Forklifts are valuable pieces of equipment for business operations. Making the right decision when looking to add a truck to your fleet can become challenging when you consider key factors. The choice ultimately affects productivity, efficiency, and profitability, so the decision should be made only after careful consideration.
Consider Your Application
Determining your application and business needs is the best place to start when planning your forklift purchase. Considering your industry is a start. However, your applications can be far more specific and require a certain truck. Things to consider when buying a forklift include:
- Indoor or outdoor usage
- Layout of the warehouse or facility
- Height of storage racks
- Size and weight of your loads
- Job site stability and terrain
- Frequency of use
The space where you operate reveals essential information about the type of equipment you need. For example, if you tend to work on loose, unstable soils, you need a lighter forklift to navigate the area.
Think About Capabilities
Once you consider your applications and how you want a forklift to operate on a specific job site, you can look for an option that fits your needs. Every type of forklift has its own unique features, advantages, and limitations; you’ll need these specifications to align with your applications.
If you intend to haul stone in your forklift bucket and dump it into a truck, you need a model with a high weight capacity and lift height. However, lower lift and weight capabilities would be suitable if you need your forklift to move lighter materials from one point to another without a large range of elevation needed.
Look Into Fuel Types
Each fuel type has unique advantages and understanding those distinctions can help with the decision process. Consider these three main fuel types:
- Diesel: Diesel forklifts are ideal for outdoor use and offer high power levels. They generally have longer run times than electric forklifts and the refuel process is rather quick. A downside to diesel is the higher operating costs on top of producing emissions.
- Propane: Like diesel, propane forklifts are ideal for outdoor conditions and produce emissions. These trucks run on liquefied petroleum gas and require a high lifting capacity.
- Electric: Battery-powered forklifts have high maneuverability and create no fumes, making them safe for indoor use around food products. Overall, they are low-maintenance and have lower operating costs compared to other fuel types.
Factor in Your Budget
The amount you spend is perhaps one of the biggest considerations when buying a new or used forklift. All the factors listed will have some level of impact on the amount you spend on a truck. When you choose the right forklift for your business, it improves efficiency and productivity, ultimately saving you money in the long run.