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What is a Forklift - Retrolex Forklifts

What is a Forklift?

The Forklift was first manufactured by Clark in the early 20th century and has evolved to form a fundamental part of any construction, warehousing or transportation fleet. A Forklift is an industrial vehicle used to transport and lift heavy materials for short distances. Examples include moving boxes, products, building materials and more. Forklifts are most often used in conjunction with Forklift Pallets which the item is placed onto in order to be moved.

What is a Forklift 1

An example of a Forklift being used to move heavy boxes

Forklift Types

There are a wide variety of Forklift types available and each will have varying capacities, loads they can handle, surfaces they can be used on as well as operating instructions. Examples of the different types include hand pallet forklifts, reach trucks, electric forklifts, fuel cell forklifts, guided very narrow aisle trucks, guided very narrow aisle order picking trucks as well as many more. Each of these Forklifts have a specific task and area that they can be used in as well as different methods of being powered. Some are electrically powered while others are fuel cell powered or in the case of a hand pallet truck will rely solely on the muscle power of the driver. For example an Electric Forklift is good for flat, indoor and even surfaces. They are often used in food processing and healthcare sectors as due to being powered by lead acid batteries, they don’t produce any harmful emissions.


Forklift Components

Forklifts work on a counter-balance system. They therefore have a component called a counterweight which is a mass attached to the rear of the Forklift frame and its purpose is to counter balance the load being lifted. The mast is the component that does the actual work of raising and lowering the load and the tilt cylinders are loaded to the truck frame and mast and assist in engaging a load. Tires are also a very important component and can either be solid for indoor use or pneumatic for outdoor use.


Forklift Price

The model, make and capacity of a Forklift will determine the price. New Forklift costs range anywhere between R250,000 and R2 million or more for one Forklift.  The most commonly used capacities are between 2 and 2.5 tonnes which are middle of the range pricing. It’s very important to consider the cost of repairs, services and maintenance should you be looking to purchase a Forklift as the upkeep of a forklift is often a huge expense.


Forklift Rentals

Due to the huge cost of a Forklift as well as the maintenance and repair costs that are involved, many companies prefer to rent their Forklifts either on a short term or long term basis from a Forklift Rental company. This means that the owner of the Forklift will be responsible for maintenance and repairs as well as replacing a forklift should it be unusable. (Read more on this here: Forklift Rental: 10 Reasons why it’s a good idea)


The Most Popular Forklift Brands

As with cars, there are many brands and makes of Forklifts available and they vary in their functionality, quality and price. However the most popular are Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Daewoo, Hyster, TCM, Nichiyu and Kalmar. It’s important to do background checks and research before purchasing a Forklift, especially a used forklift.


In conclusion

Forklifts were developed in order to ease the manual strain of lifting heavy loads. In future we will more than likely see more and more automatic forklifts on the job as businesses cut down on employees and staff costs.  Choosing the right Forklift for your needs is vitally important and it is therefore essential to partner with a forklift provider that fully understands your requirements.

For all your Forklift Rental needs, speak to the experts in the industry. Retrolex Forklifts has many years’ experience in the Forklift Industry and provides Forklift Rentals, New and Used Forklift Sales, Forklift Replacement Parts, Forklift Service and Repairs, 24/7 Emergency breakdown service and Forklift Load Testing. Speak to Retrolex Forklifts today for a quote.

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