Telescopic forklifts are indispensable for any construction or mining work. They are designed in such a way that they can withstand any sort of terrain and work under the harshest of weather conditions. Generally they are provided with a four wheel drive system that enables them to work in rough terrain. These machines also have good ground clearance. These two features make a telescopic forklift easy to navigate. Some high performance forklifts are able to lift weights of over 10 tones and up to a height of over 15 meters. There is not much difference in appearance of telescopic forklifts. They all look more or less alike and have a similar mode of operation. They generally use LPG or diesel as fuel.
They are provided with a special feature called the telescopic boom. Unlike a standard forklift, a telescopic forklift can move this telescopic boom forwards and upwards as desired. There are also a wide range of attachments that can be used with a telescopic forklift. It can be fitted with pallet forks, lift table, bucket or a muck grab that makes it applicable for a wide range of jobs. A telescopic forklift fitted with a pallet fork is used widely for moving loads where a general forklift truck cannot reach. Even though a forklift is provided with weights to counterbalance the loads, heavier loads make the forklift highly unstable. Raising the boom reduces the forklift’s ability to handle heavier loads. Some forklifts are able to handle loads of over 55 tones and lift of up to 18 feet.
The operator must be careful while handling heavier loads with the machine. All operators are trained specially to handle a telescopic forklift. They have to ensure that the job given to them is performed safely. Many such machines are nowadays provided with a computer that monitors the actions of the vehicle closely with the help of sensors. These sensors alert the operator of any danger and cuts off the controls of the vehicle if it detects any unsafe action.
A slight modification is the deep reach telescopic forklift available which enables efficient use of warehouse space. Rising increase of warehouse costs have led to an optimization of space by using such “reach” forklifts. Reach trucks require much less space and can be operated in much smaller area. Such machines have shown an overall improvement of space utilization by 21 percent. Deep reach trucks allow us to position two pallets- one pallet is placed behind the other, from the same position. The pallets can be moved in the same way, when the first pallet has been moved the truck can retrieve the second one placed behind it. One recent addition to the materials handling department is the “swing-reach” lift commonly known as the turret truck. Turret truck doesn’t require turning while handling pallets from both sides of an aisle. It is used for routine pallet handling.
Experts are of that opinion that deep reach trucks are the most productive fork trucks developed till date. These machines have the advantage of high speed, handling while traveling. Currently swing reach machines are being integrated with computer guidance technology. This will make inventory handling a very easy and relatively automated task.