Essential Forklift Components & Their Functions

A multipurpose machine that has a wide variety of application on any construction site, the forklift is an essential piece of equipment. Having a single forklift out of commission can seriously impact productivity, thus making you lose both time and money. Being able to quickly repair a forklift is then a crucial resource to any construction worker or company.

Essential Forklift Components & Their Functions

To ensure the speedy recovery of any broken or damaged forklift, Johnston Equipment offers full-service forklift repairs by trained technicians. Able to aid any forklift-related issue, Johnston’s Forklift Service and Repairs team can handle any problem, but while you may have experts only a call away, you should definitely still know your way around a forklift.

Anyone operating a forklift should have at least a basic understanding of the machine’s makeup and various parts. Even if you’ve completed forklift training, your memory may be a little hazy, so get refreshed with the rundown of forklift component names and functions below.

Mast – Raises and lowers the load, which can come in four different types: simplex, duplex, triplex, and quad. Each variety corresponds to a different height the mast is able to carry a load at. Masts are almost always placed on the front of the forklift, with the exception of sideloaders.

Forks – Sometimes referred to as “tynes,” these are the cantilevered beams protruding from the carriage that hold the load itself.

Carriage – Where the forks are attached to and supported by.

Back Rest – Essential for safety and functionality, the back rest is a barrier which serves to protect the forklift’s mast cylinders and the operator from the load while also holding it in place.

Lift & Tilt Cylinder – Two sets of controls which move the mast, forks, and carriage, and also the load to different positions. The Lift Cylinder elevates or lowers whereas the Tilt Cylinder controls how much the load is titled forwards or backwards.

Power Source – Forklifts can be fueled by several different power sources: gas, diesel, propane, and electric/battery. Each type of power source is mounted onto a forklift in a different way, while also designating where the forklift can be safely used. Battery and propane-powered forklifts can be operated inside and outside; gas and diesel forklifts can only be used outdoors.

Rating Plate – Incredibly important for safety purposes, the rating plate tells operators exactly how much a forklift can safely carry.

Counter Weight – Offsets the weight of the load to ensure proper stability.

Cab – The forklift’s driver seat and centre of controls.

Model & Part Number – The model number designates which type of components can be used with a specific forklift and is typically found on the rating plate. Part numbers are found on the separate components of the forklift. When replacing parts of a forklift, both the model and part number must be known.

Overhead Guard – Much like the name suggests this is a roof-like structure on the forklift, which provides overhead protection to the driver.

Now that you know the basic parts of a forklift, your understanding will be that much more enhanced, as well as your safety.