Fork lift truck: technical specifications, features and types
Loading tasks in the modern world are solved by various means. Despite the replacement of traditional equipment with high-tech systems, in some areas the usual human-controlled equipment still dominates. This applies to the freight and logistics industry. Perhaps the forklift truck is a compromise solution between conventional trolleys and stationary cranes, which perform their functions through a software controller.
The common task of all loaders of this type is to transport cargo from one place to another. But there may be different approaches to the implementation of this work. For example, there are models designed specifically for passage in narrow corridors. They have modest indicators of power, but they are distinguished by mobility and high speed. Other modifications are designed to work with height.Actually, the basic purpose of the forklift truck is precisely determined by the lifting functions, but there are designs that allow to work purposefully at high altitudes without an emphasis on horizontal movement. Conversely, large manufacturers necessarily include models in the rulers that are focused on driving over complex surfaces — these are off-road loaders with large wheels and sometimes tracks.
For the developers themselves, the starting point in the design of forklift models is the characteristic load capacity. That is, all other parameters depart from it - from the lifting height to the mast type. There are several groups of loaders depending on lifting possibilities. Thus, the initial category is a technique capable of working with weights weighing from 1 to 3.5 tons. Next are models with a lifting capacity of up to 5 tons, and the most powerful versions serve 24 tons. Obviously, the characteristics of fork lift trucks capable of lifting more than 20 t, differ in the parameters of the power filling - power may be about 150 kW.As for the height of the lift, then it usually depends on the carrying capacity. At a minimum, modern models are capable of lifting loads by 3 m. Specialized productive equipment also serves multi-tiered racks by 12-15 m.
Varieties of technology
In the market, forklift trucks are available in different types. For example, they differ in the type of masts, the design of which determines the operation parameters of the forks. So, there are two-section and three-section mast structures in which the forks can have a free wheeling.
Another classification concerns the type of wheels. Standard are pneumatic chambers with traditional tires. They allow the technology to develop sufficient speed, thanks to its damping properties, also ensuring the stability of the stroke with minimal influence of vibrations. If you plan to use a forklift truck on the problem surface with aggressive mechanical or chemical effects, then you should give preference to cast solid rubber. These are hard, large wheels that have a slight depreciation, but in terms of wear resistance, they are ahead of pneumatics.In modern models, there are also wheels made of polyurethane, which show themselves well on flat storage floors.
The main classification concerns the type of power plant that drives the loader.
Features of diesel models
Models with a traditional internal combustion engine on gasoline can be attributed to this group, but such equipment is gradually leaving the market. In fact, petrol modifications have the same disadvantages and advantages, but if the user can accept the disadvantages of operating a standard engine, then diesel fuel is more profitable.
If we talk about the shortcomings, the diesel forklift truck is almost not suitable for use indoors, and sometimes in open areas. It is not only environmentally harmful, but also makes a lot of noise during work. As for the advantages, a powerful diesel engine allows the technology to cope with large volumes of cargo weighing about 20 tons, as well as manage massive masts.
But this category is diverse in its characteristics. Some low-power versions with a minimum amount of emissions, for example, can also be used indoors, but with active ventilation.
Features of electric models
Electric loaders, in turn, can be combined with battery models. Both versions are distinguished by environmental cleanliness, compact size, low noise and maneuverability. For the treatment of small quantities of goods, this may be the best option. In the remaining cases, the weak points of the equipment will appear - it is inefficient, therefore it is not suitable for regular maintenance of heavy loads.
In addition, an electric forklift truck (we have reviewed the load capacity of different models above) is quite expensive in terms of money. Even against the background of diesel fuel, the consumption of electricity for this kind of equipment becomes an essential expense item. What, however, can not be said about the battery modifications. These are loaders that are charged through a block with batteries and can work on accumulated energy for a limited time - from several hours to days. But the battery versions lose power even in their electrical counterparts.
Auxiliary equipment for loader
Truck manufacturers are reluctant to include additional equipment as standard, butrealizing the practical value of such devices, leave the structural possibilities for their implementation. There are several groups of additional units and accessories, which are divided according to the purpose. For example, replaceable bodies of the mounted type, devices for additional stabilization of the load, and extension cords for forks, which, however, are less common, are responsible for improving the working efficiency of the loader. In order to increase safety, the forklift truck is equipped with lighting devices, an alarm, carriage insurance, belts, fire extinguishers, etc. The most modern packages with optional equipment contain control panels for operators that allow you to control the work process from the control room.
What to consider when choosing a loader?
In addition to the above parameters and characteristics of loaders, you should pay attention to the ergonomic features of specific models. Even a high-performance, powerful fork-type assistant will be ineffective if its cabin is poorly designed and equipped.There is a whole list of requirements for the operating conditions in which the driver of the forklift should work. The forklift should provide sufficient visibility, comfort fit, a wide range of seat adjustments, air conditioning, and a minimum level of vibrations and noise.
It is important to take care of careful operation of the loader itself. It will also depend on the conditions in which it works. For example, in the chemical industry, it will be affected by aggressive materials, and operation in an open area will lead to contact with the aquatic environment. Accordingly, the forklift truck must be selected for the presence of protective environments - from corrosion, mechanical damage, acids, temperature fluctuations, etc.
Manufacturers and prices
The market of warehouse equipment is saturated with loaders of domestic, Chinese, Japanese and American manufacturers. In particular, such companies as Toyota, TCM, Komatsu, Mitsubishi, Nissan and others can be mentioned. Moreover, the most technically developed and functional products are offered by Japanese developers.For example, Toyota offers a forklift truck with a tonnage capacity of 24 tons with a new generation of diesel engines that can even be used indoors. As for the cost, the range of prices is very wide. The initial level offers options for 300-400 thousand rubles. In contrast, Toyota’s or Komatsu’s production technology ranges from 1 million to 3 million, depending on the design features and performance characteristics.
Forklift forklift models can be considered as a universal solution for warehouses, industrial enterprises, and large stores. Wherever cargo operations are performed and there is free space for moving small-sized wheeled vehicles, a forklift truck will be useful. The price of 400-700 thousand for the average model in terms of its characteristics should not frighten either. The practice of operating such assistants suggests that they quickly pay for themselves and in the future help save on expenses. Even in comparison with the services of movers, such equipment is more profitable. Another thing is that even before buying it is important to properly plan the route of the loader, calculate its technical characteristics and operating conditions.