Manufacturer: Yale, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Type: Trucks, Lift, Fork, Gasoline
Load Cap. 4000 lbs
GVW: 7240 lbs
The new forklift trucks did not immediately surge in popularity, but a major breakthrough occurred upon the development of the standardized pallet in the late 1930s. The pallet allowed loads to be stacked uniformly and led directly to the increased development of the forklift.
As the military build-up began in 1940, pallets were seldom employed, and packing cribs were usually poorly constructed. Army Quartermaster depots of the day were largely dependent upon hand operated equipment. Unloading, storing, stocking and loading operations were largely performed without powered equipment, although a few sites had electric elevator stackers. The result was poor storage efficiency, with goods not stacked as high as they might have been on pallets. The handling of goods was slow and inefficient. While such limitations were not a serious concern for the small peacetime Army of the 1930s, they presented a far greater dilemma as the 1940s unfolded.
The full use of pallets by the military required the purchase of powered equipment to handle them. The acquisition and integration of such equipment presented many other obstacles. However, with war looming in 1941, the Office of the Quartermaster General (OQMG) recognized the necessity of introducing better handling methods in its depots throughout the country. Labor would become scarce, and supply orders would have to be filled promptly.
To address this concern, the Depot Operations Branch of OQMG launched studies of material handling equipment being used in industry with the goal of implementing the best practices and equipment in Quartermaster depots and other supply installations. Representatives inspected industrial plants using state-of-the-art handling equipment. They observed that forklift trucks and pallets, along with tractors, trailers, cranes and conveyors, were becoming more widely used by large factories, warehouses, shipyards and transportation terminals. The representatives came to the conclusion that forklift trucks and pallets clearly comprised the most efficient system available for handling subsistence supplies as well as other packaged or strapped commodities handled by the Quartermaster Corps.
As a result of these initiatives, funds were eventually released in September 1941 by the War Production Board (WPB) for the purchase of forklifts and other handling equipment. With the money finally available, it was then suddenly determined that forklift manufacturing capacity was inadequate to fill the barrage of orders placed by the Army and the Navy for this equipment. There was a subsequent scramble to convert some existing industrial plants to forklift manufacture. In addition, coordination between various government departments hindered progress. The use of steel and other scarce materials was prioritized as to its importance to the war effort. With forklift trucks originally classified as luxury items, materials for forklifts were not given top priority by the WPB. Quartermaster authorities argued that while forklift trucks may have been a luxury in peacetime, the short supply of labor and warehouse space in wartime urgently required the full use of equipment to save time, space and labor requirements. This argument eventually won acceptance, paving the way for increased lift truck production.
Shortages of forklift trucks continued through most of 1942 and early 1943, when half of lift truck production was allocated to overseas locations. This resulted in an extreme shortage of machines for Quartermaster depots in the U.S. Zone of the Interior, as well as a poor allocation of equipment. This situation occurred because equipment was dispatched based on urgency of need rather than specific performance requirements of a site.
Following World War II the use and development of the forklift truck has greatly expanded worldwide.
This forklift was used for years at a boat yard in Islamorada, Florida. It was later abandoned. It had been sitting for years, when the Marauders herd about it, and rescued it from being scrapped. Cleaned the carburetor added some fuel and fixed the brakes and now it runs like atop. This is a great addition to our motor pool.
This forklift spent time with the U.S. Air Force as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
IN HONOR OF:
Kermit Bruce Roberts was a Technical Sergeant for the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. He died on May 18, 1969 at the age of 34 .