Choosing The Best Forklift For Your Needs

Choosing The Best Forklift For Your Needs

Forklift trucks are a common sight at distribution facilities, warehouses, and industrial sites. Any industry or location that needs to move heavy and difficult to lift products and materials will typically have at least one forklift on hand to help. But with so many different forklift products available, which is the right one for you?

There are forklifts designed to lift certain products easier than others, and vehicles designed to operate in different environments, such as lithium-ion battery-powered forklifts for cold storage facilities. We have a look at how to determine which is the right forklift for your business.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Your first consideration should be to think about where the forklift will be used and the type of weights it will be moving. Forklifts are available in a variety of sizes and materials, determined by the environment and location they will be operating in. 

Lift Height and Load Capacity

To ensure safe forklift operation, it is essential that you know how much weight may be safely transported and the optimal speed at which the vehicle must operate to avoid toppling over whenever the mast is lifted, especially if it is carrying a load. 

If you need to carry things to or from very high positions frequently, you'll need a forklift that can accommodate those height requirements. Even if your regular needs aren't too heavy, always consider the maximum load that may be required.

Attempting to move a load that the forklift was not designed to carry is very unsafe.

Optimal Energy Source

Your next consideration is the power source of the vehicle - diesel, gas, or electric. This may also be determined by the environment in which the forklift will be used.

Diesel vehicles are powerful and dependable, and relatively inexpensive to run. However, exhaust emissions, as well as being harmful to the environment, are also hazardous to the health of workers and required the installation of adequate ventilation systems to keep the work area safe.

Similarly, gas-powered forklifts are generally simple and inexpensive to maintain, although they do necessitate proper fuel storage and ventilation to mitigate the inevitable emissions.

Electric forklifts have come a long way since the first iteration of the type. Lithium-ion batteries have a much higher capacity for longer operation between charges, and if paired with a renewable energy supplier can be far more environmentally friendly than internal combustion engine vehicles.  There are now many more models suited to working in a range of environments, including outside. 

Rent or Purchase

If you are deciding whether to buy or rent a forklift, determining factors will typically include available funding. If you’re needing to move large objects while starting a new business or working on a temporary construction project, then renting the equipment you need is likely the best decision.

A forklift can be a significant investment, but if it is used frequently and part of your everyday operations, it will pay for itself in the long run. However, keep in mind that once you own it, you are responsible for its upkeep, maintenance, and sourcing fuel, as well as any other associated fees.

If you're unfamiliar with forklifts, you might want to rent one first to make sure it meets all of your needs. If that is the case, you can always purchase that model later.

If you’re looking for forklift truck hire in Birmingham, get in touch today.