Piggyback Forklift

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The forklift is one of the most popular tools of past and modern industry. Distribution houses, warehouses, manufacturing plants, and many other commercial applications depend on forklifts of so many types and sizes to keep thier workload running as smooth as possible. 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 neccessary.

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Forklifts many times 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 handle loads of 1,500 lbs
to 30,000 lbs or more. If your usual load is less than 1275 lbs, a pallet jack or hand truck is probably a much easier choice.

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

Before looking at forklifts or checking with dealers, you need to determine exactly what you need the forklifts to do. Here are some questions you should answer before you start comparison shopping:

-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:

Forklifts are rated according to how much weight they can lift. 3,000-, 5,000-, and 8,000-lb models make up the bulk of the market.

The size of your typical load will affect the capacity you need. Forklift capacity is usually based on a 24 inch “load center”, meaning that the distance from the center of gravity to the sides of the load is 24”.
The easiest way to think about this is that a forklift can only lift its maximum weight if the load is a four-foot cube. If your loads are unusually long or high, the forklift won’t be able to safely lift as much. Knowing the typical dimensions and weight of your loads will allow you to work with the salesperson to determine the exact capacity you need.
Also consider how much variation there is in your loads. If you constantly produce identical pallets of products, you know exactly what capacity you need. However, in a more mixed environment, or one where the load size changes over time, you may want to buy a truck with more capacity than you need currently to make sure it gets the job done now and in the future.

Piggyback Forklift

Parts of a Forklift:
1. The whole unit, which is a motive machine with wheels powered through a transmission and drive train.
2. A diesel, liquid propane or gas fueled internal combustion 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 carriage 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 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.


Important Tips To Remember:

Be sure to keep up 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 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.

Wednesday, 07-Oct-2015 14:22:10 CDT


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