How Has The Forklift Truck Evolved Since It Was Invented?
The forklift truck is a staple on building sites and in warehouses worldwide. They are vehicles that use hydraulic and mechanical systems in order to move heavy loads from one point to another, with prongs on the front that can easily pick up, transport and deposit materials.
The earliest forklift trucks appeared around the transition from the 19th century into the 20th century although they were quite different to the trucks we know today.
These early iterations of the forklift were steam-powered machines that were used to transport goods around factories and warehouses. By 1917 an electric forklift had been invented, leaving steam engines in the past.
Although similar to the trucks we are familiar with, these early models lacked control and precision and were therefore not suitable for use in many areas. However, in the 1940s hydraulic systems were added which allowed for easier operation of the machines.
The forklift was still bulky and inconvenient though and it wasn’t until the 60s that narrower machines were produced to allow forklifts to operate with ease within cramped warehouses. This is when forklifts began to resemble what we see today.
Since then, the forklift has stayed much the same with the exception of new and updated systems being added to improve efficiency. The basic concept remains as it was in the 1960s, however there have still been improvements made.
More recent advances have allowed for automated forklifts to take over, meaning less human management of the machines is necessary. These work well in areas that have easy, repetitive tasks.
Moving forward, it is thought that forklift trucks will become fully electrical to enable more energy efficiency and to help lower carbon emissions. This is part of the movement to try and create more machinery which is sustainable and eco-friendly.
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