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(mechanical engineering)
A machine, usually powered by hydraulic means, consisting of two or more prongs which can be raised and lowered and are inserted under heavy materials or objects for hoisting and moving them.



a self-propelled lifting-transporting machine which is used for loading and unloading operations on all kinds of transportation as well as for moving loads within such areas as freight yards and construction sites.

A forklift has a hydraulic drive from the internal combustion engine to the operating equipment. The main operating part of a forklift is the forked lifter, which is moved along a vertical telescoping frame by a hydraulic cylinder mounted within the frame. The frame can be tilted forward and backward up to 15 degrees by cylinders, so that a load is put in a stable position for transport, and its unloading is facilitated. The pressure in the hydraulic system (up to several meganewtons per m2, or several dozens of kg/cm2) is developed by a hydraulic pump coupled to the engine by a transmission. The control levers of the hydraulic system are brought from the driver’s seat of the forklift to a piston-type selector valve.

The lifting fork is used when working with ponderous loads as well as with small loads in crates and cartons that have been first placed on a pallet. The set of interchangeable operating attachments for a forklift also includes a dipper, a boom, and a jaw-like gripping device. Forklifts of different load capacities (for example, 3 metric tons, 5 metric tons) are produced in the USSR.