• The Story of the Forklift Truck



    Since it’s invention, the forklift has drastically contributed to the high efficiency rates of modern day manufacturing. This is the story of how this magnificent piece of equipment came to be.

    The first World War saw the first major developments in material handling equipment following Pennsylvania Railroads introduction of battery powered platform trucks for moving luggage in 1906. The early 1900?s brought United States companies Clark, Towmotor and Yale & Towne onto the scene with their versions of forklifts. The second World War brought even more advancements and by the late 1950?s Toyota had entered the market and the industry began to form itself into what we are a part of today.

    Modern forklifts are quite different than the originals. In the beginning there were only a few standard models with low capacities but now there are over a hundred design types including: hand pallet, walkie, low lift, towing tractor, stacker, reach, electric counterbalance, internal combustion, electric, telescopic handler, order picker, articulated counterbalance, narrow aisle, omni-directional, UL safety rated and many more.

    In today’s manufacturing world you will find lift trucks operating in thousands of different environments. On one end of the spectrum are forklifts from companies like Mariotti that can fit thru a standard doorway and transport items as narrow as 12 inches. On the other, fascinating big trucks from companies like Hyster with capacities that reach 200,000lbs transporting steel beams and train cars. Whether the job is big or small, the forklift of today is ready for it.

    The most important advancements in the forklift over the years have pertained to safety. While still a dangerous machine to operate, modern forklifts are far safer than those operated during our World Wars. Improved balance and counter weight technology, the addition of lights and horns as well as the construction of the overhead guard are just a few of the improvements.

    It has been quite a ride for the lift truck over the past 100 years and the future is sure to bring more exciting breakthroughs. Here at MH Equipment, we are proud to offer fleet management, parts and service for these machines. We also feature one of the largest rental fleets in the business and our selection of new and used forklifts is second to none. Call us at 1-888-564-2191 or visit one of our locations in Danville, Decatur, East Peoria, Ottawa, Illinois; Indianapolis, Evansville, Indiana; Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Eldridge, Ottumwa, Sioux City, Waterloo, Iowa; Louisville, Calvert City, Bowling Green, Lexington, Kentucky; Cape Girardeau, St. Louis, Missouri; Grand Island, Omaha, Nebraska; Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania and Charleston, West Virginia.

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