Industrial Trucks and Cranes


This chapter discusses industrial trucks and cranes. Various types of industrial trucks, and various types of cranes along with their chronological history and list of leading manufacturers are presented in this chapter. The last section discusses the applications of various intelligent techniques on industrial trucks and cranes.
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2. Industrial Trucks

Industrial trucks are vehicles that can transport materials and goods on any path, that is, there is no restriction on the path or area for an industrial truck. A type of industrial truck is known as Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) which moves over fixed guide path. AGV, because of its vast use, demands separate attention for the discussion and that is why the discussion on AGV has already provided separately in Chapter 2.

The main task of industrial truck is to transport goods and materials from one place to another. However, it can also perform lifting operation if the industrial truck is additionally fitted with lifting capability. Industrial trucks are used where the conveyor or any other type of transportation medium is not appropriate. Thus, it is flexible in terms of its freedom of movement on any path and in any area.

Industrial trucks are not to be mixed up with the other commercial trucks since the industrial trucks generally do not get license to move over public roads whereas commercial trucks get license to run over the public roads. Before going into the discussion on the various types of trucks and cranes, let us take a glance at the history of industrial trucks.

2.1. Brief History of Industrial Trucks

The first truck was approximately introduced almost hundred years ago and it was a two-wheeled truck with wrought iron body and cast iron wheels (Leblanc, 2011). Table 1 shows an overall chronological list of various years and the corresponding introduction of different types of trucks before World War II since after the war, all vehicles were revolutionized.

Table 1.
History of industrial trucks
1867First elevator made of wood wit, upright, a hoist and a cantilever platform
1887Crude truck capable of lifting a few inches horizontally and vertically was built; first application of skids
1904Trucks made of steel and grey iron castings; Revolving bases to facilitate loading and tiering
1906The first manually operated platform truck
1909First steel lift truck for use in paper factory
1913Truck with electrical power with both horizontal and vertical material handling capability; small crane mounted on platform truck
1914Trucks with ball bearings and based on hydraulic principle, capable to pull 4000 pounds
1915Truck with powered lifting capability
1917First tractor was developed
1918First counterbalanced truck produced by Clark Material Handling Company
1919Lift truck with several-feet raising of platform; different types of skids;
Vertical lifting cantilever truck
1923Shallow skids or one-faced pallets
1926Wide use of fork trucks; Introduction of center-controlled truck; counterbalanced truck
1927High lift fork truck with tilting capability; complicated tilting mechanism

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