10 Most Important Components of a Forklift

If you are someone who owns or operates a forklift you don’t need us to tell you, that the more you know about your equipment, the better you’ll be able to take care of it! So, without much ado, let’s get started and help you know your vehicle right away. 

  • Forks

As the name suggests, forks are the most important components of a forklift. They are essentially the arms that help lift, support and carry the load. Primarily located on the front end of the equipment, the width and alignment of the forks can vary depending on your specific needs. 

To make sure the forks remain in top shape, you must never overload them. Moreover, you should get a bend, cracked or damaged fork repaired at the earliest possible to void any mishap. 

  • Carriage

When it comes to lifting and stabilizing the load that has been lifted by the mast, Carriage comes into the picture. Usually, carriage comprises of two parts – the forks and the load backrest. While we have already learned about the forks, let us tell you more about the load backrest. It is essentially the flat surface designed to help support the load, situated towards the end of the forks at the back of the carriage. The backrest ensures that the load doesn’t slide back from the forks. 

  • Forklift Mast

The mast of the forklift is what helps accomplish the most critical function of the forklift, i.e. lifting the forks along with the load. The mast comprises interlocking rails powered by two types of hydraulic cylinders which enable load lifting. The Lift Hydraulic Cylinder enables the upward and downward movement of the load, while the Tilt Hydraulic Cylinder facilitates the angular and tilting movement of the load. Depending on the specific needs of a business or facility, a forklift may have duplex mast, triplex mast, or quad mast stages. 

  • Truck Frame

It is a metal frame that has a vast majority of the forklift components attached to it. These components include – wheels, axles, engine, mast, counterweight, and overhead guard. The frame is essentially the skeleton of the forklift. 

  • Counterweight

Often mounted onto the truck frame, the counterweight is the weight held by the backend of a forklift to balance the weight of the lifted load. The sole purpose of the counterweight is to prevent the equipment from tipping over. 

  • Operator Cab

This is the cabin that seats the forklift driver. Depending on the type and brand of the equipment, the driver may simply have a place to stand, and not sit. Again some forklifts are facilitated with an enclosed cab with heating and cooling, while others are not. The cab comprises various levers and gauges that help control the forks and the mast. It also includes a steering wheel, brake, and acceleration pedals that aid the movement of the forklift itself.

  • Power Source

There are two distinct power sources in a forklift, depending on the model. A forklift can either have an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor powered by a battery. The former runs on Gasoline, Diesel, LPG or CNG, while the latter runs on a rechargeable battery. As may be evident, forklifts with combustion engines are rather complex in their structure and have a comparatively higher number of internal components. 

  • Forklift Tires

To move a forklift efficiently and safely it requires just the right amount of traction – something which is offered by forklift tires. While most forklifts are facilitated with four wheels, there are a few that come with a three-wheel layout which makes them apt for use in confined space. More often than not, forklift tires are either of the below-mentioned types –

  • Cushion Tires – As the name indicate, these tires are meant to be used on smooth surfaces with virtually no traction. Such tires are meant for comparatively smaller facilities and require little to no maintenance. 
  • Pneumatic Tires – Contrarily, these tires come with the requisite traction to function on rough, uneven surfaces. Made using solid rubber, these tires require adequate care and maintenance.
  • Overhead Guard

As implied, the overhead guard is a protective frame around the cab that helps protect the driver from any load that may fall over. In order to make the overhead guard completely foolproof, many operators chose to facilitate it with an added layer of protection. 

  • Forklift Attachments

There are many attachments that are available in the market to help enhance the functionality of the forklift. While some of these allow for additional movement capability, others permit additional load-bearing. Some of the most commonly used forklift attachments include – 

  • Dimensioning Devices
  • Side Shifters
  • Fork Positioners
  • Rotators
  • Pole Attachments
  • Clamp Attachments
  • Snow Plows
  • Drum Handlers
  • Telescopic Forks

We hope that you now have a substantially better know-how of the composition of a forklift. For what it’s worth, this knowledge will empower you to take better care of your equipment which will eventually help extend its lifespan!

FAQs

  • Does it matter which replacement parts I put on my forklift?

That will be a resounding YES! Your forklift warranted a substantial investment, and you don’t want to compromise its functionality by using low-quality parts. Hence, it is best to get your forklift parts repaired and replaced by a trusted forklift repair service in Mobile, AL who will offer you Genuine Forklift Parts. 

  • How often does my forklift need maintenance?

Well, this depends on the age of your forklift and the extent of your use. Anyway, the best way to ensure the holistic maintenance of your forklift is to opt for the highly affordable Scheduled Maintenance Package from Southern Lift Trucks! This will ensure prompt maintenance of your forklift so that you can enjoy the maximum possible return on your investment!