Looking for a forklift for your business may be a challenge, especially if you don’t have enough experience in it. That’s why it takes understanding and organization to help you find the right forklift for you. In this guide, we will help you find the right forklift for you!

There are things to consider when buying a new forklift. What are they?

1. Capacity

Determine the typical loads your forklift should work with. Typically, in the material handling industry, standard pallets are used that don’t exceed 2,000 lbs. The load capacity is also referred to as forklift rated capacity.

However, the load capacity of your forklift is affected by many factors, such as:

  • Load dimensions
  • Center weight
  • Fork distance
  • Lifting height
  • Attachments

… and many more. The load center of the forklift is the horizontal distance from your forks to the load’s center of gravity. Knowing this is vital to determine the capacity of the forklift.

Forklift attachments also affect its capacity in a way that they could reduce the machine’s lifting capacity. This happens because of the weight of the attachment and how it shifts the center of gravity of the forklift. When the front part of the lift starts to become heavier, it is important to reduce the maximum lifting weight to prevent tip-overs.

In that case, it can be tricky to find the right forklift capacity because it’s likely your average pallet load may change to meet the needs of your customers. Ideally, you need to be able to foresee these changes by considering the average load weight and trending changes over the years. Looking into the stages in your mast and how high you typically lift loads to find the right net capacity for the forklift. Finally, consider the space where you’ll use the forklift.

2. Accessories/Attachments

The attachments of the forklift will help boost productivity. For example, a single-double or side shifter can be extremely helpful for your operations. As mentioned, the attachments or accessories impact the total capacity of the forklift, so you need to take into this consideration when buying a forklift.

3. Mast Height

It’s likely your top rack or ceiling won’t probably get higher compared to your loads. Therefore, it’s ideal to choose your maximum load weight and select a mast that will match that weight. You can also go for something heavier.

In case you will use the forklift in areas with low clearances, then it’s best to go for a forklift with a mast with a free lift.

4. Engine Type

There are different engine types you can choose from.

  • Electric: This is best used for indoor applications, such as in pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, etc. An electric forklift is designed to operate in and around big facilities. It’s battery-powered, which means you don’t need to worry about exhaust fumes or emissions that can be harmful. You can also enjoy the cheaper power and low-noise operation. Finally, it allows for customized operations because you can personalize the output like the lift and travel speeds.
  • Diesel: A diesel forklift is best used in outdoor environments due to the exhaust fumes and emissions it emits through diesel combustion. On the other hand, it’s fuel-efficient compared to an LPG engine and it has high power output. You get to enjoy an improved performance and it’s more adaptable. It also has higher residual value because it is under less stress during operation; therefore, it gets to retain its resale value compared to LPG and electric forklifts.
  • LPG: An LPG engine is flexible, but it only produces moderate amounts of exhaust fumes and emissions. It can be used for both indoors and outdoors. This is best if you’re looking for a more affordable forklift and you can expect superior performance with this, which makes it better than electric or diesel forklifts. However, it has more expensive maintenance.

5. Tire

New Forklift truck

The good thing about this factor is that it’s easy to determine this. If you will use the forklift indoors, then you should go for cushion tires.

A cushion tire is affordable with a good turning radius. On the other hand, if you need to use the forklift mainly outdoors, then it’s best to go for solid pneumatic tires.

There are other tires you can choose from, such as static-resistant, polyurethane, and cold-prepped ones. These are used for specialty applications.

6. Manufacturer

The manufacturer behind the forklift must also be considered. For example, if you purchase several equipment from the same manufacturer, you can get your forklifts and other equipment for a lower cost.

There are plenty of manufacturers out there, and it’s crucial you go for a reputable one who can deliver excellent quality and won’t give you a lot of issues down the road. After all, you want to get the most out of your forklift, which is why it makes a lot of sense to take time to research properly to find the best manufacturer that can suit your needs.

7. Used vs. Brand New

If the cost is an issue, you have the option to explore used forklifts on the market. These used ones are operational, yet you need to be more careful here. You should take into consideration the number of hours you plan to use the forklift.

If you only use the forklift for a few hours a day, you can go for a used forklift. On the other hand, if you think you need to use the forklift for more than four hours a day, then you might want to consider getting a new model.

Find the Right Forklift Today

These are the things you need to consider when choosing a forklift for your operations. By considering these things, it will help you find the right one that will accommodate your needs.

Indeed, shopping for a new forklift to use for your industry may be a challenge, but when you know what to look for, you can go through the whole experience in a breeze. So, go on and find the right forklift for you now!