Choosing the right Forklift for your Business

If you’ve been shopping around looking at forklifts for sale, then you know how difficult it can be to work out precisely what your business needs. Choosing the right forklift can be the difference between an efficient and productive warehouse or worksite and one beset by delays and cost overruns.

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a forklift for your business. Different models will have different load specifications, capacities, handling, fuel requirements and more. It’s important to understand what forklifts are available and which ones match your specific business requirements.

Regardless of whether you’re looking at new or second hand forklifts for sale, we have a simple guide to help you understand what’s available and what’s going to best suit your business.

What is your working environment?

Do you need a forklift for an indoor warehouse or an outdoor construction site? Will it be used solely on smooth concrete floors or does it need to operate on gravel or other rough terrain?

The regular working conditions matter a great deal. A forklift that’s meant for working on smooth interior surfaces won’t perform well on rough outdoor surfaces. In some cases, it can even be unsafe.

Selecting a forklift specifically designed for your working environment will ensure you get the best performance out of your machinery and deal with fewer maintenance and repair issues.

How often will it be used?

Workload often gets ignored, but we highly recommend that you look to buy a forklift that can handle your intended workload. Try to determine how many hours per day(on average) that it will  be in use.

The more heavy duty models are designed to be used continuously and will face fewer maintenance issues when faced with heavy usage.

However, if your workload requirements are fairly low, then you may be better off purchasing a cheaper or second hand forklift.

It’s also worth bearing in mind the machine’s ergonomics and ride comfort. Forklifts that will be used extensively throughout the day should be designed to factor in the operator’s comfort.

Load capacity

Make sure you purchase a forklift with a maximum lift capacity capable of handling your load requirements. You will also need to think about what kind of materials it will be handling, what’s the average load weight, the maximum load weight, and the width of the loads.

The type of loads you will be handling are also important when it comes to selecting the appropriate forklift attachments.

Having a detailed understanding of your load requirements will help you to select a machine that can handle everything you throw at it safely and efficiently.

Height requirements

Your height requirements generally refer to two factors: lift height and access height. Lift height refers to the maximum height the forklift can reach to pick or place a load. It’s also worth bearing in mind that lift height can affect load capacity. Forklifts with high masts may have dual capacity ratings where they are able to handle heavier loads at lower heights, but only lighter loads at higher heights.

Access height refers to the height of the fully collapsed mast. If your warehouse has any points lower than this height, your forklift will not be able to get underneath.

Fuel type

Forklifts are available in three different fuel types: electric, gas or diesel. Electric forklifts may cost more upfront, but they will have lower fuel costs over the long term compared with gas and diesel. They are also good options for indoor work as they are quiet and don’t give off any emissions.

Gas and diesel forklifts tend to be more powerful and better suited to outdoor and more heavy duty use.

New or second hand

If you’re looking at second hand forklifts for sale in Melbourne, you should remember that while they will be cheaper, they may require more maintenance and not last as long as a new model.

If you require a forklift for extensive daily use (more than four or five hours per day), then you should consider purchasing or leasing a new machine. Less than four hours per day, and you could probably get away with used machine (depending on load requirements).

Overall, value for money is so important when buying a forklift. Whether you go for a new one or a second hand machine, use all of the information above to make sure you buy a forklift you can use for years to come.

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