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Forklift Buyers Guide: The Process for Finding the Best Forklift

November 15, 2021

Not all forklifts are created equally, or for the same types of work. There are specific models, styles, and sizes, each designed to perform certain tasks and functions. Since there are so many variables to consider, we at Atlas Toyota Material Handling have prepared this Forklift Buyers Guide to help get you started on finding the best forklift to suit your needs.

What Are Your Lifting Requirements?

You need to consider the weight of the items you need to lift and move. Forklifts have maximum load capacities, and you will want to select one that is capable of lifting the heaviest items.

In addition, lift trucks have maximum lifting heights. You need to determine how high you need the lift to raise up to move items around. Exceeding maximum height limits increases risks of tip-overs and accidents.

So, not only do you have to select a forklift based the weight of items, but also how high you need to lift them off the ground.

Where Will the Forklift Be Used?

There are differences between indoor and outdoor usages that can require different types of tires and attachments. Indoor lifts use cushioned tires while outdoor lifts use pneumatic tires. Outdoor lifts can also be used indoors, but tend to cost more.

Do You Need Any Special Attachments?

The use of special attachments will alter the maximum lifting weight and height capacities, so remember to consider these aspects as well when selecting a lift truck.

How Wide Are the Aisles and Space to Maneuver?

The width of aisles and space affects the maneuverability of lift trucks. There is a minimum turning radius for different models. Make sure you choose a model that will fit through the narrowest sections of your facility if you need to lift and move items in these locations.

How Many Hours Will You Operate the Lift Truck Each Day?

The “fuel” type of the lift truck will determine the number of usable hours each work day. For instance, battery-powered models are fully capable of being operated for 8-hour shifts but then do need to be recharged. On the other hand, other fuel types may be better suited for multiple shifts, or you could opt to purchase several battery-powered lifts to meet your operating needs.

How Much Do You Have Budgeted?

This is a big factor as it will help determine whether you can afford a brand-new lift truck or a used model. Just remember to take into account the age of the forklift if you are evaluating used models and the remaining expected lifespan of the forks and other parts and components.

If you are still not sure what model would be best for your facility and budget, help is available from us, here at Atlas Toyota Material Handling. We will work with you to explore your options and help you select the best lift. We even rent lifts, so if you want to try out a few different models before making a purchasing decision, that is an option, too! Call us at 877-438-2719 to speak with a representative today!

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