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Tow Motor vs Forklift

Tow Motor vs Forklift

Tow Motor vs forklift is a simple discussion referred to a naming convention of these two synonyms. Tow motor and forklift devices are regulated by the CFR 1 and enforced at the federal level by OSHA 2 and also in related similar legislation at the state level 3.

Tow motor and forklifts are both powered industrial trucks that utilize internal combustion engines or electricity. These trucks are used for the purpose of lifting or transporting heavy materials. Although they have different names, they perform the same function.

The Tow Motor company was founded in 1919 and is known for inventing the forklift. The original Towmotor machine did not have forks on the front but was instead an industrial tractor made for pushing and pulling carts around warehouses. It wasn’t until 1933 that the first forklift was unveiled to the public. This new invention came with large front forks that allowed operators to lift and transport cargo, and since then, the terms “forklift” and “Towmotor” have been used interchangeably to describe the same piece of machinery.

Tow Motor Operator Salary

The average yearly salary for a tow motor operator in the United States is $30,883. This breaks down to around fifteen dollars an hour. This is equivalent to roughly $644 per week or $2,574 per month. These values are retrieved in July 2022 and do not include Alaska, where we could not obtain updated salary information in this tow motor vs forklift analysis.

Tow Motor Training

Since the Office of Safety Administration (OSHA) classifies Towmotor units as forklifts, all tow motors operators must receive forklift operator training and certification to legally operate the equipment in the workplace. If your employees need to acquire a Towmotor license, you have to contact an education center that offers OSHA-compliant training for every type and brand of forklift, including all Tow Motor models, of course

Tow Motor Certification

The training in an OSHA-compliant education center is the basis to obtain the Tow Motor Certification. In this tow motor vs forklift analysis, we have to mention that the current name utilized by the legislation and the logistics industry is “forklift certification”.

This certificate, earned by all forklift operators, specifies the training that the operator received, advanced, specialist, refresher, or basic. It also indicates the forklift type that the operator is certified to use, such as pallet truck, reach truck, etc., the rated capacity, the type of attachments, and the motor power type. Each forklift operator is retrained every three years.

It is essential to have the necessary documents if you are operating heavy equipment. Forklifts may be used in public areas, such as business districts or residential neighborhoods, and occasionally on roads, where, like any other vehicle, they need to be correctly listed as public utility vehicles.

In the case of an accident occurring where a forklift is involved, the driver has to be legally certified. If the driver is not legally certified and an insurance claim has to be submitted, there is a good chance that the insurer might reject the claim. 

1960 Towmotor Forklift

The confusion Tow motor vs forklift comes from the successful 1960 Towmotor forklift. People called “tow motor” to any forklift for many decades.

One of the first commercially successful forklifts was built by this company called Towmotor Inc., which began manufacturing them in 1956. They were designed for use with large dump trucks or trailers that had long bed. These forklifts could lift up to 1,000 pounds (450 kg) at speeds up to 5 mph (8 km/h).

Early Towmotor model