Is your business in need of a forklift to add to your team? Whether you are well acquainted with forklifts or buying for the first time, one thing is for sure, you need to buy a forklift that will meet your specifications.
Adding the best forklift to your team is like hiring a superstar employee. It’ll be a workhorse and contribute greatly to your business productivity and efficiency. Yet, if you get the wrong one, it can also be like hiring a bad employee, one who’s not quite able to get the job done right.
So what should you consider when looking at finding the best forklift? Read on to learn the things to consider when adding a forklift to your business.
What Do You Need?
You might know you need to add a forklift. But there is a wider array of forklift features that can change the functionality of a machine. It’s important before you even begin looking that you know what your own needs are. Here are a few things to consider.
Where do you intend to use your forklift? If you are using it outside on a job site, then you likely want a gas-powered forklift. An internal combustion forklift is easy to refuel but does give off emissions, which is why it’s better as an outdoor machine.
The downside is they have to be refueled, so you need access to a fuel source. Yet, they can be heavy lifters with both weight and height.
If you want a forklift for indoor use, you probably want an electric forklift. The electric machines run on battery power and they are plugged in so it can recharge. If you want an electric machine, consider a forklift lithium ion battery one. Its battery power is long-lasting requiring fewer charges.
The positive of an electric unit is that it gives off zero emissions making it great for indoor use. This machine tends to be quieter and comes in a wide range of sizes to meet indoor specifications.
Weight and Height
This is the cornerstone of understanding forklifts. You need to know how much weight you are lifting and how high that weight needs to go.
This is an important consideration and one for safety reasons you want to get right. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating how much weight you need to lift. It makes the forklift unsafe if you try to lift more than you should. The same would be true for how high you are lifting it.
The average forklift can lift 3,000 and 6,000 pounds to approximately 20 feet. Now, this is a big range, so make sure you know the high end of the weight you need lifting.
Beyond indoor or outdoor, why does the work environment matter? There are a few additional things to consider.
You want to know where and how it’ll be working so you know what kind of tires you want on your forklift. An indoor forklift will probably want cushion tires to prevent marking up the floors. If your machine is working outside, especially on uneven surfaces, you will likely want pneumatic tires.
You also want to consider how much space your forklift will have to work. If you have tight aisles or corners to navigate. You want to calculate and make sure the forklift you buy can do the work in the space you have. If you have tight space, consider specially designed swing mast and narrow aisle forklifts.
If you have unique needs, your forklift can come fitted with some additional accessories. This might be the way the mast works or certain forks that will work with your needs.
New Vs. Used Forklifts
As you consider a forklift purchase, another consideration is new vs used. Again, you might consider your own needs when making this decision.
If you have the budget for it, there are many advantages to buying a new machine. You know it’s less likely to have maintenance issues. You can start a maintenance routine right from the get-go to avoid potential problems. You can also buy the exact machine you want versus having to settle for what’s available in a used machine.
If you plan to use the machine daily and for many hours a day, it probably makes sense to buy a new forklift, knowing the hours you will put on it.
If your budget is more limited, there are many used machines on the market. If you need a forklift for some daily light use, a used machine is also a good idea, knowing you won’t be giving it the hard wear and tear.
Tips to Consider
There are few additional things to consider when working towards a new forklift for your business.
It makes sense to take the time to research brands. Look at the reviews of other users and their experiences. What does each brand offer that is part of your wish list? You might also consider dealers near you who offer those brands.
Can they provide you service and assistance if you need it? A quality dealer should also be able to help you consider your exact needs. Let them talk you through forklift specs so you can fine-tune your list of needs.
It makes sense to also consider who will be operating the machine. What experience do they bring to the table? Will they need additional training? Can they handle the type of machine you are considering?
Budget is also an important consideration. There are many brands on the market with a wide range of offerings. If there are brands that don’t work with your budget, look at the ones that do, and consider if they have what you need.
When you consider cost, you also want to consider a machine’s ROI. Can it give you back enough to make the investment worth it? You might also think into the future and how often you replace machines to consider how well the type of forklift you are considering goes with resale.
Finding the Best Forklift for Your Business
There is no doubt that a quality forklift is the workhorse of warehouses and job sites. You want to find the best forklift to meet your unique needs.
Use this list to purchase a forklift that makes your business run more smoothly.
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