Counterbalance forklift trucks are widely used in the materials handling industry and in factories/warehouses around the world. Top forklift manufacturers like Linde, Toyota and Mitsubishi all make counterbalance forklifts, plus you can get one in a fuel choice to suit your needs (diesel, gas or electric). A typical counterbalanced forklift truck contains the following components:
The Truck Frame – is the base of the machine to which all the other parts – mast, axles, wheels, counterweight, and power source are attached. The frame may have fuel and hydraulic fluid tanks constructed as part of the forklift truck frame assembly.
The Counterweight – is a heavy cast iron mass attached to the rear of the forklift truck frame. The purpose of the counterweight is to counterbalance the load being lifted, obviously up to a certain load weight. In an electric forklift the large lead-acid battery itself may serve as part/all of the counterweight.
The Cab – is the area that contains a seat for the operator along with the control pedals, steering wheel, levers, switches and a dashboard containing operator readouts.
The Mast – is the vertical assembly that does the majority of the work of raising and lowering the load.
The Power Source – may consist of an internal combustion engine that can be powered by LP gas, CNG gas, gasoline or diesel fuel. Electric forklifts are powered by either a battery or fuel cells that provide power to electric motors. The motors may be either DC or AC types.
Fork Attachments – a variety of types of material handling forklift attachments are available. These include sideshifters, slipsheet attachments, carton clamps, multipurpose clamps, rotators, fork positioners, carpet poles, pole handlers, container handlers, roll clamps and many others, many companies will specially design bespoke attachments if required
A counterbalanced forklift offers some benefits over fork-over design and straddle-leg styles but with some other drawbacks. A counterbalanced forklift can lift pallets directly off the floor since there are no stabilisation legs to get in the way. The disadvantages of this type of counterbalanced forklift are that the weight capacity and lift height will typically be less than the other styles. The counterbalanced forklift is the easiest electric forklift to use for parking pallets closely together.