What Are the Different Forklift Parts?

Lori Kilchermann

Forklift parts consist of many different pieces that create the complete machine. From hydraulic hoses to batteries, cables and electric motors, forklift parts are usually very heavy and made of only the best materials. A lot of steel beams and solid steel bracing material are used in building the lift carriage, while hydraulic cylinders and heavy chains are used to move the forks to the top of the carriage. Rubber tires, steel wheels and a drive axle are used to propel the forklift through the warehouse. A seat, steering wheel and foot pedals allow an operator to drive and control the heavyweight machine.

Electric or small gas motors, hydraulics, and a traction system are among the many components that make up a forklifts.
Electric or small gas motors, hydraulics, and a traction system are among the many components that make up a forklifts.

There are many bolts in the list of forklift parts, and they hold nearly every single piece of the machine together. The parts that are not bolted together are typically welded together. Beginning with a bare chassis, forklift parts are added until the completed forklift is able to be driven off of the assembly line. Electric-powered machines receive a big electric motor capable of operating both the propulsion and the hydraulics of the forklift. Several batteries and lots of heavy gauge wire are used to attach the motor to the power source.

Indoor forklifts typically have electric-powered motors.
Indoor forklifts typically have electric-powered motors.

The gas-powered models get two forklift parts that are not found on an electric version: a radiator and a muffler. These attach to the gas-powered engine, and a gas line and gas tank mount are also installed. The type of gas that is used is liquid propane, more commonly known as LP gas. This type of gas is used because the exhaust fumes will not harm humans when the machine is used inside a warehouse or inside of a semi trailer. The cooling system is created from several forklift parts, from the radiator itself to a cooling fan and radiator hoses that connect the radiator to the engine and coolant pump.

Included in the forklift parts required to build a complete machine is a transmission and a steering system. A simple forward and reverse transmission is commonly used in most forklifts, and a rear steer assembly is also common to most forklifts. By steering the machine at the rear, the forks are able to be pivoted nearly 90 degrees without moving forward. This allows an operator to place a pallet load of supplies on a shelf in a very tight space. The final forklift parts to be installed on the machine are the forks themselves. These large and heavy forklift parts are typically shipped off of the machine and installed by the new owner.

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