Tips for Choosing the Right Forklift for the Job
If you are looking to maintain efficiency, safety and productivity in any warehouse or industrial setting, it is important to select the right forklift.
With various types, capacities and features available, selecting the right truck can be a strenuous task. This is especially true if you are a first time buyer or are looking to place a substantial order.
Today, we are going to offer a definitive list of tips for those purchasing a new or used forklift truck.
Whether you need a truck for lifting heavy loads, transporting irregularly shaped materials or operating in specific environments, you will have the knowledge to make an informed decision.
Assess Operational Needs
Before you begin the buying process, it is important to understand your organisation’s operational requirements.
Examples of this include: determining the weight and size of the loads to be lifted, the height to which they need to be raised and the type of environment the forklift will operate in.
This assessment is fundamental at the start. It allows you to effectively narrow down the choices, by clearing understanding the expectations of the truck.
Exploring Types of Forklifts
There are various models and types of truck on the market, all boasting unique capabilities. It is important to consider your requirements against the capabilities of the prospective forklift.
Common examples include:
Ideal for indoor use and handling standard pallets. Available in electric, gas, or diesel variants.
If you have narrow aisles or high shelves, this type of vehicle can be particularly beneficial.
For moving pallets within short distances, these are simple and cost-effective solutions.
These trucks are equipped with large, rugged tires. This makes them more suited to environments that are rough or uneven, allowing the drive to move and operate with consistent levels of efficiency.
Gaining huge momentum in recent years, these trucks make use of an electric powered engine. They offer comparable levels of performance, both indoors and outdoors, whilst complying with new environmental standards.
Consider Fuel Type
The fuel type of your prospective purchase is something that should be closely considered. Why? Because different engines emit different levels of emissions and demand different operational costs.
You may wish to consider the following: electric forklifts are quieter, emit no fumes and are suitable for indoor use. Diesel forklifts, conversely, are robust. Although they produce emissions, they are more suited to outdoor tasks.
Operatives on an outdoor construction site, for example, may not find an electric truck beneficial, when compared to fuel or gas alternatives.
Determine Load Capacity
Load capacity is another important consideration, especially if your logistics organisation handles heavy materials or machinery.
Ensure your prospective purchase can handle the weight placed on it. This will avoid damage to the vehicle and mitigate any risks for operators.
It is always encouraged to examine the layout and available space in your warehouse or industrial space.
Narrow aisles might require a forklift with good manoeuvrability, to avoid harming operational efficiency.
Certain trucks are well suited to this operation, offering advanced manoeuvrability in tight and complex spaces.
Consider Operator Comfort and Safety
If your operator is uncomfortable it is unlikely that you achieve optimum productivity.
Look for forklifts with ergonomic designs, adjustable seating and controls that are intuitive to use.
Likewise, features like seat belts, backup alarms and lighting are critical for ensuring user safety and health and safety compliance.
Maintenance and Support
Consider the availability of spare parts, servicing and technical support when choosing a forklift.
Opting for a model with a reliable service network ensures prompt assistance in case of breakdowns and facilitates regular maintenance, extending the equipment’s lifespan.
Budget is going to be a significant consideration for most people. Those with more of an initial investment may wish to purchase a new model, whilst those looking for a competitively priced solution may go used.
Test, Test, Test
If you are committing to a large purchase, it is recommended that you test the forklift. That is why we encourage people to contact us prior to purchase, so we can better understand you and your needs.
At Trucks Direct UK, we have a large showroom in the West Midlands that houses our forklifts. Prospective buyers are welcome to visit us to discuss their requirements, browse our selection of vehicles and outline any technical concerns.