Things to Consider when Buying or Hiring a Forklift

The purchase of a new or used forklift for most businesses is a substantial investment of capital and warrants good research, solid advice and finally informed decision making. Each business has specific needs for material handling, impacted by factors such as building design, product packaging and distribution logistics.

The correct choice of forklift and forklift equipment for material handling in the workplace will have a great beneficial effect on productivity.  Conversely the incorrect choice of equipment will have detrimental consequences. There is nothing worse than buying a new piece of equipment and realising that it is not effective in its role.

This brings to light a major point: Consult with the staff who will actually use the forklift/machine in the work environment. Above all, Workplace Health and Safety should be priority, not what fits the budget.  If you cannot afford a new or used forklift you need to talk your supplier about alternative options. Eureka Forklifts offers a wide range of services including hire, competitive finance, long term leasing agreements, and used forklift upgrade options.

As in any capital purchase you will get what you pay for. But through good research you can also maximize the value you get for you dollar. There are a variety of brands to choose from; Toyota, Hyster, Nissan, Linde, Caterpillar, Crown, Komatsu, and Mitsubishi. Each of which will generally be associated with different tiers of quality.

A better quality forklift will last longer, cost less to maintain and will be nicer for your operators to use.

Some of the basic considerations in purchasing a new or used forklift:

  • Capacity – the weight of the load you want to lift.
  • Size / Dimensions of the load – what are the dimensions of the load.  This greatly effects the capacity of the forklift required as it moves the load center of the forklift.
  • Lift Height – how high do you wish to lift.
  • Operating Environment – on what surface will the forklift operate.  Is it a gravel yard or a concrete warehouse? Are there any ramps? If so, how steep?
  • Fuel – what fuel type will be most effective, this can be dictated by locality, ventilation or product being handled.
  • Maneuverability – how much space do you have for your forklift to operate in.  Don’t forget low door heights, mezzanine floors etc
  • Hours of Usage – how many hours a day will your forklift be in operation.
  • Attachments – Will your material handling be enhanced by side-shift, a rotator, bale clamp, paper roll clamp.

Talk do different people, your operators, colleagues in your industry and Eureka Forklifts who deal with material handling issues on a daily basis. We have included many further articles in our website dealing with some of the issues raised above.