The inception of forklifts has brought about a revolution in workplaces, including manufacturing units, factories, and retail set-ups. They have cut down manual labor and are very time-saving. But, the majority of warehouse or factory owners buy random forklifts to carry out operations at their set-ups. They could be Thinking that a forklift can do any job is a big mistake. There is a wide range of forklifts and each one is designed to do specific tasks.
If you are also contemplating buying a forklift, here is how to select the right forklift for the job.
The operating environment
Before anything else, consider the operating environment. Will the forklift operate outside or inside or both? Will it operate on rough surfaces or run on smooth surfaces? Will it be handled by one operator or multiple operators? For how many hours will you use it every day? What is the width of the entrance and the side entrance of your set-up?
These are some important questions you should ask yourself before selecting a forklift as these factors will affect the kind of forklift, fuel type, and tire type you need to buy.
The load size and limit
If your forklift can’t manage the required load size and lift capacity, what is the use of having it? It can negatively impact your business. Also, buying a forklift that has way more power than required, is a waste of money.
Therefore, make sure to select a forklift corresponding to the load size and lift capacity. Consider the average load weight, load type, load width, and maximum load capacity while making your choice.
The lift and reach height
Consider your set-up’s aisle and width requirements before selecting a forklift. What is the average lift height? Are there any height restrictions? What is the maximum reach? All these questions need a thoughtful reflection.
This is one of the most important considerations. When it comes to tire options, you will be spoilt for choices. Select the option that suits the requirements of the operations at your set-up.
Here are the tire options you have:
- Solid tires: Apt for heavy-duty applications, these tires do not puncture or pop. They are extremely durable and can be used at lumber yards, construction zones, recycling centers, and other such locations.
- Pneumatic tires: These tires are also designed for heavy-duty lifting. They are made of rubber and filled with compressed air. They work great on outdoor surfaces like gravel, asphalt, and also on unpaved terrain.
- Cushion tires: They are made of solid rubber and pressed directly on the wheel. As they are closer to the ground and have small chassis, they get an advantage in the form of a smaller turn radius. But, due to low ground clearance, you can only use them indoors.
Some other options include non-marking tires and puncture-proof tires, each suited for a specific work environment.
Number of wheels
Just like the kind of tires, the number of wheels is also an important consideration to make while buying a forklift. Three-wheel forklifts are apt for the indoor environment. They have a lower turning radius and are inexpensive. Their maximum load capacity is 2500 kg.
Four-wheel forklifts work wonders on rough and uneven ground and have a higher load capacity of 8000 kg.
Electric, diesel, and gas are the three options available.
- Electric fuel type: They do not make noise, have no emission, and can operate in the indoor and outdoor environment. They are costly but are very durable.
- Diesel or gas type: These forklifts are for heavy-duty use as they can lift heavy loads and move faster. They are more durable and low maintenance. Gas forklifts are of two types CNG and LPG.
- Spare parts and services
The spare parts and services of the forklift is also an important consideration. Select a brand that can offer better maintenance services and easy availability of parts to reduce downtime and extra expenses. Buy brands like Clarks because parts like Clarks forklift transmission, chains, bearings, mast rollers, etc are easily available.
The bottom line
Having the right forklift at the workplace can improve your efficiency significantly -operation costs, stock administrations, and overall profitability. Hence, always choose a forklift based on the application. These tips will help you select the perfect forklift for your job.