A Forklift Buyers' Guide

The forklift is a key piece of machinery that provides warehouses, yards and factories with vital services, such as unloading, delivering and many other pivotal needs. This is why investing in a forklift should require careful consideration and a knowledge of what forklift best suits your business's requirements.

We have put together a simple and effective guide on how to choose and purchase a suitable forklift for your business.

Job Requirements

The first thing to do before deciding on a forklift is to list the duties you require from the forklift. Forklifts come in all shapes and sizes and perform very different functions, so get your job priorities in order first.

Establish the weight, size, shape etc of the load that your new forklift will be dealing with. If you are just using it for small deliveries there is no point investing in a large industrial forklift. You also need to determine whether the forklift is going to be used indoors, outdoors, every day or once a month for a specific delivery. All these points should be considered so you can ensure that you are purchasing the appropriate forklift with the correct requirements.

Should I Buy New or Used?

Again, you need to decide on your requirements. If you will be using the forklift every day for long periods of time it is usually best to buy a brand new forklift, as this will save you money in long run. A heavily used forklift that has been purchased second hand may require far more maintenance and repair than a new model, and will eventually cost you more money. However, if you require a forklift for the occasional delivery, using it for an hour a day for example, you may want to invest in a used forklift.

Forklift Work Area

A major consideration is the work area you will be operating the forklift in. Take measurements and work out what size forklift is capable of moving comfortably through the aisles and work area. Are the loads going to be stored over 30ft high, or will you be transporting loads fairly long distances? These details should be carefully considered, as the work area determines the model and size of the forklift.

Shop Around

Always shop around for the best deals and most highly approved models. Ask other forklift operators about the models they use and try and get an idea of what type will suit your requirements. Visit your local dealers and ask about maintenance, repairs and parts costs to get an overview of general costs. The dealer should give you good advice and help you purchase a model that will suit your needs for a good price. Always try and bargain with the dealer, as you may be able to get price reduced. If you are buying more than one forklift it is best to buy the same model through the same dealer, as you should receive a reasonable discount for buying in ‘bulk’.

As long as you consider these details before deciding and purchasing a forklift truck then you should come away with a useful, working machine that fits the specification.

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