Forklifts are heavy-duty equipment that are useful, efficient, and practically indispensable in the manufacturing and warehousing industries. They are useful for moving, lifting, unloading and stacking heavy cargo among other things.
Choosing the right forklift is crucial to your business as it can have an effect on your operating cost and productivity. If you intend to buy one, there are many factors you need to consider to ensure you get the one that will best serve your needs.
The following are some of the factors you should put into consideration prior to making your purchase.
There is a wide range of products available and the first thing you should do is to determine why you need a forklift. What do you want to accomplish? Determining these may require that you do an audit of your operation and premises. You can either do this by yourself or seek the help of dealers such as San Diego Forklifts – pacificcoastlift.com in doing so.
Some questions you might need to answer include:
- Where the equipment will be used – Indoors or outdoors?
- What heights you need to lift things up to.
- How many hours it will be in use daily.
- How wide the doors and aisles in your premises are.
- The kind of tires that will be needed.
This is a start and when you can answer these and any other questions you may be asked, it will give a clearer view of what you need.
Capacity and Type
Forklifts have capacities ranging from 2,000 lbs. to 100,000lbs so you should look for one that can handle your current and near-future needs especially if your business is growing. You should measure the lifespan of the equipment against your requirements and growth. If you buy one that only meets your current requirements, you may need to buy another in a couple of years when your business outgrows that capacity. At the same time, you should not over-invest in a capacity that you do not need.
There are four types of forklifts. They are:
- Order pickers
- Reach trucks
- Pallet jacks
- Sit-down rider trucks
Each has its capabilities and you can save money by matching the one you purchase to your intended use. This means you do not buy one with capabilities that you don’t need.
New or Used Product
Generally, as a rule of thumb, when you run a forklift for more than four hours in a day, you should consider buying a new one because when you factor in maintenance, it will cost you less and serve you better over time. If you will be purchasing a used one, you should consider factors such as age, history, condition, and service hours.
Forklifts come with different powering options which include diesel, LPG, electric, and dual-fuel. Whichever option you go for should be determined by how easily can you get resources and personnel to fuel, refill, and maintain the tanks appropriately.
You should also consider the tires. If you are using it indoors, you will likely need non-marking rubber tires but for outdoors, you may need tires that are suitable for rough terrains.
Forklifts are machines and like any other equipment, they require maintenance. You should consider buying one that can be easily maintained with features that make troubleshooting and repairs easy.
Other things that you might consider include:
- Brand – Go for a reliable brand from a dependable dealer.
- Size – Get one that will fit your facility and aisles.
- Operational comfort to improve the productivity of the operator.
In buying a forklift, do not let the price alone determine what you purchase. You should also endeavor to try it out before buying it and make sure have the idea on how to maintain it. Check this article to learn more about them.
Forklifts are very important construction equipment and also huge investments. If you desire a good return on your investment, before buying one, you will do well to take some time researching into the options available to you and comparing them to your needs.
We have in this article provided you with some basic pointers that should help you get started on your path to finding the right forklift for your needs.