Learning about the Forklift Parts


A forklift, if properly maintained, will last for years, so using the right forklift parts is important. A forklift (sometimes called a lift truck or tow-motor) is an industrial truck whose main purpose is to lift and move materials.

Forklift comes in a variety of types, sizes and designs. And they are powered by either electricity or an internal combustion engine fueled by gasoline, diesel, kerosene, butane, propane or natural gas. Engines may be two-stroke or four-stroke and come with or without advanced emission control systems depending upon the requirements of the country of manufacture.

The specific environment where the forklift is used also determines the type and structure of the truck. There are forklifts specially designed for very narrow aisles, high-rise warehouses, full pallets or smaller-than-pallet shipments. There are forklifts that are omni-directional capable of moving in any direction rotating 360 degree on its own footprint. Also, there forklifts that are specially designed for potentially explosive environments where flammable materials are moved and stored.

There are different forklift parts for the different components of the lift truck. The more important components are the mast, power supply, cab and frame. And most of the replacements for forklift parts will belong to one of these components.

The mast is the component that lifts and lowers the load and is either simplex, duplex, triplex or quad. The lift cylinder, lift chains, backrest, carriage and forks are parts of the mast. The power supply is what gives the lift truck its power through an internal combustion engine or electricity. The cab is where the forklift operator sits or stands. It contains the controls, steering wheel, gauges and safety instruments. The frame has all the other parts of the lift truck, the most important of which are the counterweights at the back of the truck. These balance the weight and keep the truck from tilting forward when it carries a load.

In replacing forklift parts, the first step is to check the manual that comes with the truck. The manual has all the information needed to identify a specific part. It has a diagram of the specific truck and labels each part with a name and number. Every forklift component has a model number, serial number and the type of truck stamped on it. Each part, in addition to the model number, has a part number to accurately identify the part that needs replacement.

Because they carry heavy loads and are constantly on the move, forklift parts will eventually need replacement. Learning how to properly identify forklift parts will make it easier to replace the part when it becomes necessary.