Forklifts are wheeled motor vehicles commonly used in many industries around the world. They have their place not only in halls and warehouses, but also in production plants and farms. What makes a forklift truck different and who can operate it?
A lorry truck, colloquially known as a forklift truck, is a vehicle designed to handle heavy loads. It consists of the following structural elements:
- Operator's cabin
- Fork carriage
Depending on the type of cart and its intended use, the design may vary slightly. The forklift is a technically complex device - it also includes:
- Drive system
- Hydraulic system
- Steering system
- Cooling system
- Fuel system
In addition, the construction of the forklift and its use largely depend on the type of engine that will be installed in the device. There are three types of engines in forklifts:
- Electric drive, powered by rechargeable accumulators or batteries. These forklifts are great for indoor work (zero emissions and quiet engine operation).
- Gas drive, using a gas cylinder attached to the trolley. It is considered cheap to operate, and additionally allows for a long working time (in a situation where the gas runs out, just attach a new cylinder and continue working).
- Diesel drive, the loudest and least environmentally friendly, but still widely used. Due to the high emission of exhaust gases, a forklift with such a drive is only suitable for outdoor use or in a well-ventilated area. Despite their disadvantages, diesel forklifts are characterized by very high performance.
As you can see, people looking for a forklift truck suitable for their business are lucky - there are so many different types of trucks that everyone should find something that suits them.
Types of forklifts
Forklifts are used in many different industries. Not every stroller is suitable for every place and task. Therefore, before investing in a forklift, it is good to think about which type of forklift will work best under certain conditions. Here are a few of the more popular types.
High bay forklift
The way a reach truck works is no different from the rest of the truck. They were prepared for complex maneuvers in narrow warehouse aisles and for handling heavy loads at significant heights. Trolleys of this type can be found most often in warehouses, where they are used for maneuvering pallets. They are used to remove or place pallets on high-lying storage shelves. The height of the mast is characteristic for them. Two- and three-section masts are used in the construction of reach trucks to ensure range up to eight meters. Due to the task for which they are intended, they are also characterized by a low load capacity for forklifts.
Forklift, lifting operator and load
Certain tasks involving the use of forklift trucks may require the operator to be extremely precise due to the load being transported. In such cases, forklifts that can lift the operator and the load are most often used. In strollers of this type the operator's cabin rises with the forks on the mast, providing the operator with an accurate view of how the load is being handled. This type of forklift also increases the operator's field of vision, allowing him to maneuver the load where a normal forklift would not be able to see it.
Forklift with variable reach
Variable-reach forklifts, also known as telescopic loaders, are used to transport cargo in difficult conditions. Telescopic loaders are forklifts with the greatest possible range of fork movement. Due to their design, they allow the load to be maneuvered both vertically and horizontally. They are equipped with an arm with a variable reach, allowing for easy transport of massive loads and handling them in space. Trolleys of this type have a four-wheel drive, which makes them extremely useful when working in difficult conditions. For this reason, they can often be found, for example, on farms. This type of forklift truck is also characterized by large maximum load, even up to twenty-two tons. The loader arm is able to carry this weight even to a height up to thirty metersTherefore, the variable-reach forklift will be perfect wherever there is a need to maneuver heavy loads.
In Poland, forklifts are among the devices subject to technical inspection. Driving or operating such a machine requires appropriate competence. Improperly handled forklifts can pose a serious risk to both the operator and others. Improperly adjusted speed or load weight may lead to the machine overturning. Therefore, before you start using a forklift, you must first pass a skill test. In Poland, there are three categories of permits for forklifts:
- I WJO - 5-year qualifications
The most popular category due to the fact that it combines all the permits guaranteed by the other two categories. The holder of such licenses can drive all forklifts, including all specialized forklifts, i.e. high-storage trucks, lifting the operator and telescopic loaders. It is worth spending time on the course, as it entitles you to practice as a forklift operator in all categories.
- II WJO - 10-year qualifications
This license category allows you to drive forklift trucks, but without specialized forklifts. These qualifications allow you to drive any forklift truck, regardless of the type of drive or the maximum height available.
- III WJO - 10-year qualifications
Within this category, only those forklifts that are driven in front of the operator are granted. This includes powered pallet trucks and guided trucks.
Forklift course is available to individuals - in the form of open training - and to organised groups - in the form of closed training. The forklift course can be taken by anyone who:
- Has at least basic education
- He is eighteen years old
- He has no health contraindications for the profession of a forklift operator
Anyone who meets these basic conditions can apply for the qualifications needed to become a forklift operator.