Lift trucks are mobile equipment which use 2 forks or prongs in order to place loads into positions which would normally be difficult to reach. Usually, lift trucks fall into 2 major categories: industrial and rough-terrain.
Most commonly, industrial forklifts are used around truck loading docks and train loading docks as well as in warehouse operations. These machines have smaller tires which are designed to run on smooth surfaces. Usually, industrial lift trucks are powered by an internal gasoline engine running on propane or diesel fuel.
Smaller lift trucks may run off an internal battery charging an electric motor. And as the name implies, the rough terrain forklift is engineered to be operated on rough and unpaved surfaces. Usually, they are the great alternative for construction and military applications. Rough terrain forklifts normally have large pneumatic tires which are generally powered by internal industrial engines which run on diesel or propane fuel. These forklift units can have a telescoping boom, that can lift loads up and out from the machine's base or they may use a vertical tower, which is responsible for carrying cargo straight up.
The rough terrain lift truck emerged in 1946, after a 2 pronged lift attachment was attached to a tractor chassis or a power buggy. This first machinery was used around construction locations and can lift to a height of 76 cm or 30 inches and had a lifting capacity can lift 454 kg or 1000 pounds. Vertical tower forklifts were quickly developed for industrial application and rough terrain lift trucks became famous as well. By the time the 1950s came around, there were available models that could lift up to heights of 9 meters or 30 feet and had lift capacities of 1135 kg or 2500 pounds.
The first 4-wheel drive rough terrain forklift was introduced in 1958. It offered a capacity of 2724 kg or 6000 lbs. and had a lift height of 7 meters or 22.5 feet or 1362 kg or 3000 lbs. and 35 feet or 11 meters. The very first telescoping boom rough terrain lift truck emerged on the market during the year 1962. This specific unit enabled loads to be positioned out from the base of the equipment both above and below grade.