FORKLIFT TORQUE CONVERTER
Forklift torque converters works the
exact same way as automotive TCs. And that’s a fact. Car engines connect to
transmissions by clutches. And torques similarly uses fluid couplings to let
the engines spin as needed.
But furthermore, the
question may have already popped into your mind: When might I need to get a
forklift torque converter? That’s a great question, friend, and it deserves its
First of all, whenever
you notice any symptoms or “clear signs from heaven”, as some rather call them,
then you can know for sure that it’s time to replace. The first sign would be
that the current torque converter on your forklift has been overheating. This
is more rare than would come to expect, and the only truly viable fix is to
discontinue use of the forklift and get a replacement for this part as soon as
reasonably possible. Another symptom may include that of high stall speeds ---
this is a definite one you should watch out for and can’t afford to ignore at
Also, has the forklift
been making strange noises --- I mean, stranger than usual? Then this is
another clear sign that you need to get the torque converter on it fixed ----
or changed out. Dirty fluids and slipping are also common signs. Watch out for
So in essence, we’ve
seen the forklift torque converter, briefly. You got to see how it works. And
you got to see when it needs to be replaced.
Forklift Torque Converters: A 101 Technical Guide.
What they are and what they are for...
Forklift torque converters
are essentially types of fluid coupling that can transfer any related prime
mover’s rotating power, as needed, in order to get the operation vehicle moving
along as it should. Similarly to the TC in a car, the TC in a forklift can work
in much the same way, respectively. The prime mover aforementioned acts in much
the same way as an IC or Internal Combustion engine would, with respect to any
rotating driven load as well.
Within certain cars
that use automatic transmission, furthermore, the TC will work to connect
the load to its power source. One may usually find the load carefully placed in
between both the engine’s transmission and its flex plate. Within a manual
transmission, or stick shift, car, that same load may be found in a similar
area, which would be referred to as the “mechanical clutch”.
And in addition, the
TC’s main character trait, that distinguishes it the most and truly fulfills
its purpose, would be that of none other than its very ability to duplicate ---
or multiply, in a sense --- the torque. This happens when its output rotational
speeds have diminished. It occurs when they’re so low that fluid protruding
from the turbine’s curved vanes now deflects off the stator. It’s been locked
against its clutch, which is of a 1-way nature. Thus, what you get is something
quite similar to a reduction gear, all in all.
Even more details on this and on how TC’s specifically work....
mentioned features extends far beyond the traditional simple fluid coupling and
doesn’t merely just match the rotation speeds while not being able to multiply
the torque. It reduces the power, by the way. Some of these mentioned devices
additionally come with their own lockup mechanisms that will rigidly bind their
engines to their transmissions. This will usually occur when the speeds of both
are at a near or full equivalent and is intended to avoid slippage, in addition
to efficiency loss that may come as a result.
And forklift TC’s do
not follow what auto transmissions use for their TC’s, respectively, which
would be that of hydro-kinetic device or even hydro-static systems, most often
seen in smaller machines the likes of compact excavators and products similar.
In forklifts, overall, the processes and systems are not always as hydraulic as
they are in cars. And in terms of mechanical systems, to further add, many
varied mech designs exist the use of continuously variable TC transmissions as
well. These may also multiply one’s torque. They’ll often include the
Constantinesco torque converter, for one, which is entirely pendulum-based, as
well as a variomatic that can provide its own expanding pulleys and a utility
In addition, a
disk-drive transmission, for more adequate friction gearing, of the Lambert
style, may be included into the mix. And besides forklifts, and even cars, for
that matter, these types of TC’s could even serve other uses, as well. See a
- Marine propulsion
- Numerous types of
- Transmissions of the
industrial power kind, such as with railway engines, construction equipment,
drilling rigs, winches and even conveyor drives. (Notably, forklifts using TC’s
would fall within this category.)
Other facts one should know about them….
Note that the forklift
TC you use will generally carry 3 operational stages by which it runs, of which
you should learn:
The first is the
stalling stage, also just called “stall”. It’s when the impeller’s getting the
proper power through the prime mover but its turbine has difficulty in
rotating. At this unique phase, the TC is able to produce max torque
multiplication, given that the required amount of input power has been properly
supplied beforehand. The multiplication that naturally ensues, as a result, is
one many have come to know as the stalling ratio or stall ratio, in short.
Next comes the
accelerating stage. As you accelerate, a noticeable difference begins to arise
between the turbine speed and your impeller. Here, the torque multiplies far
below what the stall ratio would.
Last but not least, the
coupling phase has more to do with when 90 % or above (in impeller speed) has
been reached by your turbine. At this point, all torque multiplication
endeavors have come to their halt, and your TC behaves acts as more of a fluid
coupling altogether. You may see some fuel efficiency increases at this stage.