What Are The Main Parts of a Forklift Truck?
But as brands continue to adapt the design of the forklift truck, we must remember the basics of the machine, and understand the role of each component on the truck. That’s why, we, at Trucks Direct, have put together this simple guide to help you understand the main parts of a forklift truck and what they do within the machine.
So, read, enjoy and be sure to share with a fellow forklift operator.
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What are the main parts of a forklift?
The main parts of a forklift and the ones that we will be covering in-depth today are:
- Truck frame
- Operator cab
- Power source
- Forklift mast
So, with those listed, let’s explore each part in more detail, and see what their role is within the forklift.
The forklift truck frame is very much like the chassis of a car, as it is the metal frame that many of the major components are attached to within the truck.
The counterweight is installed on the back end of the truck, within the truck frame. It is a crucial player in the working of a forklift truck as it keeps the load stable and prevents tipping by balancing the weight.
The counterweight does have its limits, however, only being designed to counterbalance the intended maximum weight of a truck. If not used in this way, the forklift can become a hazard, which we have outlined in our numerous safety guides.
The operator cab is the part of the forklift in which the user sits. It contains the majority of the controls. Including the following:
- Steering wheel
- Brake pedals
- Acceleration pedals
- Levers that control the forks
- Levers that control the mast
- The dashboard of the truck
The operator cab more than often has a seat on which the operator sits to control the truck, however, some cabs are designed for the operator to stand in. In addition to this, the operator cab features something known as the overhead guard which acts as a roof over the head of the operator and is an essential safety feature.
The two types of power sources for forklifts are the internal combustion engine or an electric motor powered by battery or fuel cells.
Much like your car, the internal combustion engine injects liquid fuel and air into a cylinder with a piston that is powered by a crankshaft. A spark plug initiates the explosion that pushes the piston down in the cylinder. From this, the downward energy is converted into mechanical energy. This subsequently powers the forklift truck.
We have previously covered the forklift mast extensively on Trucks Direct, which you can read about here.
However, for a quick rundown, the forklift mast consists of two cylinders; the lift cylinder and the tilt cylinder.
The mast is the vertical assembly at the front of the machine made up of interlocking rails that lift the forks and the load. There are several types of masts including
- Duplex masts
- Triplex masts
- Quad masts
The forklift carriage is a highly important part of the mast, being used to lift and keep the load stable. This generally consists of two parts, the forks and the backrest of the load. The forks are the protruding pieces of metal at the bottom of the carriage that is physically used to lift the load.
The load backrest is the flat surface at the back of the carriage that helps to support the load as well as protect the operator themselves.
Forklift tires are something that we have covered in depth at Trucks Direct. But here is the gist of it.
Forklifts require one of two types of tires. These are cushion tires or pneumatic tires. The cushion tires are typically used indoors on smoother surfaces due to their low traction. Whereas pneumatic tires are better suited to outdoor environments and rough terrain situations as they have the traction to handle it.
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