Forklift Glossary of Terms

Battery Capacity = Battery Capacity is measured with its ability to maintain power over a period of time with a specified consumption of energy, presented in Ampere hours (Ah). Common forklift voltages are 12, 24, 36, 48, 72 DC. 

Battery Compartment = The manufacturer’s allotted space of a lift truck, provided to house a battery. A A battery compartment is expressed as: L x W x H. (Length x Width x Height) 

Battery Model Identification = composed of 3 set of numbers expressed PER cell. (Voltage – Amps – Positive plates (Typically stamped into the 1 positive lead strap. Example: 18-85-25) 

Battery Weight, min. = Minimum weight of a battery for per lift truck model recommended by the OEM. 

Boom = A powered boom that extends as a telescope from within itself. 

Capacity = The rating given a lift truck indicating the amount of weight that a truck will lift to a predetermined fork height at a specified load center. Most common is 24” load center. 

Casters = Non-powered swiveled base caster/wheel(s) turn freely. 

Control Valves = A valve that controls the direction of flow of hydraulic fluid. 

Counterbalanced = A lift truck that utilizes weight in its chassis to counterbalance a load against the center line of the drive wheels. 

Data Plate = Typical a metal tag that is stamped by the manufacture showing MODEL and SERIAL number and pertinent data to further identify the unit. 

Duplex Mast = Same as Two-Stage Mast Full Free Lift Mast. 

Engine Manufacturer = References the OEM that manufactures the engine for a given model. 

Engine Model = References the engine nomenclature; sometimes dependent on the lift truck OEM. Many lift truck OEMs do not manufacture their own engines. 

Fork Carriage Width = The maximum width of the fork carriage. The carriage is designed to raise and lower in front of the mast; the forks connect to the carriage. 

Fork Size = Dimensions of lift truck forks, expressed as: thickness x width x length. 

Fork Spread = The maximum distance the forks can be positioned, expressed as width, measured from the outside edge of the forks. 

Free Lift = The vertical distance the forks can be raised before a mast begins to telescope. 

Freezer Protection = A means of preparing a lift truck to operate in freezer or cold environments. = conditioning may include specialized hydraulic oils, special paint and components. 

Full Free Lift = A truck where the fork carriage travels to the top of the inner mast before the inner mast begins to rise. 

Gradability = The maximum percent of a slope a lift truck can negotiate with a capacity load. 

Hours Per Year = The range of objective hours a user expects to operate a machine on a yearly basis; used as an RV Calculation factor. 

Hydraulic Pressure = Indicates the standard pressure of hydraulic fluid for a particular lift truck model, measured by pounds per square inch. 

Length to Fork Face = The length of the lift truck measured from the extreme rear end of the lift truck to the vertical surface of the fork face. 

Lift Speed, empty = The maximum upward speed forks can travel without a load. Lift Speed w/load = The maximum upward speed forks can travel with a maximum capacity load. 

Limited Free Lift = The amount the forks raise before the overall lowered height of a mast increases. 

Load Backrest = Connected to the fork carriage, the load backrest extends vertically; the load backrest is a grated shield, which prevents loads from sliding backwards. 

Load Capacity = The maximum weight a specified lift truck can lift and/or carry, specified by the OEM. 

Load Center = The horizontal distance between the front face and the longitudinal midpoint of an evenly distributed load. 

Load Wheels = The wheels located on the load end of a truck. 

Lower Speed, empty = The maximum downward speed forks can travel without a load. 

Lower Speed w/load = The maximum downward speed forks can travel with a maximum capacity load. 

Mast, Standard = (Standard Mast) the standard mast designated by the OEM 

Mast – Two-Stage = A telescoping mast that is comprised of two connecting masts: Limited Free Lift (FL) & Full Free Lift (FFL). 

Simplex Mast = Same as Two-Stage with limited Free Lift Mast. 

Mast Triple Stage = A telescoping mast, which is comprised of three, connecting masts, same as ThreeStage Mast. 

Mast Triplex Mast = Same as Triple Stage and Three-Stage Mast. 

Mast Quad Stage = A telescoping mast, which is comprised of four, connecting masts. 

Mast Boom = A boom that telescopes within itself.(normally manually adjusted) 

Mechanical Lift = A non electrical lift. 

MFH = Maximum Fork Height. The maximum height of lift truck forks when the mast of the lift truck has reached full extension. 

Narrow-Aisle Truck = A lift truck, which is designed specifically for narrow aisles. A narrow aisle is generally considered 7 to 9 feet wide. 

NET Horsepower =Maximum horsepower at the flywheel, with intake and exhaust systems in place and accounting for load from auxiliary systems. 

Operating Weight = The weight of a standard configured machine, which is assembled and in working order. Please see our specification sheets to see the operating weight. 

Order/Stock Picker = A forklift with all controls for raise/lower, travel mounted on an operator’s platform that raises and lowers with the forks. 

Overall Height Lowered = The height of a mast completely collapsed. 

Overall Height Raised = The maximum extended height of the top of the load backrest or fork carriage of a completely extended mast. 

Overall Width = distance between the widest part of a lift truck. In the Guru, when referring to overall width for class 2 & 3 trucks, overall width refers to the width of the power unit, not the outriggers. 

Overhead Guard = A framework above the operator’s head attached to a lift truck to protect an operator. Often referred to as “DOG” or Driver’s Over Head Guard. 

Overall Guard Height = The distance from the floor surface to highest point of the overhead guard. 

Power Type = Refers to the mode of energy or motive force by which a lift truck is propelled, examples include: gasoline/LPG/diesel engine, electric. 

Pneumatic Tire = An inflatable tire generally used in an outdoors environment. 

Quad-Stage Mast = A lift truck mast that has four sections 

Rated Output @ rpm = That engine power available at a specified output of a device under specified conditions of operation. Referenced as revolutions per minute (rpm). 

Rated Torque @ rpm = The force that rotates or turns a crankshaft; stated in lb-ft. 

Reach Truck = A truck equipped with a pantograph-type reach mechanism that allows the forks to extend out past the supporting outriggers. 

Reach Extension = The maximum distance a fork carriage can be extended forward, horizontally. This function is limited to some (Class 2 & 3) “Reach Trucks”. 

Rider Truck = A lift truck designed to be operated by an operator whom stands or sits on the unit. 

Right Angle Stack = The ability to turn a lift truck 90 degrees in an aisle. 

Serial Number = The primary identifier that like as car/truck VIN assigned but the manufacturer on the data tag/often stamped in the frame of the chassis. 

Service Weight = The overall weight of a fully configured lift truck 

Sideshift = An attachment which can move the forks horizontally to the left or right. 

Sideshift Package = A complete shideshift system includes valve, hydraulic hose group and the sideshift hardware. 

Stand-Up Rider = A lift truck designed to be controlled by an operator standing. 

Tilt Angle = The distance a mast can move (tilt) forward and backward by means of hydraulics expressed tilt angle values as “back/front”. 

Drive Tires = Refers to the tires, generally the “drive” tires. 

Steer Tires = Refers to the rear or “steer” tires, 

Tire Types = Most common know are cushion and pneumatic with many variations . 

Transmission Speed F/R =The number of speeds of a transmission, referenced as Front/Back. 

Travel Speed, empty = The maximum speed a lift truck can travel without a load. 

Travel Speed w/load = The maximum speed a lift truck can travel carrying a full load, or rated capacity. 

Turning Radius = The radius of a circle created by outmost projection of a lift truck when the operator has the steering mechanism in the tightest turning position. 

Under clearance, frame = Smallest distance between the wheelbase portion of a lift truck frame and a floor surface. 

Voltage = The measurement of the force which causes electrical current to flow in a conductor, expressed in volts, examples: 24, 36, 48, 72 & 80 volts. 

Wheelbase = The distance between the front axle and the rear axle of a lift truck. 

Walkie = A motorized pallet lift truck with limited lift, which an operator walks with controlling direction and speed by a control handle. 

Walkie Ride = A motorized pallet lift truck with limited lift, which an operator walks rides with controlling direction and speed by a control handle. 

Industrial Truck Association (ITA) Class for forklifts 

Class 1 = Electric Motor Rider Lift Trucks: Stand-Up Rider , Sit-Down Rider Cushion Tire , Sit-Down Rider Pneumatic Tire, 3-Wheel Rider Electric 

Class 2 = Electric Narrow Aisle Lift Trucks: High-Lift Straddle-Type , Narrow Aisle Single Reach , Narrow Aisle Double Reach, Narrow Aisle Swing Reach, Counterbalanced Order Picker, Straddle Order Picker, Turret Trucks 

Class 3 = Electric Hand Trucks: Walkie Low-Lift Pallet Walkie/Ride Low-Lift Pallet Walkie/Ride Reach Pallet Walkie/Ride Straddle Pallet Walkie/Ride High-Lift Counterbalanced 

Class 4 = Internal Combustion Cushion Tire Lift Trucks 

Class 5 = Internal Combustion Pneumatic Tire Lift Trucks