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Almost all warehousing, construction and operations-based businesses depend on forklifts in their operations. Yet, many fail to comprehend the most important aspects to look out for when acquiring a new or used forklift.

Instead, business owners often make their decisions solely based on the price and brand of the forklift. While these two factors should be considered, there are many other qualities that should be judged too. In this article, we give you a beginner’s overview of attaining a forklift.

What is a Forklift?

Before we get into the nitty gritty details, you should first fully understand what exactly a forklift is. A forklift is a small industrial vehicle with a power operated forked lifting platform at its front. This forked platform is used for insertion under a piece of cargo and lifted in order for transportation and arrangement.

Forklifts are powered either by combustion of electricity or are manufactured by several different large automotive brands. It is used extensively in multiple industries for the transportation of goods.

What Do You Need A Forklift For?

Forklifts are capable of handling a multitude of tasks, making them highly versatile machines. However, each model is designed to cater to specific needs. As such, the first step for prospective buyers is to identify their main requirements for the forklift.

  1. What stock do you need the forklift to handle? Is your stock bulky and obstructive? Are they long or awkwardly shaped?
  2. What is the average and heaviest load that you expect to lift?
  3. What is the highest point that you need to lift loads to?
  4. Are you using the forklift to unload shipping containers?
  5. Does your work environment have any height restrictions? These commonly come in the form of low hanging lights, cross beams and doorway access.
  6. What surfaces will you use your forklift on? Concrete, gravel, timber or dirt? This affects the choice of tires.
  7. Will the forklift be used indoors or outdoors?
  8. How much space does your environment have for maneuvering?
  9. How many hours do you need to forklift to work in a single day?
  10. What accessories do you need for the forklift?
  11. What is your preferred choice of fuel?

Purchasing Brand New or Purchasing Used or Renting

After identifying the requirements for the forklift, you will need to determine the method of acquisition. As a rule of thumb, if you need the forklift to work more than four pers day, you should acquire a brand-new forklift. This because such a workload would qualify as heavy usage, and thus will operate best with machines that have full mechanical life. If you use around two hours a day, then a used forklift should work fine for your needs.

Of course, brand new forklifts will cost you more. If you are unwilling to shell out the capital for brand new forklifts but still need to meet the heavy workloads, then consider forklift rental services. Renting a forklift is actually a common practice in many industries. This removes the need for initial capital outlay and the liability of maintenance. Instead, businesses can rent when required and solely pay for that short duration.