What is a Forklift Container Mast?

The term container mast is widely used in the forklift industry.

You can see that there is a central ram in the mast in Photo 1. This “Full Free” ram is the first thing to lift. In being only half way up the mast, it allows for the carriage which the fork tines to rest on to lift to height, without the stages protruding from the top of the mast. Photo 2 shows how the total height of the forklift does not change while in operation.

Basically you can drive inside a container or under a mezzanine floor and lift up, without putting the mast of the forklift through the roof or the floor of your Mezzanine. Hence the term container mast.

Most Container masted forklifts are also 3 stage masts. They achieve lift heights of up to 4.7 metres in a standard forklift, and up to 5.0 metres in a compact and some electric counterbalance units.

The combination of a machine that can lift in a container and still lift outside the container makes container mast units very versatile, but like everything there is a trade-off.

As demonstrated by Photo 1, this central lift ram, greatly impacts on driver visibility. The plumbing of hydraulic hoses for side shift and fork positioning as also shown in Photo 1 also impedes visibility.

This is one of the main reasons people choose not to purchase a container mast forklift as it will affect driver speed and confidence in addressing loading and unloading situations.

So although a container mast is seen as the “Holy Grail” of forklifts, they are a good all-around machine, but in certain situations can be a nuisance, and because of the high demand for these units you will pay a premium price for a container mast forklift.

Contact our highly trained staff if you have any more queries into purchasing or hiring a used container mast forklift from Eureka Forklifts.

For a greater understanding of what a container mast is, this video demonstrates how the carriage can raise and lower without increasing the total height of the forklift.

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