A forklift is a large investment for your business that can increase your efficiency and productivity, but like any investment, there are many questions to consider. There are two sets of questions you should be asking when purchasing equipment to assure that it fits your requirements and solves your material handling needs. Taking the time to reflect on your operation and considering how the forklift would be optimized can help to assure that you make the right purchase.
Forklift Questions to Ask
What type of forklift engine do you need?
Choosing between an Electric and Internal Combustion forklift will impact the future of your fleet. These engines run off different types of fuel, and this will need to be consider based off of how and where the forklift will be used.
Where will the forklift be used?
Indoor and outdoor use of forklifts require different specifications. When operating on smooth surfaces, cushion tires are desirable, but while driving on rough surfaces, pneumatic tires are highly recommended. If your trucks will be handling certain consumable products such as drugs and food, an electric forklift should be considered in effort to avoid contamination.
What spaces will the forklift have to move through?
Narrow spaces require forklifts that can fit through these smaller spaces. 3-wheel forklifts and stand-up riders offer flexibility to be able to maneuver in these areas. Narrow aisle order pickers and reach trucks are a great solution for those operating in narrow aisles with racking. Pay attention to the mast height of the forklift to also understand how unloading and loading would work.
How often will your forklift be used?
Buying a new forklift may not be your only option, especially if you are not constantly using your truck. Used forklifts can offer a more cost-friendly choice and renting or leasing a forklift is another option to consider for short-term and seasonal work. Discussing your options with your dealer and how often you plan to use your forklift will help you understand what selection is best for your needs.
Business Questions to Ask
Should I be buying, leasing, or renting a forklift?
There are a variety of ways to get a forklift into your hands. Buying or renting and leasing offers flexibility, so your business can have the option best for operations. Renting a forklift for a short period is a great choice for those wanting to “test-drive” a forklift before purchasing one.
How can I keep my forklift for longer?
When making a large investment, you want to be sure it will last. Your dealer can assist in explaining how routine maintenance and other measures can be taken to help your forklift extend its life. Upfront costs are important, but the future expenses should be understood.
Am I getting everything I need?
Your forklift is not the only piece of equipment you will need. Dealers offer other material handling solutions to make sure you’re operating well. Attachments, safety training, and racking are just a few of the other solutions offered by majority of dealers.
Is this the right time to buy a forklift?
There are many reasons to buy a forklift. While your facility’s needs are crucial, market trends, developments in supply chain, and changes in government policy, like tax benefits, can positively or negatively affect your purchasing process. Whether or not buying a new forklift is right for you, the other options available will also add productivity and ease of work to your business.