Guide to Forklift Features

Most people who work in warehouses and other work environments with forklifts are familiar with their most basic features - the fork, the brake, the accelerator and gear shift. Fewer employees are familiar with all the other components of these vehicles. Here’s a handy guide to the features of forklifts.

In the Cab

Forward-Reverse Lever: Used to make a directional change

Lift Lever: Used to lift and lower the forks

Tilt Lever: Used to tilt the mast forward and backward. The tilting speed can be adjusted by the engine speed and the distance the lever is moved

Inching Brake Pedal: Located on the left side of the steering column, this works like a clutch pedal. Power disconnects when you lightly step on it. When you step harder, you engage the brake

Outside the Cab

Lift Cylinder: This powers the raising or lowering of the carriage and forks. Often hydraulically powered and only pushed in one direction

Overhead Guard: The forklift’s framework or roof, which protects the operator from falling objects

Tilt Cylinder: Similar to the lift cylinder, but controls the tilt movement of the carriage and the angle of the forks relative to the ground

Drive Wheels: Usually in the front, these are responsible for moving the machine

Steering Wheels: Located in the back of the lift, and usually smaller than the drive wheels

Counter Weight: This helps offset the load and keep the machine stable while lifting and traveling

Rating Plate: Contains information about the forklift’s maximum load capacity

Mast:  The vertical support that raises and lowers the load, in the front of the forklift. Hydraulic pistons move the carriage, connected to the mast

Carriage: A support structure in front of the mast where the forks attach or mount

Back Rest:  Protects the mast cylinder’s hoses and prevents items from falling through the mast towards the operator

Common Attachments

Fork Positioners: These move the forks closer together or farther apart hydraulically

Carton Clamp: Used to move large, rectangular boxes that do not need a pallet

Single-Double Pallet Handler:  This can carry one or two pallets, depending on the positioning of its four forks

Push/Pull: Used to move material on a slip sheet instead of a pallet

Sideshifters: These allow the forks to move in order to position them appropriately in line with the load


If you’re interested in forklift sales or rentals, come and talk to us at Ring Power Lift Trucks. For 60 years, our locally-owned and operated business has provided superior products and the newest technology in forklifts, exceeding our customers’ expectations. With 14 convenient locations throughout Florida, Ring Power Corporation has become one of the largest Caterpillar® dealers in the Southeastern United States because of our dedication to customer service. Whether you need to buy a new or used forklift, or you’d prefer a short-term or long-term forklift rental, we’re here for you. We also supply forklift parts and service in north and central Florida for every make and model of forklift.  Call 877.544.5438 or visit our website for more information.



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