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How To Choose Your Next Forklift

November 15, 2021

When you’re ready to buy a new forklift, it’s important to know what you’re doing. Finding the most productive, cost-effective machine requires specialized insight because you must evaluate a variety of factors, from height and weight capacity to the technologically advanced attachments. Find a reputable dealer, who can help you find a forklift that meets or even exceeds your expectations and requirements.

Key Considerations:

Load capacity

  • Evaluate the nature of the stock the forklift will handle
  • Determine the average load weight the forklift needs to manage
  • Identify the heaviest load that may need to be lifted during operations
  • Consider the width of the loads, taking into account variations in size
  • Assess the specific type of load that will be moved, influencing the selection of attachments for enhanced efficiency

Lift height: 

  • Standard Range:
    • Understand typical lift heights, usually ranging from eight to 20 feet.
  • Special Requirements:
    • Assess if specialized units with higher lift capabilities are needed.
  • Operational Alignment:
    • Align lift height with business nature, usage, and warehouse size.
  • Daily vs. Occasional Needs:
    • Consider typical lift height versus occasional maximum reach and height restrictions.

Fuel Type Considerations:

  • Electric Forklifts:
    • Power Source: Large, heavy, lead-acid batteries
    • Performance: Provides about five to six hours of continuous use
    • Cost: Higher upfront, economical operation, and zero emissions
  • Internal Combustion Engines:
    • Fuel Options: Gasoline, diesel fuel, liquid propane gas, and compressed natural gas
    • Versatility: Suitable for any environment, greater weight-bearing capacity, and higher reach
    • Cost: Lower initial purchase cost, but higher operational expenses compared to electric forklifts

Tire Composition Considerations:

  • Environment Dependency:
    • Tailor tire selection based on the operational environment of the forklift
  • Tire Options:
    • Choose from pneumatic, solid, or cushion tires
  • Material Suitability:
    • Evaluate and determine the material that best aligns with your specific needs

Ergonomics Focus:

  • High-Quality and Adjustable Seating:
    • Prioritize comfortable and adjustable seats for prolonged operation
  • Control Design and Placement:
    • Opt for intuitively designed controls for operator comfort
  • Injury Prevention through Ergonomics:
    • Recognize that investing in superior ergonomics minimizes the risk of operator injuries during extended usage

Another factor to consider is the operator of the forklift. The right training is extremely important, so look for a dealer that offers operator training along with their forklifts. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has very clear requirements for forklift operator training, and licensing. In order to operate powered industrial trucks, users must be over 18 years old and must pass both classroom training and a driving test. They are required to be evaluated and re-certified every three years.

Find out more about Training: Equipment Operator Training | Forklift Instructor Classes | Atlas Toyota

Started as a way to improve the pallet industry, Atlas Toyota has been internationally recognized and consistently ranked as one of the top privately held companies in Illinois for more than 60 years. With over 115 certified technicians with an average of 17 years’ experience working 24/7 to make sure every piece of equipment in our hands is working properly, and four full-time Service Writers to make sure customers’ needs are met, we provide excellent service to everyone who walks through our doors. In addition, we have a full-time trainer on staff, providing both safety and technical classes that allow customers to become certified forklift operators. 

When you’re ready to buy your next forklift, contact us for sales and service you can trust.

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