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Forklift Selection Guide: How to Tell Which Kind of Forklift You Need

November 15, 2021

When you are in the market for a forklift, there are several key considerations you need to take into account to ensure you are purchasing the right one. A good place to start your evaluation is by making a list of your requirements and answering the following questions:

  1. What type of environment will the forklift be operated in? Forklift distributors will sell models that are designed specifically for either indoor or outdoor operations, as well as dual-purpose models for both indoor and outdoor usage.
  2. What are the minimum and maximum lifting weights you need? You need to know lifting weights to ensure you purchase a forklift capable of supporting your maximum loads. In addition, keep in mind maximum weights will decline over time. As such, you may want to look at models that are several hundred pounds above your maximum lifting requirement.
  3. How many operational hours will the forklift be used each day? Specific types of forklift maintenance have to be completed at set intervals based on the number of usage hours. If you intend to use the forklift a lot, you will want to make sure to have an inventory of parts on hand to avoid downtimes.
  4. Are there any space considerations, like the width of aisles in a warehouse? You want to make sure the forklift models you are considering can be maneuvered and turned in the amount of space available.
  5. Do you need any special forklift attachments or lift truck parts? Certain types of lifting can require different types of attachments and parts. You need to review which ones you need and how they affect maximum lifting weights.

New vs. Used vs. Rentals

Another key consideration is directly related to how often you will be using the forklift. If you intend to use it on a daily basis for one or more shifts, then a new forklift is better because it has a longer useful lifespan. On the other hand, if you only intend to use it for a few hours each week, you could potentially save some money by looking at used models.

Forklift rentals are a good option when you only require a forklift for a short period of time for a specific project. For instance, you are renovating your business and need a forklift to lift and move large objects out of the way.

Rentals can also be a great choice if you are not sure whether one model would be better than another. You can rent both models and do your own comparisons to see which one best suits your needs. Then, once you decide, you can purchase either a new or used forklift.

For assistance in selecting the best forklift for your business, including new and used forklift sales, forklift rentals, forklift operator training and forklift service and maintenance programs in Illinois, please feel free to contact Atlas Toyota Material Handling at 877-438-2719 today!

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