Fact or Fiction: Forklifts

By: Christopher Neiger

Fact or Fiction: Forklifts
Image: © iStockphoto.com/Niko Guido

About This Quiz

Forklifts are an important part of our manufacturing industries. Think you know all there is to know about them? Take the quiz and find out how these powerhouses came about, how they lift our heavy stuff and where technology is taking them.
The Tructractor, which was built in 1917 to move materials at an axle plant, helped pave the way for the forklift industry.
Fact
The Tructractor, although technically not a forklift, paved the way for forklifts by introducing a new way to move heavy materials around a plant.
Fiction

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The first forklift was invented by Toyota in 1923.
Fact
Fiction
The first forklift was invented by Yale Materials Handling Corporation in 1923. It had forks on the end to pick up loads and could raise them up using an elevated mast.

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The development of power steering and standardized battery sizes helped increase production of forklifts.
Fact
Fiction
The development of standardized wood pallets in 1930 (and later, World War II) actually helped increase the production of forklifts.

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Shortly after electric forklifts were invented, many were designed with a typically rechargeable battery that could last about eight hours.
Fact
An electric forklift's battery had to last as long as a normal shift, so they were designed for eight-hour capacity.
Fiction

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In the 1950s, forklifts were built to raise materials up to 50 feet (15.2 meters), which was higher than ever before.
Fact
Warehouses were being built up instead of built out in the 1950s, so forklifts were made that could reach up to 50 feet (15.2 meters).
Fiction

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For safety purposes, forklifts were equipped with brakes in the 1980s.
Fact
Fiction
Forklifts were equipped with operator safety restraints in the 1980s.

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Forklifts are part of an Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) classification called industrial trucks.
Fact
A forklift is an industrial truck and fits into seven classifications of that term.
Fiction

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The seven types of forklift classifications are determined by things like the types of forklift wheels, power sources and the terrain they drive on.
Fact
Many of the forklift classifications are determined by things like the types of forklift wheels, power sources and the terrain they drive on.
Fiction

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Forklifts only use pneumatic tires, made of a durable rubber that can go outdoors. They're similar to the tires used on cars.
Fact
Fiction
Forklifts can use both pneumatic tires and solid tires. Solid tires are made of solid rubber and are ideal for indoor use on hard, flat surfaces.

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Besides the frame, counterweight, mast, forks, back rest and overhead guard, another basic element that makes up a forklift is the power source.
Fact
The power source is an important part of the forklift and can consist of a battery pack or an internal combustion engine that burns liquid propane, gasoline or diesel fuel.
Fiction

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To operate a forklift, drivers must pass a physical that includes an eye exam.
Fact
Fiction
Forklifts can be dangerous, so all operators must pass an official safety certification program to receive a forklift license.

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Forklifts aren't just used in the warehouse; they can be used on construction sites as well. These forklifts are called rough-terrain forklifts.
Fact
Rough-terrain forklifts can lift construction equipment, roofing supplies, bricks and lumber. They can lift the weight equivalent of a pickup truck to the top of a four-story building!
Fiction

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Battery-powered forklifts are an efficient alternative to internal combustion engine (ICE) forklifts, and the all-electric units typically outlive their ICE counterparts.
Fact
Battery-powered forklifts typically last about 20 to 30 percent longer than internal combustion forklifts.
Fiction

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In 2010, orders for electric forklifts accounted for about 25 percent of all forklift orders.
Fact
Fiction
The orders for electric forklifts made up more than 60 percent of all forklift orders in 2010.

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The Yale Materials Handling Corporation incorporates regenerative braking into some of their forklifts so energy can be sent back into the batteries during braking.
Fact
Some Yale forklifts incorporate regenerative braking to capture energy during braking. Some of their models even use similar technology when lowering a load.
Fiction

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Forklifts are beginning to use alternative sources of power. In fact, about 20 percent of all new forklifts make use of some sort of solar power.
Fact
Fiction
Hydrogen fuel cells, as well as liquid propane and clean diesel, are being used as alternative energy sources in newer forklifts.

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The Sidewinder is a relatively new type of forklift that can move in any direction.
Fact
The Sidewinder forklift can move in any direction using a series of rollers as wheels. Its ability to move loads while driving sideways makes it especially unique.
Fiction

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Automated forklifts are sometimes used to pick up and drop off materials without the need for a driver.
Fact
Automated forklifts eliminate the need for a human driver and are programmed to pick up and drop off materials in different locations.
Fiction

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Automated forklifts are currently used only in the automotive industry.
Fact
Fiction
Automated forklifts are showing up in all kinds of industries, including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, printing, newspaper and warehouses.

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Automated forklifts use a sonar guidance system to maneuver through warehouses and factories.
Fact
Fiction
Automated forklifts use laser, inertial, wire and optical guidance systems to make their way through warehouses and factories. These systems incorporate laser beams, magnets, sensors and antenna to determine the exact location of the forklift at any given time.

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You Got:
/20
© iStockphoto.com/Niko Guido

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