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Essential considerations before buying a forklift

on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at 15:32

Essential considerations before buying a forklift

You are considering buying a forklift for your warehouse operations and you are a little bit undecided while facing the wide selection of models? Don’t make any abrupt decisions now. As a very useful and efficient tool, the forklift can highly help you increase your production and speed up your operations. Thus, it is important to choose one that you will use for a long time and that matches your needs.

Price, maintenance, loading capacity, functionalities, fuel options… there are many things you should consider before making a purchase. As it is a big investment, you will need to find a forklift that will help decrease your overall downtime. Through this article, we will tell you what are the different steps that should not be neglected when choosing your forklift.


Identifying your forklift requirements

First things first, you have to know why and how you want to use a forklift. Indeed, it is very important to identify your needs in order to find the forklift that will best respond to those needs. There is a wide variety of forklifts, each of them having specific characteristics and serving different purposes. Therefore, knowing your requirements is essential.

Prior to making a purchase, you need to know what kind of forklift is the most appropriate. Thus, you will have to answer these questions :

  • What kind of charges do you want to load? Is it fragile or resistant? What is its size? How heavy is it? Indeed, depending on the size and weight of your load, you will have severals options. For small and light loads, you might go for a manual forklift but if you will carry heavy and large loads you will probably opt for an electric and more resistant forklift.

  • How often will you use your forklift? How many hours a day or a month? As some forklifts offer longer performance than others, it is important to choose the one that will match your requirements. Therefore, you will have to know how often you will use it in order to evaluate the performance and the endurance capacities that you will require for your forklift.

  • Will you need to add some accessories or specific options? Attachments, safety features, forklift ergonomics... there are many options available to adapt the forklift to y+our operations, therefore you should know if some of them are relevant and necessary.

  • Will your operators be able to operate it? Will they need some training? If some forklifts do not require particular knowledge and expertise, some others require a bit of training to be used properly. Therefore, you need to decide if you want a forklift that your operators can use immediately or if you prefer to train them to use a more complex one.


Choosing a forklift for your work environment

Depending on your location and the type of operations you need to perform, you will have the choice among different types of forklift. Therefore, there are some things you need to know in order to find the best suited model :

  • Do you need a forklift for indoor activities, outdoor activities or both? This is an important point to consider as some forklifts are specifically dedicated to indoor activities and others to outdoor activities. However, you can find some models that operate in both.

  • How much space do you have in your warehouse? How narrow are the aisles? We recommend you measure the dimensions of your aisles and evaluate the space available. This is an important thing to consider as you want to be sure to find a model where you will be able to freely maneuver and that will allow you to go everywhere.

  • How high are your shelves? If you have a warehouse with very high shelves where you want to stock your merchandise, you need to make sure that the chosen forklift will allow you to lift your loads high enough to reach those shelves.

  • How much time and money are you willing to invest for the maintenance? One common mistake people do when buying a forklift is forgetting about maintenance. Yet, some forklift models require more time for maintenance and can be costly. Therefore, you need to consider how much time you can dedicate to the maintenance without affecting your return on investment.


Exploring a variety of forklift options

After answering all of the questions above, you will be able to define the type of model that will be best suited to increase your productivity. Thus, you will know which one to choose among the different options :

  • Buying a new forklift or a used forklift? If you have a small budget, a used forklift can allow you to save a lot of money. However you need to consider the maintenance fees as those can be costly sometimes and therefore, you won’t save that much money. Also, if you know you will use your forklift more than four hours a day, then we recommend you buy a new one that will last longer.

  • A manual, electric or propane forklift? The type of activities will determine the model you need. If you need to carry light loads, a manual forklift can be considered and will be less costly. For very heavy charges, you will need a motorized engine. Electric models are expensive but they have low operating costs. They are pretty quiet and have a longer life in general. However, they have to recharge their batteries every eight hours. Forklifts that run on diesel, gasoline or propane can be refueled easily and can charge heavy loads thanks to their speed capacity.   


Prior to shopping for your new forklift, write down all the requirements you have on a paper to make sure to not forget anything.

Investing in a forklift requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure it aligns with your operational needs. By taking into account your requirements, work environment, and the range of options available, you can make a well-informed decision that enhances your productivity and efficiency.

You would like to receive more information and advices in order to make a good decision? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our specialist. We will listen to your needs and give you the best recommandations to find the perfect forklift. You can contact us at this number : (450) 600-2295.

For further guidance on forklift, visit our forklift page.


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