A Brief History of Forklifts in America
- Author Robert Whitley
- Published November 12, 2008
- Word count 378
Our modern economy has a tendency to take forklifts and forklift truck technology for granted. These industrial machines were created in the beginning of the 20th century as American was still going through a rapid industrialization post World War 1. Many companies were moving from other industries into the material handling industry. Hyster, for example, started out in the logging industry, but by the 1930s started to shift its focus to the burgeoning materials handling industry and began developing forklifts.
During and after World War 2, the forklift became a staple of industrialization. They were used during the war to bring supplies to the front lines and were also used to transport military goods from American factories to foreign ports. American warehouses used forklifts and lift trucks to increase productivity and efficiency in their materials handling.
As the decades progressed, so did technology, and increasingly forklifts were going electric. Electric forklifts often provide lower operating costs and tend to be more ecofriendly than gas powered forklift trucks. Electric forklifts have become a standard for businesses that want to compete in today's international economy.
Forklifts have come a long way from their humble origins. They were originally created by modifying tractors by applying lifts to them, but soon enough they become an entire industry of their own. The advent of electric forklifts is a testament to the ongoing evolution of forklift technology. Many industrial forklifts now utilize rear-wheel steering, increasing the ability of the forklift driver to maneuver in narrow environments.
Since forklifts are so prevalent today, there is a great market for used forklifts. Used forklifts provide a business the opportunity to minimize their costs and increase productivity by buying a quality used forklift, rather than paying thousands of dollars more for a new forklift. More and more businesses are turning toward buying used forklifts because buying new forklifts is considerably more expensive.
Hopefully this brief introduction to the history of forklifts and the continuing evolution of forklift technology has taught you a few things and increased your appreciation for this often overlooked tool of modernity. Forklifts will continue to be used by business all over the world and will continue to be an integral part of running a successful business and staying competitive in the increasingly international 21st century.
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