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Forklift truck masts are typically described in two ways:
The number of carriages within the overall mast mechanism denotes how many 'stages' there are within a mast. A duplex mast has two carriages, or stages, whereas a triplex mast has three carriages or stages. Triplex masts are generally more sought after as the inclusion of an additional carriage ensures maximum lift height that condenses down into minimal closed height.
The lift mechanism within a forklift truck mast is typically either 'standard' or 'full free lift.'
A standard mast offers maximum visibility to the driver as there is a clear gap between the outside of the lift carriage, however for the forks to move, the mast itself must move.
A 'full free lift' mast allows the lifting of the forks without the raising of the mast itself. This is particularly useful if operating in tight overhead height restriction. The inclusion of full free lift does impair the driver's visibility however, as the mechanism requires a hydraulic ram situated within the centre of the mast.
Below is a video showing the difference between a standard and full free lift mast.
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