Choosing the Right Forklift: A First-Time Buyer’s Guide
If you’re running a shipping business, the need for a forklift cannot be overemphasized. While they are primarily used to move materials, they can also be used to raise, stack, lower, and remove large objects. They do the heavy lifting around the warehouse that plain manpower simply cannot.
Forklifts are a major investment that we need to put a lot of thought into. There are many types of forklifts with different technologies and features. The availability of choices is almost always a good thing, but for a first-time buyer, it can be complicated.
Choosing the right forklift for your particular needs is vital to ensuring that your operations go smoothly, and that you’re able to get your money’s worth from your investment. We’ve taken the time to simplify the selection process for first-time buyers by using these few factors to assist with your decision.
Terrain And Setting
The terrain and setting in which your forklifts are going to be operating will determine the type of forklift you need. It’s important to identify whether your operations will be indoors or outdoors, and as well whether the terrain will be flat or rough. There are forklifts that are specialized to operate better on flat surfaces, while others excel on rough terrain.
Now, you also have to determine the specific capacities that your forklift needs to have for the task. It’s important to first identify the type of materials that the forklift is going to be working on. You don’t want to purchase a forklift only to find that it can’t carry the weight of the materials or that it can’t lift stock high enough. Overloading a forklift won’t just accelerate the rate at which it and its parts deteriorate, but it also increases the risk of an accident happening.
There are two general power sources to choose from. Electric forklifts are more expensive to purchase, but they essentially pay for themselves in the long run because they last much longer, require less maintenance, and don’t use fuel. Electric forklifts also have zero emissions and they make little to no noise, which makes them ideal for indoor use.
In contrast, fuel-powered forklifts, particularly those that run on diesel, have significantly more power than their electric counterparts, which not only makes them ideal for really heavy lifting, but also for rough terrain where stronger engines are essential.
Considering the fact that forklift operators are going to be working long hours, it’s important to ensure that they are comfortable. Forklift ergonomics are more than just for convenience and comfort. They help minimize the risk of injury and they help combat fatigue. Keeping your operators in prime condition will now only help them be more productive, but this also helps prevent accidents. You don’t want a forklift operator falling asleep on the job or being unable to react to a situation because of pain.
Any warehouse needs to have a fleet of reliable forklifts. Once you’ve determined the type of forklift you need, it’s important to buy only from trusted forklift dealers like Toyota Lift Northwest. As you already know, forklifts are a significant investment, and you’re going to want to get your money’s worth.