Buying a forklift for your company’s warehouse is an important and very complex decision that is best made after carefully assessing numerous factors – here are a few tips about how to shop for a forklift and about the aspects to bear in mind when selecting the machine to buy.
Forklifts vary in terms of the size and the weight of the machine itself as well as in terms of the weight that they can load and of the height they can lift the weight to. To be able to make the right decision, assess the typical weight that needs to be lifted, measure the height to which your loads need to be lifted and also measure the space in which the forklift will be maneuvered. Also try to determine whether the forklift will work indoors, outdoors or both – this aspect will determine not only the size of your machine, but also the type of accessories it needs to be fitted with.
If your forklift will be used in a special environment, such is in a warehouse or in a production area with special requirements in terms of hygiene or in a factory that uses highly explosive substances, make sure that the forklift that you buy is able to meet the special requirements in the area of application. Most forklift manufacturers have special products, such as explosion-proof equipment or machines fitted with white, sterile tires for these special environments.
New versus Second-Hand
Try to determine how much you will need to use the forklift as well. If you use it for less than fours a day, you can probably use a second-hand machine, and can always find used forklifts Colorado businesses are no longer using, but if your machine will need to work almost all the time, you will be probably better off buying a new machine.
In terms of the fuel used, forklifts are available either with engines that use electricity as a power source or with internal combustion engines that use petrol, diesel fuel or LPG as a fuel source. Each of the solutions come with advantages:
- Electric forklifts use batteries or fuel cells that are recharged from an electric power supply, which makes them environment-friendly and cheap to operate; but requires the machine to stay relatively close to the power source, so these units might not be the best choice for being extensively used outdoors. Charging the large battery of electric forklifts usually takes a few hours, so they cannot be instantly re-fueled;
- Forklifts fitted with internal combustion engines are more flexible and more versatile, suitable for outdoors as well as for indoors operations, refueling is quick and easy, but they are more expensive to operate and to maintain.
See the Machine with Your Own Eyes before You Buy It
You need to check every function and feature of the machine you have picked and to test it before you buy it. If you are not an expert yourself, find a qualified machine operator or mechanic to a accompany you – buying a forklift, even a small, used one, is an investment that needs to be made carefully.