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History of the Industrial Truck Standards Foundation and the B56 Standards

The Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF) was formed in 2005 to administer the B56 Standards Committee. The B56 Standards Committee’s scope is the establishment of the safety requirements relating to the elements of design, operation, and maintenance, the standardization relating to principal dimensions to facilitate interchangeability, and establishment of test methods and test procedures, for powered and non-powered industrial trucks (not including vehicles intended primarily for earth-moving or over-the-road hauling) and wheels and casters. The Committee and ITSDF also maintain liaison with ISO in all matters pertaining to powered and non-powered industrial trucks.

In June 1946, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers adopted a resolution to develop a Safety Code for Powered industrial Trucks. On August 7, 1947, the American Standards Association, now called the American National Standards Institute, Inc., approved ASME sponsorship of such a standard. An organizational meeting was held on May 20, 1948. Comments from a first draft, dated 1949, were incorporated in a final draft dated November 1949, which was submitted to Sectional Committee Members for letter ballot vote and was unanimously affirmed. In June, 1950, ASA approved the code as submitted, and issued it as ASA B56.1-1950, Safety Code for Industrial Powered Trucks.

ASME maintained the B56 standards from 1946 until 2004 when economic pressures prevented further support of the B56 standards by ASME. ITSDF was formed to administer the B56 standards and transfer of the management of the ASME B56 standards to ITSDF occurred on September 1, 2005. ANSI approved the reaffirmation and redesignation of all B56 standards to ANSI/ITSDF standards in September 2005.

ITSDF made the decision to allow downloads of the B56 standards from the internet without charge. Since that time, tens of thousands of B56 standards have been downloaded.