7 Things First-Time Forklift Buyers Should Know

If you’re a first-time forklift buyer, understanding where to start when buying a forklift can seem more of a difficult process. There are plenty of features to consider-quality wise, and that’s why we’ve created a handy guide to aid you in your journey and make the search for your soon-to-purchase forklift way easier. Forklifts are a big investment so these need to be well-thought of and selected for your specific needs.

Here are 7 things you should know as a first-time forklift buyer:

1.   Your Requirements

Be clear and specific on what you need the forklift for. Ensure that you know how high you need to lift, whether the truck will be used indoors or outdoors, the usage, and if there are any other accessories you may need. The setting where your forklift will operate determines the kind of forklift you need. Identify whether the terrain will be flat or rough because the type of terrain will ensure you choose the right truck, as some forklifts operate better on flat surfaces and others on rougher surfaces. Choosing the right forklift for the environment you dedicate to use it in is important, so you don’t end up wasting money.

2.   Capacity

Identify the capacity your forklift will need to have for the task at hand. Get clear on the material the forklift will be working on. Purchasing a forklift with no capability to carry the weight of the material it should be working on would be an absolute nightmare. Bear in mind that overburdening the forklift will lead to deteriorating the truck quickly as well and increases the risks of an accident occurring.

3.   Comfort

Forklift operators tend to work very long hours, so you should keep in mind the importance of ensuring that the forklift you go for is comfortable. Forklifts are designed not just for comfort but to reduce the risk of injury as well. The increased comfort for the operators leads to more efficient work and protects them from any probable accident or injury.

4.   Power Source

There are two power sources you can choose from with your forklifts. The first is electric forklifts. Electric forklifts tend to be more expensive, yet in the long run, their type can be considered the better option because electric forklifts last a lot longer, don’t need fuel, and demand less maintenance. These also emit zero emissions and make very little noise that is great for indoor usage.
The second is fuel-powered forklifts. Fuel-powered forklifts typically run on diesel and tend to have a lot more power compared to electric forklifts. Forklifts that use fuel are great for heavy lifting and rougher terrains where you will need a strong engine.

5.   Used Or New

One factor to consider when purchasing a forklift is whether to buy a used or a brand-new model. The benefit of purchasing a used forklift is that they tend to be way more inexpensive. As the folks at Used Forklifts noted, just like with a brand-new car, a new forklift’s value will depreciate as soon as you’ve driven away from the dealership. Purchasing a used forklift provides better value as you can avoid the loss of serviceability. Serviceability is important when you are purchasing a forklift for the first time and want to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck.
Used models are very likely to have featured reviews which allows you to make an informed decision when buying a forklift.

6.   Attachments

Get the most out of your forklift by choosing the right attachments. These accessories can help lower your cost by having one machine perform multiple tasks. Some of these attachments include a fork extension, enabling a bigger bite and the ability to carry more in a single load. You can also opt for a man basket, which turns a forklift into an aerial lift vehicle that can carry individuals and equipment to the forklift’s maximum height.

7.   Condition

When looking at various forklift options, you will want to ensure that the machine is in the best condition for your needs. Ensure that the tires don’t have uneven or excessive wear as these can point to an issue with axle alignment, and can lead to costly repairs further down the line.
The engine will also need to be checked. Identify if the engine is fuel-powered as the exhaust should be minimal when started up and disperse once the engine has warmed up. You will want to check for leaks as well and if any are discovered, you probably want to keep searching.

The benefit of a forklift is limitless and although most are used to move materials, these machines can also be used to stack, raise, or lower objects. As forklifts are such a major investment, a lot of thought needs to be put into making the right decision. Due to the availability of such a wide range of forklifts, pinning down what you need can be downright hard, so by following the guidelines laid out above, you should be able to find the perfect forklift for you.

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