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Published On: Wed, May 16th, 2018

Seven Tips On How to Choose the Right Forklift

A forklift is an important tool in a business, so here is how you can choose the right forklift.

  1. Environment

Your business environment will influence the type of forklift, tyre selection and fuel type you use. Consider the floor surface and conditions the forklift will be working in: smooth or rough surfaces? Inside, outdoors or both? How many hours per day will the forklift be used?

photo ClkerFreeVectorImages via pixabay

  1. Load Size / Capacity

It would be a big mistake to choose a forklift with a maximum lift capacity that is below your requirements. Here are some questions buyers of used forklifts for sale by owner should answer.

  • What stock will the forklift be handling?
  • What is your average load weight?
  • What is the heaviest load you need to lift?
  • What is the width of your loads?

The type of load also matters as there are specific forklift attachments that can enhance a standard forklift and help you move the load more efficiently.  There are many types of attachments available including appliance clamps, carton clamps, and paper roll clamps.

  1. Height

Forklift selection must consider lift capacity. Similar to maximum load, you want to ensure you choose a forklift which will meet your height restrictions.

  • What is your typical lift height?
  • What is the highest point the forklift needs to reach?
  • Are there any height restrictions to consider? (e.g. ceiling beams or low hanging lights)

You must also take into consideration the collapsed height of the mast, if you require the forklift to move underneath a fixed height structure (e.g. a garage or container door).

Also check your warehouse height and aisle width requirements, as this will greatly assist you in finding the right unit.

  1. Fuel type

There are three types of fuel options: electricity, gas or diesel.

Electric forklifts will cost more initially, but you will reap the rewards over time as they have a longer life span and cheaper consumption compared to other types of forklifts. They also operate very quietly and produce no emissions, therefore are recommended for working indoors or in cold climates.

Gas or diesel forklifts can lift much bigger loads and move faster. Diesel forklifts are strongly recommended if the forklift will be used for heavy lifting or outdoors.

  1. Tyre selection

There are various types of tyres available for forklifts. The most common are solid or pneumatic tyres. There are also white non-marking tyres and cushioned tyres which have their own specific uses and are suited to certain environments.

  1. New or Used?

If you think your forklift will be used for more than four hours per day, a leased or new forklift will be much more suitable for you. In this case, the type of forklift you require and your budget will determine which option is the best.

However, if you won’t use your forklift every day and when you do it’s only for about an hour or two, then a quality used machine is the smartest economical option.

  1. Service & Maintenance

It’s important to deal with a forklift provider that can provide local support to ensure prompt response should any problems arise. Choose a supplier that is locally owned and operated because locally owned dealers have a stronger invested interest in looking after you.

Author: Charlie Brown

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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