Thinking Big - Heavy Forklifts Move Forward

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

As one of New Jersey and New York's premier forklift dealers, we like to share the most recent lift truck and forklift industry news. Read on to learn what makes heavy forklifts different from their smaller counterparts when it comes to working environment, workload, and adaptability. 

Source: Forklift Action

If forklifts are the workhorses of the materials handling world, then heavy forklifts are the draughthorses – reliable, tough and steady. The size of heavy forklifts means they have limited manoeuvrability and reduced visibility; both factors influence safety and ergonomic design. The huge lifting capacity of up to 55 T exposes them to additional physical stress on parts, engine and chassis and also increases their exposure to potential accidents. According to Richard Umstead, USA regional manager, Cargotec, heavy forklifts are regularly asked to do more than their fair share of work. "Go get the ‘big dog’ and let’s get that thing off the truck", Umstead says, is a common cry across yards in North America. "They know the ‘dog’ will lift it, they will make it work!" he adds. He concedes that operators often exceed the recommended lift ratings, forcing many manufacturers to "over-engineer" heavy forklifts. Although lifting above the advised weight is not recommended by any manufacturer, Umstead says that Kalmar understands the "big dog mentality" and includes components of a higher rating than the capacity of the truck as standard in their heavy forklifts. The forklifts are rigorously tested in dedicated testing facilities in Sweden or the US before reaching market. 

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