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With most forklifts, it is very important to avoid venturing into unstable terrain. Potholes, ice, steep gradients, and other forms of rough terrain are best avoided in order to protect the safety of both the operator and the lift truck itself. This is, of course, accepted as fact within the forklift industry. Still, many forklift operators may have jobs that require driving into rocky or uneasy terrain. It is for these jobs that rough terrain forklifts are particularly necessary, as they allow the operator to complete jobs in areas that are simply out of reach for standard forklifts. In this post, we offer a basic overview of rough terrain forklifts, including how they are able to handle rough terrain.
Anatomy of rough terrain forklifts
Rough terrain forklifts are similar to standard forklifts in that use pneumatic forklift tires, but the treads are much thicker, which makes them well-suited to tricky terrain. The tires allow them to traverse rocks, snow, ice, and other such surfaces. Some of the tires are solid rubber, while others have air. Many rough terrain forklifts also benefit from having four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. As with many standard forklifts, rough terrain forklifts are controlled by internal combustion engines. This keeps their refueling time at a relatively low level. One of the benefits that rough terrain forklifts offer over standard forklifts that are operated by internal combustion engines is that the rough terrain forklifts do not offer ventilation risks, as they are generally operated outdoors.
Rough terrain forklifts are able to carry more than standard forklifts, and it is not unusual to see them carry many tons of cargo. They are often used for transporting lumber, steel beams, bricks, and other materials that are transported to locations with unsteady ground. In addition to their tires, rough terrain forklifts are able to handle dangerous ground because they offer counterbalance at the back of the lift, which keeps the load from falling forward, as they would be likely to do on a standard forklift.
Because of the rugged composition of the rough terrain forklift, there may be a temptation to take risks that one wouldn’t with a standard lift truck. It is important to remember to stay safe, no matter which type of lift truck you operate. This means that personnel should never be elevated on the rough terrain forklift, and it is still necessary to conduct routine maintenance inspections. Never leave safety to chance.
Rough terrain forklifts offer performance advantages that are unattainable to standard forklifts. Anyone who needs to transport cargo over unstable ground should certainly look into one, but remember to keep following standard safety procedures.