, you may not need much height at all; if your warehouse has shelves 30’ high, that is a pretty clear indicator of the reach your lift will need.
Unlike load capacity, your height needs are unlikely to change over time barring new construction or major renovations. Buy for the height you need now.

Moffett Forklift

Important parts to a forklift:
1. The frame itself, which is a motive machine with wheels powered through a transmission and drive train.
2. A gasoline, lpg, or diesel powered engine, or a battery-powered electric motor.
3.The counter balance, 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 lift carriage, 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. A load 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.

Be sure you understand the lift 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.

Try 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 plan to buy multiple fork lifts, 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, 25-Apr-2014 00:22:45 CDT

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