Enhanced Ground Clearance
Ground clearance is a primary prerequisite for any all-around terrain vehicle. It helps determine the distance between the farthest point of the undercarriage and the ground when on an even surface. Therefore the chances of “bottoming out” are minimized. The navigation of any protrusions out of the ground surface or bumpy terrain is easy and work continues unhindered.
In comparison, equipment without adequate ground clearance will likely encounter difficulties when it travels over grounds with varying elevations. Ordinary forklifts are built to work on paved surfaces and comparatively even road or surfaces.They normally have ground clearance of about 4”, while rough terrain forklifts are designed with broad tires and an uplifted chassis to offer as much as 12” or more of ground clearance.
When traveling over slippery, muddy, soft, or rough terrain, maintaining a sufficient amount of traction is essential. The increased level of tire traction makes it possible and easy for a rough terrain forklift to go through the various crests, and travel over muddy or soft surfaces without getting stuck, or overworking the engine, or unsuccessfully spinning the tires. For the rough terrain forklifts, this traction is attained via the application of a 4-wheel drive system, as well as articulating axles. This is made easier by the off-road tires.
In contrast to conventional forklifts, the tires on the rough terrain forklifts are nearly double the size of their conventional counterparts. This is needed for the traction. In addition, they contain deep grooves that enhance the surface area of contact between the tire and the ground. Even so, the articulating axles permit a maximum of 7° lateral variation in uplifting between the tires, which aids in maintaining all the tires on the surface while traveling over rough ground to optimize traction while keeping the stability of the forklift.
Optimized Power and Output
When working on rugged or challenging terrain, it is crucial that the power is supplied to the wheels, where and when it is really needed. This is quite challenging for a standard forklift as power is usually only available to the front wheel drive tires via a 2WD transmission. Working in tough outdoor conditions can lead to power loss and immobilization in the event one of the tires veers off the ground, runs into a large rock, or endures a loss in traction.
To help avoid such problems, rough terrain forklifts are equipped with 4WD transmission and adaptive limited-slip differentials. Besides supplying power to individual tires through the 4WD transmission, this setup through the adaptive limited-slip differentials feature helps combat power loss in the course of tire slippage by offering torque to the tires separately.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
These vehicles are primarily designed for the hostile environments in which they are anticipated to carry out their work. Other heavy types of machinery not designed for unfriendly environments and conditions are most likely to experience endless breakdowns demanding lots of maintenance to operate. However, rough terrain forklifts are built to cope with severe conditions by employing the power of the four-wheel drive mechanism contained in this durable forklift. Considering everything, this helps cut down maintenance expenses significantly.
It is therefore good to keep this information front of mind as you consider what type of work is being carried out and what type of equipment is best suited for your job. Be sure to ask your supplier about the other benefits and features of the rough terrain forklift.