The important components of rough terrain forklift are introduced to help consumers understand the principle and structure of off-road forklift, which is convenient for use and maintenance

The Secrets of Rough Terrain Forklifts: What Makes Them So Powerful and Versatile?

Rough terrain forklift is a kind of engineering vehicle that can load, unload, stack and carry things on slopes and uneven ground. It can install forks or replace a variety of accessories to improve operation efficiency just like the general forklift. Rough terrain forklift is a versatile, adaptable, safe and reliable material handling equipment that has a wide range of applications in construction, agriculture, forestry, mining and other fields.


off-road loader Diesel engines(quanchai)
rough terrain forklift engine

The power source of rough terrain forklift is mainly internal combustion engine. Since the forklift was created in the early 1920s, the internal combustion engine has been continuously providing power for this material handling machinery. In the past 100 years, gasoline and diesel engines have not only undergone complete changes in appearance, but also in the process of technological improvement, the power of internal combustion engine has become stronger, more economical, more environmental friendly and lower noise. With the passage of time, forklift manufacturers around the world began to pay more and more attention to the comfort and safety of forklifts. The emission and noise standards of internal combustion engines have been strictly regulated.

The most widely used engine in rough terrain forklifts is diesel engine. This is mainly due to the low cost, convenient procurement and low investment in energy consumption and maintenance of diesel engine. The diesel engine has high reliability, easy maintenance, strong power and high efficiency. However, diesel engine also has some disadvantages, such as emitting more pollutants, having higher noise, being difficult to start and so on. Therefore, when choosing diesel engine, it is necessary to weigh the pros and cons according to different working environments and needs.

Lifting device

China out door forklift mast
Lifting systerm of rough terrain forkilift

The forklift gantry is the mechanism that lifts the goods. It consists of inner and outer portal frames, fork frame, fork, sprocket, chain, lifting cylinder and tilt cylinder. The forklift gantry is the main load-bearing structure of the forklift pick-up device. It uses new materials and a rigid structure with higher bending capacity and strength to reduce its weight and improve the stability and safety of the goods when they are lowered from a higher height. In automatic warehouses, high-level stackers with a lifting height of 15-18m are common. To ensure the smooth movement of the goods at this height, the transportation equipment has a special anti-vibration and impact compensation system to prevent uneven floor. The tilt cylinder is usually separate (or double in some cases). Nowadays, some forklifts use two hydraulic cylinders to tilt the gantry. One end of each cylinder is fixed in the middle of the gantry and the other end is fixed in the lower part of the chassis or on the top of the cab. This not only increases the rigidity of the gantry, but also provides a clear vision for the forklift drivers and enhances the work safety. For forklifts with telescopic gantry, they only tilt the fork when they place or pick up goods at a high place.

Movable fork

China Off-road forklift side shifter
side moving fork

The forklift side shift mechanism is one of the most common working mechanisms of forklift. It allows the fork to move laterally without moving the whole vehicle, which can improve the accuracy and efficiency of loading and unloading. The side shift forks are usually integrated into the bracket, which minimizes the loss of load capacity. The EU standard specifies the maximum lateral displacement value of the fork according to the bearing capacity of the forklift: for forklifts with less than 5 tons of bearing capacity, the fork can move up to 100 mm to the left or right without reducing the redundant load capacity. The new side shift mechanism and other modern accessories can provide greater redundant load capacity because they have smaller and lighter protrusions. The new side shift mechanism also has a box-shaped contour, which enables the driver to see the fork and the end of the goods more clearly and safely.


Construction forklift solid off-road tires
rough terrain forlift tires

The forklift tires are important parts that affect the mobility and speed of forklift. They have different types and characteristics depending on the working environment and conditions. Until the late 1930s, forklift wheels were usually fitted with solid tires, which were made of dense and wear-resistant rubber rings attached to steel rings and pressed onto cylindrical rims. In the early versions, the rims often slipped with the rubber rings, but this problem was later solved by matching the shape of the rims and the edges of the tires precisely. Then, pneumatic tires and super elastic tires were introduced to prevent the forklift from leaving marks on the floor when braking and turning. The choice of tire type varies across different markets. In the U.S., solid tires are more popular, while in other parts of the world, pneumatic tires or super elastic tires are more common. Solid tires provide the most reliable grip when working on flat or paved surfaces. Forklifts with pneumatic tires or large tires have a more compact structure with the same load capacity and stability. However, they also reduce the driver’s comfort.