The start of World War II, like World War I before, spurred the use of forklift trucks in the war effort. Following the war, more efficient methods for storing products in warehouses were being implemented. Warehouses needed more maneuverable forklift trucks that could reach great heights and new forklift models were made that filled this need. For example, in 1954 a British company named Lansing Bagnall, now part of KION Group, developed what was claimed to be the first narrow aisle electric reach truck. The development changed the design of warehouses leading to narrower aisles and higher load stacking that increased storage capability. During the 1950s and 1960s operator safety became a concern due to the increasing lifting heights and capacities. Safety features such as load back rests and operator cages, called overhead guards, began to be added to forklifts produced in this era. In the late 1980s ergonomic design began to be incorporated in new forklift designs to improve operator comfort, reduce injuries and increase productivity. During the 1990s exhaust emissions from forklift operations began to be addressed which led to emission standards being implemented for forklift manufacturers in various countries. The introduction of AC power forklifts, along with fuel cell technology, are also refinements in continuing forklift development. In 2011, the size of the forklift manufacturing industry was nearly $27 billion.
Refurbished Used Fork Lifts