To find the most efficient and cost-effective equipment, you need specialized insight into how to pick the right forklift for the job. In addition to size and power, when selecting a forklift you should consider factors such as how much and how high the machine can lift, how careful you should be when handling loads in sensitive areas, and whether to buy or rent a forklift.
Even the smallest adjustments can save your operators time, while simultaneously boosting their productivity and making your operation more cost-effective. If you’re looking for the right forklift for your business, Rentalex can help you match your business process with a forklift that meets your requirements. The process of purchasing a forklift is more complex than most people realize. You are bound to purchase equipment that is mismatched to your requirements if you don’t research and learn your options. Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a forklift.
Your site and intended application are the greatest factors in choosing the right forklift. Consider whether the forklift will be used indoors or outdoors, whether it will operate on smooth or rough surfaces, and what type of lift heights and materials will be used. It is extremely important to get the right equipment for the right application. On today’s market, there are a wide range of manufacturers and lots of different types of forklifts. Forklifts are chosen primarily based on load capacity, lift height, fuel type, tire type, and ergonomics.
- Load Capacity: Choosing a forklift with a lift capacity below your needs would be a mistake. It is important to consider: Will the forklift handle different kinds of equipment? What is the average weight of your loads? What is the heaviest load you have to lift? Are your loads wide or narrow? In addition to the type of load, there are forklift attachments that can enhance the performance of a standard forklift and make the job more efficient.
- Lift Height: Knowing the lift heights required for the unit is also important when determining your load-carrying capability. On average, forklifts for everyday use are eight feet tall and extend to a maximum of 20 feet, although there are units that go much higher than this. This will greatly depend on your business, warehouse size, and specific use of the forklift. When selecting a forklift, make sure it is able to meet your height restrictions, just as you do with the maximum load. It is important to keep in mind the average lift height, height restrictions, and the highest point that the forklift must reach. It is also essential that you take into account the collapsed mast height, especially if the forklift must move beneath a fixed height structure. Make sure you also choose the right forklift according to the warehouse height and aisle width requirements.
- Fuel Type: A forklift can be either electric or internal combustion powered. Electric forklifts are powered by large, heavy lead-acid batteries and can operate continuously for up to five or six hours on a standard eight-hour shift. This system has two major advantages: it produces zero emissions, which is important if the forklift must be used indoors, and is highly fuel-efficient.
The internal combustion engines run on gasoline, diesel, liquid propane gas or compressed natural gas. The main benefits of internal combustion forklifts are that they can be operated in any type of environment, that they can handle much more weight and that they can be refueled on the spot. Additionally, they have a higher reach, usually topping out at 36 feet in comparison to electric lifts, which are usually limited to 30 feet.
- Tire Selection: Choosing the right forklift will be largely determined by the conditions in which it will operate. This applies whether you are indoors or outdoors, on paved or rough surfaces. Choosing the right tires will impact on your forklift’s handling and safety.
In most cases, forklifts are rented or financed because of their high initial cost. In addition to fuel, tires, servicing, depreciation, and operator costs, forklifts have ongoing costs over their lifetimes. That leaves a question of whether it’s better to buy or to rent. In most cases, renting is more cost-effective, especially when wanting to save capital. Other times, purchasing would be a wiser investment as capital depreciation and other tax benefits are available.