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The stroke and lift capacity are other factors which you should take into consideration when choosing a type of forklift. Lift capacity is defined as the supportable, maximum force or load. Stroke is defined as the difference between fully lowered and fully raised lift positions.
The type of fuel and the type of tire are also other key specifications which must be considered. The available fuel choices include: natural gas, LP or liquid propane, CNG or compressed natural gas, electricity, gasoline, propane or diesel.
For fork trucks and forklifts, there are two basic types of tires that can be utilized. They are: pneumatic and solid. The solid or cushion tires need less maintenance than pneumatic tires and do not puncture easily. Air-inflated or pneumatic tires provide load cushioning and great drive traction. At the end of the day, cushion or solid tires provide less shock absorption.
There are 5 classes of forklifts in general. Class I forklifts are defined as electric-motor rider trucks. They are either seated 3-wheel units or stand-up operator units. The rider units are counterbalanced and may have cushion or pneumatic tires. Class II forklifts are electric motor forklifts for inventory stock or narrow aisle or order picking operation.
Either walk-behind or stand-rider operated electric-motor trucks are classified as Class III forklifts. Typically, automated pallet lift-trucks together with high lift models are often counterbalanced. Class IV forklifts are rider fork trucks that have seated controls and cabs. This class has cushion or solid tires and IC or internal combustion engines.
Class V forklifts are defined as rider fork trucks. They come equipped with pneumatic tires and cabs and seated controls. Similar to Class IV forklifts, they are normally counterbalanced. Class VI forklifts are sit-down rider tow tractor lifts. Normally, they are supplied with electric or internal combustion engines.
Generally utilized on rough terrain are Class VII forklifts. These kinds of machinery are usually utilized in agriculture, construction and in logging environments. Lastly, Class VIII forklifts include all burden and personnel carriers.
In order to make sure that forklift operation is safe, a forklift training course must be attended by each and every worker.
All staff must be aware of forklift basics. Safety information must be provided in the form of handouts, and posted in posters and warning signs. The following are some essential forklift safety and training tips:
1) An employee could only use a forklift if he or she is licensed. Never take risks with such huge equipment. Forklift training must be taken really seriously.
2) Seat belts must always be used by forklift operators. Just because the forklift moves slowly doesn't mean that seat belts can be disregarded. Accidents are less likely to result in personal injuries when seat belts are worn.
3) Establish a system for workers to report instances of damage or mechanical problems. As the employer, you should create an effective and efficient reporting system that is very easy to figure out. Workers should be trained correctly in forklift basics so that they can detect and report problems when they arise.
4) Staff must be trained how to lean away from the turn, and stay in the cab even if there is danger of overturning. Staff should not jump out. That's the best way to prevent serious injury.
5) Workers have to be trained to understand a forklift's weight capacity limit. A major cause of forklift mishaps is related to tip overs caused by lifting very heavy loads. Employees must really know how much they could lift safely. A tip over can damage the whole forklift. Overloading is the biggest safety blunder an employee could make.