What Are the Benefits of Forklifts?

by Jennifer VanBaren; Updated September 26, 2017
Warehouse workers use forklifts to move goods.

Forklifts are a type of machinery used primarily for moving heavy things. Since the invention of forklifts, workers are able to move materials easily to different locations. These machines help workers to increase their productivity and eliminate the strain on the body caused by lifting heavy objects.

Safety

Before the invention of forklifts, many factories and warehouses used a system of ropes, cables and pulleys to move heavy crates, boxes and objects. This system was very dangerous, and safety for workers greatly increased following the introduction of forklifts. Workers are trained to operate the forklifts, which are designed to pick up heavy objects. The objects are moved to the desired location where the machine then sets them back down.

Maneuverability and Load Capacity

Forklifts are one of the smallest drivable pieces of machinery. They are compact enough to fit in relatively small areas and are easily maneuverable to turn in various directions. Depending on the forklift, many can handle carrying loads up to 35,000 pounds. Smaller forklifts may only have a 3,000 or 5,000 pound capacity, however.

Types

There are three main types of forklifts, each used for different main purposes. Internal combustion forklift are generally used outdoors because they are powered by gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas or propane. This type of forklift emits exhaust gases and therefore is generally not used indoors. Electric forklifts offer benefits for indoor uses. They are powered by batteries, are less expensive to operate compared to gas-operated lifts and are much quieter. Manual forklifts are non-motorized units and are not as versatile as the other two kinds. They can only lift goods off of the ground several inches and have a low load capacity.

Other Benefits

The use of forklifts allows companies to easily move goods around. It eliminates the need for manpower and reduces the amount of time required to move goods. Forklifts also allow companies to move things up and down to higher locations than what could be reached by hand.

About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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