Forklift trucks can vary hugely between different models and different manufacturers, different types of forklift are also better suited to different tasks. So, there are a lot of variables that you should consider when you are choosing a forklift truck.
Are you working predominantly indoors or outdoor?
This might seem like a trivial question, but the location that your forklift is going to be used in can make huge differences to the types of machine and even the type of tyres that will be most suitable. Knowing the answer to this question will help you narrow down the type of machine that will be best for you, this is because some machines out-perform others when they are used in different situations. For example, if you are working regularly outdoors and the ground is uneven, it might be best to consider an all-terrain machine, these are specially designed to operate over rough ground and are fitted with special tyres that are more suited for the job. Using a machine that is designed for indoor use such as a VNA or Order Picker, can increase the risk of accidents as well as damage to the machine.
How often will the forklift be used?
Is your forklift going to be used seven days a week or just on a couple of days each week? There are some machines that are designed to be used in heavy-duty applications where use in high intensity and extended periods will be handled easily, whereas other machines may not hold up to the same level of operation and may even grind your business to a halt if they are used outside of their limits.
If you only need a forklift truck for a set period, for example for a particular project, you may be better off renting instead of buying, forklift hire can more cost-effective than buying a machine outright.
How big is your space?
This might sound obvious, but having a machine that is too big for your operating space can create innumerable hazards. This can increase the risks of accidents and injuries occurring. Plus, it is useless having a forklift if it won’t fit down the aisles in your warehouse or around your facility. If you have a narrow operating space, then a narrow forklift is the one for you. Likewise, if you have stock that needs placing on racking 20 metres high, there is no point in having a machine that will only lift to a maximum of 10 metres.
What’s your budget?
The budget you have to spend can be a huge deciding factor in what kind of forklift truck you can have. While you need to account for the upfront costs, there ae also the associated costs of ongoing maintenance, fuel and fuel storage (especially with LPG and Diesel models) and training if it is a new type of machine to your fleet. All of these will need to be factored in when making your decision.
What attachments do you need?
Having the right attachment for your machine can make moving your products quick and easy, whereas having the incorrect attachment can make lifting the load dangerous by increasing the risk that something will move unexpectedly and cause injury or a hazard. Attachments that are designed for the job improve efficiency and safety, so is definitely worth identifying your needs.
At Dawsongroup material handling, we have a huge range of machines, attachments and accessories available to suit all needs and requirements. Contact a member of our expert team for help choosing a forklift truck or more information on our range of machines.