forklift

Forklift truck with load

Forklift truck (also called a lift truck, a fork truck, or a forklift) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials short distances. The forklift was developed in the early 20th century. Following World War II the use and development of the forklift truck has greatly expanded worldwide. Forklifts have become an indispensable piece of equipment in manufacturing and warehousing operations.

That’s engineering

  • Fork Positioner – is a hydraulic attachment that moves the tines (forks) together or apart. This removes the need for the operator to manually adjust the tines for different sized loads.
  • Mast – the vertical assembly that does the work of raising and lowering the load. It is made up of interlocking rails that also provide lateral stability. The interlocking rails may either have rollers or bushings as guides. The mast is driven hydraulically, and operated by one or more hydraulic cylinders directly or using chains from the cylinder/s.
  • Counterweight – a mass attached to the rear of the forklift truck frame. The purpose of the counterweight is to counterbalance the load being lifted. In an electric forklift the large lead-acid battery itself may serve as part of the counterweight.

Engineering ideas

  • hydraulic, electric power, center of gravity, lift. load

Do It
Challenges for you to work on…

  • create a model fork lift truck to demonstrate importance of considering center of gravity

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