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The standard components of forklifts are the frame, counterweight, cab, overhead guard, and the pronged fork. The cab of the forklift will contain a space for the operator to sit or stand. Stick-like controls and buttons are used to operate the forklift; hand pallet jacks are operated manually with cranks. The overhead guard is the roof of the cab, which protects the operator from accidental falling material. The counterweight is attached the rear of the cab to balance the weight being lifted by the fork. Forklifts have rear wheel steering for maneuverability.
How forklifts work
To move material with a forklift the operator drives forward and inserts the fork underneath the material to be moved. The fork is then raised slightly and the lift can be driven to the new location. Forklifts should be driven with their load near the ground to remain balanced. Lifts will come with maximum load and center of gravity specifications on clearly marked labels.
There are a variety of attachments with specific uses that can be added to forklifts. A few examples are barrel clamps, poles for rolled material, man baskets, and movable fork tines.
Forklifts are most commonly used in the manufacturing industry. They consist of a cab with a hydraulic lift on the front that utilizes a pronged fork to lift and transport materials. They are also known as a lift or fork truck, and they come in a variety of sizes and designs including stand up riders, sit down riders, motorized hand pallet jacks, turret trucks, and reach forklifts.