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What Is a Forklift Transporter?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2016
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A forklift transporter is a heavy truck capable of carrying one or more forklifts or other lift trucks, like scissor lifts. Such transportation is necessary for product delivery as well as movements for maintenance and other activities. Lift trucks are not designed for high rates of speed, let alone operation on open roads and highways, and a transporter may be required by law when a forklift needs to pass along public streets. Numerous companies make trucks suitable for this purpose, and it is possible to contract forklift transportation services as necessary.

There are two different configurations available with a forklift transporter. One is a flatbed truck, and the other is a tractor-trailer arrangement. In both cases, a heavy truck is needed to supply the power to move the forklift. Lifts can be extremely heavy, especially if multiple goods are being carried in one load. The truck driver also needs training and experience in handling these kinds of loads, as they may perform differently than other bulk goods.

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With a flatbed forklift transporter, the lift truck is exposed to the elements on the back of the truck. An operator will need to drive the forklift into position so it can be chocked in place and locked down with chains to prevent movement. If weather conditions will be poor, a cover may be added to protect the forklift, and any enclosed areas will be closed and sealed to protect their contents. It is possible to fit multiple forklifts onto a truck, in which case the truck driver may need to carefully balance the load for safety and handling.

In a tractor-trailer forklift transporter, the operator drives the forklift into an enclosed trailer. It will still need to be secured with chains, chocks, and other safety measures to prevent it from slamming into the sides of the trailer. Multiple forklifts may fit, although it may be necessary to remove the lift arms for safety and maneuvering room. This form of transport can be a good option with brand new products, to protect them from damage during transit.

Forklift transporter companies will pick up and deliver forklifts as directed by their clients. Their rates can vary depending on location, size, and distance. If the company needs to make arrangements to switch to a train or ship at some point during the trip, this can add to the costs of transport. Such companies may also charge extra fees for moving across international borders, because they have to deal with customs services.

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