The History of the Gas Forklift
The Clark Equipment Company manufactured the first gas powered forklift in the early part of the 20th century. Clark has led the industry in gas-powered forklifts ever since that time.
In 1917, the Clark Equipment Company, located in Buchanan, Michigan, was the maker of the first Tructractor. Employees fabricated the tractor to make it easier to transport parts within the plant. When visitors came to the plant and saw the machine, they asked Clark to build more. The following year Clark sold eight Tructractors, and the year after that Clark started the Clark Tructractor Company in Buchanan, selling seventy five of the equipment that year.
During nineteen twenty three Clark made a gas-powered tow tractor. Known as the "Duat," this three-wheeled machine later developed into the modern gas-powered forklift.
During the year 1927 the Clarktor was developed, a gas-powered tow tractor with four wheels which could draw up to 5,500 kilograms. In the year 1928 the Tructier model was built. It became the basis for a modern line of gas-powered forklifts.
Forklifts that have internal combustion engines can function utilizing liquid propane, liquid natural gas, gasoline or diesel. These type of forklifts have to be refueled either with gas canisters or at on-site fueling stations. Internal combustion forklifts cost much less to buy, but much more to operate due to the cost of fuel. For loads which are over 6,800 kilograms, an internal combustion forklift is suggested.