The origins of the forklift are tied to late-1800s hoists and key innovations that Clark and Yale & Towne Manufacturing separately made in the early 1900s.
A mainstay of construction sites, warehouses, shipping yards, factories, and countless small and large business operations, the forklift is regarded as essential equipment for its ability to lift, load, and move objects weighing as much as 16,000 kilograms or more, depending on the model. Matching a forklift with such attachments and tools as clamps, fork extensions, augers, grapplers, hammers, and rotators can greatly extend a forklift’s abilities.
Today, the forklift category includes mast (refers to the assembly a forklift’s front that enables lifting loads) and telescopic (essentially a boom used to lift loads) models. Additionally, forklifts can be categorised by such traits as being able to navigate rough terrains, providing a side-loading design, and the power source it uses – electric, diesel, LPG (liquid propane gas), CNG (compressed natural gas). Other features may include the use of proximity sensors, automated guidance abilities, battery-monitoring systems, multidirectional and narrow-aisle maneuverability, and remote controllable lift technology.
Top forklift manufacturers and brands include Caterpillar, Clark, Doosan, Gehl, Genie, Hyster, JCB, Jungheinrich, Komatsu, Linde, Lull, Manitou, Merlo, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Sky Trak, Taylor, Toyota, Yale.