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Forklifts are used in warehouses and with businesses that deal with heavy boxes or products shipped on pallets. Using a forklift is a safer way to lift heavy objects and move them to different places. If you’re in a business that uses forklifts and have never used one yourself, it’s interesting to learn how they work. Even if you’ve driven a forklift before, it’s sometimes hard to understand how they operate. Forklift technology is always changing and there are different brands, sizes and uses for different forklifts. Here’s a guide for how a forklift works.

OSHA categorizes forklifts into seven different classes:

Class I: Electric Motor Rider Trucks – Using cushion or pneumatic tires, these forklifts can be used in a variety of dry applications, indoor or outdoor. They are best used when air quality is a factor in the work environment.

Class II: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks – These forklifts are like Class I, but for narrow aisles in the workplace. They are used when efficiency and maximizing storage space are needed.

Class III: Electric Motor Hand Trucks or Hand/Rider Trucks – These hand controlled forklifts are operated in the front through a steering tiller with controls on top of the tiller. The tiller is moved side to side to steer.

Class IV: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks with solid/cushion tires – These are used in warehouse conditions with smooth, dry floors and pallet loads. Cushion tires are lower to the ground.

Class V: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks with pneumatic tires – These are used for the same application as Class VI, but pneumatic tires allow for indoor or outdoor work and larger capacities.

Class VI: Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors – These can be equipped with internal combustion engines for outdoor use or batteries for indoor use.

Class VII:  Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks РThese forklifts have large tires for outdoor and rough terrain.

The science behind a forklift involves a pair of hydraulic cylinders and roller chain pulleys. The operator’s handle activates outside air through an air pump that makes the hydraulic cylinders go. To lift a load even higher, an operator pushes the handle forward and it pumps more air into the cylinders. To lower, pulling the handle back releases gas from the cylinder which will lower the forks.

If you’re looking to buy or rent a forklift in Mississippi, Louisiana, or Texas, Daily Equipment Company¬†offers highly reliable forklifts and truck parts.

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