The History And Uses Of The ForkLift

By El Camino Rental Posted August 11, 2015 In Construction Equipment, forklift rental

The History And Uses Of The ForkLift

Invention And Evolution Of The Forklift

Prior to the 20th century, the common method for moving heavy materials was the use of a hoist. While this was easier and more efficient than manpower alone, the labor shortages of World War I created the need for even more efficient movement of materials. Thus, the forklift was born. This machine was not invented overnight, but came to be what it is today in stages. Once a specialty item, construction equipment rentals make this machine more accessible than ever before. – The History and Uses of the ForkLift

At the beginning of the first World War, battery operated platform trucks were just beginning to use platforms that could rise or be lowered. These machines were quite simple with no hydraulic power. These generally lifted materials only a few inches allowing chains and hoists to do the remainder of the work. Though limited, these machines did improve the efficiency with which cargo could be loaded and unloaded. By 1920, the first truck with a lift powered by hydraulics was introduced. By 1923, Yale produced an electric truck with forks to lift loads. This is considered the first forklift.

These trucks were not immediately popular, but by the 1930′s – in an effort to make shipping more efficient – the pallet was invented. This made the stacking of goods more uniform and stable and the use of these machines soared. The production increases caused by World War II continued to make these machines popular. It was now necessary for this construction equipment to run 8 hours a day without a need to be charged. This led to new models with longer battery life. By the 1950′s these trucks needed to be more powerful and maneuverable as warehouses had limited space and were beginning to stack materials higher. The height of materials now being lifted raised safety concerns that remain today, and developments in operator cages and load balancing technology continue to evolve. Improvements also continue to be made in the type of power used by these machines. Battery power, electricity, propane and hydrogen fuel cells are among the options being used or explored for use.

Forklifts today are stronger, more maneuverable and more energy efficient than ever before. The applications are nearly endless and construction equipment rentals make these machines accessible nearly anywhere. No longer do construction companies have to purchase these machines. They now can be made available whenever needed to move materials to and from construction sites.