Having manufactured fire pumps, generating sets and marine diesel engines for many years, Coventry Climax entered a completely new field in 1946. The first British fork lift truck, the ET 199, was designed and built before the year end.
The Coventry Climax ZQ four cylinder side valve petrol engine was used as the power unit. The transmission had two forward speeds and two reverse, and the steering was the forerunner of the orbital hydraulic steering used today. With the exception of the chassis, mast rails and castings, all parts were machined and manufactured in-house.
The ET 199 was designed to carry a load of 4,000 lbs, with a load centre of 24” and a lift height of 9 feet. Full production began in 1947 and by this date the ET 199 had been upgraded to the FTD type. A diesel variant, the FTF, was added later, both being produced until 1958.