A forklift is an indispensable piece of machinery seen at almost every warehouse, construction site, shipping dockyard, etc. The sight of these machines with their solo operator and raised tines is pretty much common as we watch them lift, move and even stack containers with apparent ease. A forklift is industrial equipment which comes with varying load capacity and fixtures. In some models, it is possible to replace fixtures and attachments according to varying needs. Over time, more and more advancements have been made on these forklifts. They include changes for higher stacking capacity, narrower aisle requirements, fuel consumption and also safety measures.
How to Select a Forklift?
You can contact a lift truck dealer to help you make your choice. There are many such companies which have forklifts for sale or hire. Additionally, they may also sell used forklifts which they have reconditioned. These used lift trucks come with a 90 day warranty. Speak to a sales representative to see what is on offer. Their used lift truck inventory will vary over time. It may be more beneficial for you to own a lift truck rather than rent it, if it is going to be used regularly. However, consider the cost of maintenance and fuel. The best company boasts of a variety of brands available with them including Clark. They also offer used forklift attachments, spares and other material handling equipment. Also included are commercial bins, industrial racking, hand carts, etc.
Decide on the maximum weight capacity your forklift will be expected to carry. Most forklifts are designed to carry a weight of 1 ton to 5 tons. In shipping docks, where much heavier loads and containers need to be shifted, the forklifts are designed to carry up to 50 tons. Confirm if the model you buy or rent will take on that weight. Also ask and check for the specified center of gravity. These details are usually imprinted on the machine. So you need to ensure that the details are not tampered with.
There are different models available like pneumatic forklifts, cushion forklifts, electric forklifts, stand up electric forklifts, pallet jacks, etc. Some models can be ridden over rough terrain without worrying about them upending. The pneumatic trucks are equipped for both indoor and outdoor usage. Pallet jacks may be manual or electric. Cushion lifts are used with higher lift application and deliver higher levels of productivity. Also available is narrow aisle trucks, which are specially designed for use in storage warehouses. As these trucks don’t require heavy aisles to move about in, there is consequently more space for goods. The higher stacking capacity of the forklifts, due to the hydraulic lift attached, also helps to store or stack more boxes or containers.
Check with your sales representative about any attachments you might need for your forklift. They might have it on hand in the used or rental section if you do not actually need to buy it.
Ensure that the forklift driver is fully trained and well versed in safety procedures. Many safety standards like ANSI and OSHA are in place and your forklift must cater to these standards.