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Some information on forklifts

Forklifts are an important, integral and natural part of material handling everywhere in the industry. It is impossible to operate smoothly in the production, construction or any other similar sort of industry. It is so important and inseparable piece of equipment that it seems that forklifts have been around for a very long time. However, it is quite surprising to note that it is not an old invention but rather, it is quite a recent invention. There are some salient features of forklifts which set them apart from other equipment. Some equipment is so useful that they become a necessity and forklifts are such an invention.

History of transportation and lifting equipment

Around a century ago, rail transport was the most popular, efficient and effective mode of transporting and handling shipment on the land. Railway still is an important mode of transportation and handles most of the cargo inland. The railway stations constructed for this purpose were a natural hub and centre for loading and unloading shipment. They were also used for baggage handling, redistribution of luggage, barrels and sacks. The need was felt and then came the four-wheel wagons which were towed manually by human hands. In the year 1906, an official at the Pennsylvania Railroad got an excellent and amazing idea of adding battery power to operate such wagons. As time passed, there was a powered platform truck which became a necessity to handle material movement, which made the movement easier, quicker, efficient and convenient. Still, the forklift was not in the picture and was introduced much later. This article provides some good information and the story of forklifts.

Read the complete article to learn more about the history of forklifts!

From luxury to necessity

By now the forklift truck was a well-known tool for material handling, yet wasn’t very common. A forklift truck was still considered a luxury and consequently, they were still quite rare. It would take a war to change that…

During WWII the need for storing, handling and shipping military goods and supplies reached previously unseen levels. An immense number of goods had to be handled in a short time. The solution was to palletize goods – and use forklift trucks. Accordingly, a true mass production of forklift trucks was needed to meet the demand.

When the war was over, the forklift truck had proven to be not a luxury, but rather a fundamental tool for rational material handling – a position it keeps still today.

Author: Tobias W. Laxa

Link to the complete article: