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Forklift Sales and Forklift Hire in Epsom | The History of the Forklift

Located in Three Bridges, Gatwick Forklifts delivers the complete, and the most professional forklift service, to commercial and industrial clients in the Epsom area. We can supply all Nexen models on forklift hire contracts, and we have our own new and second-hand forklift sales department if you prefer to own a working fleet. Our team includes instructors who have the necessary qualifications to hold forklift training courses, either onsite or offsite.

These courses help companies, and their operators, to comply with current health and safety regulations.

On this page, we reveal the history of the forklift truck and show how it is now one of the most common pieces of machinery at commercial and industrial sites, not just in Epsom, but throughout the world.

Early Forklift Use

The introduction of the forklift truck began in the wake of the Industrial Revolution during the 18th and 19th centuries. As Britain’s economy developed, the introduction of machinery to aid in manufacturing and construction started to replace time-consuming manual methods, such as hoists and winches. The increased demand for machinery that could lift and transport materials over short distances led to the invention of a two-wheeled lifting truck in 1887.

This model enabled the horizontal and vertical movement of cargo.

The next most prominent development was in 1906. Attaching a battery to a baggage cart at the Pennsylvania Railroad project in Allatoona, one worker developed what many consider the world’s first powered cargo truck.

Steel lifting trucks appeared three years later in 1909.

Unlike the models our forklift sales and forklift hire departments supply to customers in Epsom today, these lifting platforms consisted of solid sheets of metal as opposed to the standard forks on modern machinery.

First World War

The vast number of working men, volunteering to serve as soldiers during the First World War (1914-1918), led to a major shortage of labour. Lifting trucks, therefore, became even more useful for improving productivity for the available workforce. The introduction of the hydraulic powered lifting truck, and the adoption of the fork-style lifting platform, were two of the most significant developments during this time.

These lifting platforms are predecessors of the models sold as part of our forklift services in Epsom, and of those we cover in our onsite and offsite forklift training courses.

Second World War and Post-War

During the Second World War, forklifts became an essential piece of equipment for loading war supplies, such as food and ammunition, onto vehicles. Post-war, the manufacture of smaller, more manoeuvrable models gained commercial appeal, for use in warehouses and on construction sites. In the 1950s and 1960s, manufacturers started producing models with roofs.

At this time, the importance of forklift training and safety became more prominent.

Modern Day

With the development of modern logistical planning, forklift sales and forklift hire services have become popular throughout various industries. The continued effort to improve machinery and workplace operations has resulted in an increasingly safe, reliable and efficient forklift service which we can offer to customers in all Epsom and Surrey areas, and across all locations in the South East region.

Increased usage has led to more demand for forklift training, and we deliver interesting, active courses where we focus on newer models, but also provide a brief insight into the history of lifting equipment.

Gatwick Forklifts | Forklift Sales and Hire

Gatwick Forklifts is an independent company with over two decades of trade and industry experience. Our team takes pride in the delivery of a complete forklift service to customers and clients in Epsom and the surrounding areas. We can supply quality equipment and a full range of supporting forklift services which include:

  • Forklift Sales – Commercial and industrial customers in and around the Epsom area can purchase a range of new or second-hand models, at competitive prices, from a dedicated forklift sales department. We specialise in machinery from Nexen.
  • Forklift Hire - We have access to hundreds of reliable forklifts, which come from manufacturers who place a strong focus on usability and safety. Our company can assist you with short-term and long-term forklift hire contracts.
  • Forklift Training – Our knowledgeable instructors have over 25 years of experience, and they offer forklift training at all levels – from novices to experienced operatives. We can hold courses at your Epsom workplace or on our own premises.
  • Forklift Service and Repairs – Need spare parts, servicing or forklift maintenance? We repair faulty forklifts for insured customers, and for those with models under warranty, at no extra cost. We also supply replacement parts and batteries.
  • Warehouse Design – As part of our complete forklift service in Epsom, Gatwick Forklifts specialises in warehouse design and fitouts, all completed in compliance with current SEMA standards to make your workplace operational and efficient.

Forklift sales and forklift hire are speciality services and our customers can choose diesel or battery models from Nexen with three-wheeled, four-wheeled and rough terrain performance. We hold forklift training courses for all of these models, and our company has forklift service, repair and maintenance options available to keep fleets in good working order.

Pallet Racking

Gatwick Forklifts can supply businesses in Epsom and the surrounding areas with a pallet racking installation service in a choice of styles. We fit warehouse, narrow aisle, mobile, dynamic, drive-in and adjustable racking or, if you feel that your business has specialist requirements, we can arrange for you to have a bespoke installation designed and installed.Use us on a supply-only basis if you prefer.

We supply the racking, anti-collapse mesh systems and locking pins. Clients also have the option to use us for wide aisle, high bay, pushed-back and powered mobile pallet racking.

Call 01293 831300 to find out more about forklift sales, forklift hire and forklift training in the Epsom area.