What forklift mast will best suit your warehouse?
Masts, and forklift attachments go hand and hand, they work together to lift and grab the load needing to be moved. Masts are the lifting structure the forklift uses to raise and lower the load, forks and fork carriage. The mast connects to the carriage and the forklift attachment, which holds the load in place. There are 4 kinds of masts, they are 2-stage, 3-stage and 4-stage mast. How high you need the forklift to reach, will determine which mast stage you will need.
Simplex mast is a 2-stage mast, with a limited free lift, this type of mast is not for stacking where the overhead clearance is a problem. Typically, the mast is as tall or shorter than the forklift. The simplex mast has 2 pairs of mast channels one that is stationary and the other that moves up and down. The pairs are on each side of the forklift. The simplex mast will not have a center cylinder, making for limited free lift. The simplex mast max height depends on the model of truck but can reach upwards of 170”.
The Duplex mast is another 2-stage mast where this has free lift, has load and unload capabilities but has a center cylinder. The duplex mast has 2 pairs of mast channels one that is stationary and the other that moves up and down. The center cylinder allows the forks to raise a certain amount before the inner channel will start to raise, allowing for double stacking and unstacking inside of trailers. Max lift heights depend on the specific model of the truck.
Triplex mast is the 3-stage mast with free lift, load and unload capabilities with high stacking. It has 3 mast channels on each side of the forklift. On each side, there are two mast channels that move up and down while one is stationary. The center cylinder makes it possible for the triplex mast to reach heights of 235”+ when it’s fully extended.
The last mast is the quad mast which is a 4-stage mast with free lift, load and unload capabilities with high stacking. The quad mast has 4 mast channels on each side with 3 movable channels and one stationary channel. The additional mast channels create a fully extended max lift height of 295”+, using the center cylinder.
Determining how high the forklift needs to reach will then determine which mast is best suited for your warehouse. The simplex forklift is best for moving loads around the warehouse and in and out of trucks when only single stacked. When needing to reach higher than what the simplex can reach, use the duplex, triplex and quad masts. Knowing the height of your warehouse shelves will make it easier for you to determine which mast you are needing to purchase. The operator will have less and less forward visual clearance with the more mast channels the forklift has.
This article is to provide guidance to which mast should be used at your company. There’s so much more information you will need to know when purchasing a forklift.
Stay tuned for our next article next month. If you are interested in purchasing a forklift contact us. Do you have a topic for an article? Comment down below.