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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.