Many vehicles have been created to improve industrial processes, also to make people’s lives easier; one of them is the forklift of different dimensions and uses , which despite its age , continues to be manufactured by different brands and perfecting its presentation to increase its versatility.

What is a forklift?

forklift is a vehicle used to load and transport loads of different weights , its creation has contributed to the reduction of time and demand that the operator be trained in its use.

  • Definition
  • What is a forklift for?
  • Characteristics
  • Types
  • Story
  • Who Invented the Forklift
  • Parties
  • How a forklift works
  • Dimensions
  • Forklift Accessories
  • Examples


It is the work equipment made up of a platform that slides along a rigid lateral guide or by two parallel rigid guides . It is also known as an industrial lift designed to transport heavy materials quickly and easily.

What is a forklift for?

It is used to raise and lower materials, its platform can be stopped on each of the floors of the work.

It is used to lift and transport large and heavy materials. It is used in storage and cargo industries , especially in the construction sector and in large commercial warehouses.


  • There are different designs that adapt to the needs of each user.
  • Easy installation anywhere.
  • Economical as there are a large number of manufacturers in the market.


  • Industrial forklifts, which can be hydraulic or electric.
  • Monoplates.
  • Car lift.


Towmotor was created in Cleveland (1919), Ohio, by FW Sears and his son Lester. In November 1918, Lester M. Sears devised and began designing a gasoline- powered straight industrial tractor , the first original Towmotor .

After 14 years of building small tractors, Towmotor introduced something revolutionary, in 1933 , the first forklift was released to the world, allowing an operator to easily unload more than a ton of cargo and quickly, reducing time and labor. 30 hours.

The ‘one-man-gang’ Towmotor became so popular that all forklifts were called Towmotors.

Who Invented the Forklift

Lester M. Sears co-founder of Towmotor in 1932, introduced to the world in 1933.


The forklift is made up of the following parts:

Power supply

It is the source of energy, it could be battery, propane , electricity , diesel or gas; when using batteries, they are located under the cabin seat and are used only outdoors or indoors ; if it is propane , it is located in the rear area of ​​the forklift and is very similar to a traditional tank as used in gas grills and used outdoors and indoors; In addition, those that use diesel and gas have a tank under the rear of the forklift with a fuel cap on the side and are used only outside.


L platform used to collect and store the transported materials ; It is attached by a hook on the front of the forklift.


It can be single, double, triple or quadruple, its height will depend on the load and is used to lift and lower the load.


Document containing information about operation, parts and safety tips.


At the back are the counterweights that give stability to the machine to prevent the forklift from tipping forward; It also has the running gear made up of wheels , axles, transmission shaft, safety gantry and lights; in addition, it takes care of charging.


Center of the vehicle where all the controls are; There the operator will be located, who can be standing or sitting, there will also be the steering wheel, brake , accelerated , inclination controls , elevation and descent controls and informative indicators.

Model number

It is used to identify the machine and all its components, it is a fixed and visible label that is located anywhere on the machine.

How a forklift works

In general , the platform is loaded with the material, which is lifted evenly distributed and perfectly supported when necessary.

The load is placed on the beams , supported by the front wheels that act as a fulcrum, thus generating a counterweight with the weight on the other side of the beam.

In order for it to function properly, the quantities to be supported by the machine must be considered , the materials must be correctly located and the operator trained to do so.


These will depend on the type of forklift:

  • Monoplates or mini- loaders : used to transport small loads between 50 and 100 kg, its electromechanical traction system uses a progressive speed of up to 30 centimeters per second and the motor powers range from 0.75 Cv to 1.5 Cv approximately .
  • Forklift : supports from 100 kg to 10 tons and even more, it moves at a speed of 10 to 20 centimeters per second. In turn, there are two types:
    • Single-column hydraulic type: for loads from 100 kg to 5 tons, its maximum dimensions range from 3.5 meters wide to 2.3 meters deep.
    • Two-column hydraulic type: for loads from 1500 kg, up to 3 meters wide by 6 meters deep.

Forklift Accessories

  • Protectors: for the prevention of damage to steel pillars, concrete posts and palletizing in buildings and warehouses.
  • Work cage: it is attached to the machine forks to carry out work at height.
  • Fork extension: to lengthen them by up to 50% more.
  • Snow removers and salt spreaders: to make the work area more accessible.
  • Brushes: for cleaning floors.
  • Push – pull / pantograph: for loading and unloading of goods using platforms on which the goods move.
  • Crane arm: for the forklift to be used as a small crane.
  • Tilting containers: for use with waste, paper or scrap metal.
  • Bulk Containers – Convenient for fork truck or fork mounting.
  • Spigot: to handle bundles of wire, coils, tubes, rolls of carpet or paper.
  • Rotating clamps: for handling paper reels.
  • Clamps: to transport loads without pallets.
  • Rotators / dump trucks: ideal for tilting containers with an amplitude from 180 ° to 360 °.
  • Fork Positioner – to adjust forks to any size load or platform.
  • Traction batteries .
  • Side protectors: as an alternative to the seat belt.
  • Mobile weighing systems: to weigh the goods during transport and thus save time.
  • Camera system – monitor .


Some examples of forklifts are:

  • Pneumatic wheel forklift.
  • Hydraulic forklift.
  • Lift truck.
  • Electric or electromechanical forklifts.

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