If you operate a warehouse, you know how vital forklifts are for transporting items.
Different warehouses use forklifts for varying reasons, but there is one thing we can all agree on – no forklift or a malfunctioning forklift can be your downfall.
Below are some essential details you can use to help you determine the best forklift for your warehouse.
When looking for the ideal warehouse forklift, there are several considerations to bear in mind.
You’ll want to determine the maximum fork height (MFH). It informs you of how high the forklift’s mast will go as it pulls up the fork. If the MFH is too low, it will be difficult for you to reach certain shelves.
To determine the correct MFH, first figure out your warehouse’s highest shelf height. Then, add about half a foot to that measurement. It helps ensure that the forklift won’t go too high but still has room to move.
Forklifts come in seven classes:
- Electric rider;
- Electric narrow aisle;
- Electric hand truck;
- Internal combustion cushion tire;
- Internal combustion pneumatic tire;
- Electric and internal combustion;
- Rough terrain.
Each respective category has its use case. For example, an electric rider would be good if you need a simple one to raise a wood pallet.
On the other hand, if you need to move things outside your warehouse on a bumpy surface, rough terrain forklifts are ideal.
If you’re getting a warehouse forklift, you’ll want to check its weight limits. These can range anywhere from 3,000 to 75,000 pounds.
Analyzing weight capacity is crucial because it will instantly crack under extreme force if the machine isn’t equipped for heavy work.
This information will usually be in the forklift’s user manual or data plate. You can also determine its load capacity by multiplying the center load distance and weight.
It’s also good to look at the forklift’s tires. These will handle a lot of pressure and need to be reliable. If not, they could pop.
Forklift tires should last for about 2,400 hours. Unlike car tires filled with compressed air, forklift tires are typically pure rubber.
This rugged design ensures that should they run over a nail or similar sharp object, they won’t puncture. However, some models use pneumatic tires, so you’ll want to double-check.
Remember that while they have the same material, tires come in various sizes, designs, and treads.
Consider the surface you plan to drive the forklift over to ensure it’s equipped with adequate tires. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself often having to mend or replace them
One of the essential aspects to examine is the forklift’s motor. It needs to be robust to supply enough energy to the engine and other operational parts.
You’ll need to look carefully at the motor type. There are two primary options available:
- Gas: As its name suggests, this motor runs on gasoline. It’s one of the most frequently relied on options because it tends to be more powerful. Gas motors are for those who plan to use the device to lift objects over 5,000 pounds or who need a sturdy machine to roll over bumpy and rough terrains;
- Electric: These motors use rechargeable batteries. Electric motors are eco-friendly and suitable for those who want something that runs quietly and doesn’t want to worry about refilling the forklift with fuel. However, this option isn’t as powerful as a gas motor, so it can’t lift items over 5,000 pounds. It would help if you also were diligent about recharging the batteries.
Forklifts aren’t cheap. Depending on its size, you could spend anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. They also don’t include other forklift attachments you might need, like an extra battery or a new ram.
If you’re on a budget, see if used models are available. While they won’t be new, many are in great condition and come at an affordable price.
But its features and longevity will depend on its condition. So you’ll want to carefully inspect the model to certify it doesn’t have leaks/cracks and contains the correct pieces.
You’ll be paying more for those who prefer an untouched model, but everything is entirely new and a bit more durable. Because it hasn’t run yet, it’s also more reliable and can be used longer.
It’s also essential to review the forklift’s seller. What is their inventory? Do they have good reviews? By investigating them a bit, you can determine if they are a reputable seller.
Finding the perfect forklift for your warehouse can seem overwhelming. However, you can determine the right model for your warehouse with this information. Take your time, do your research, and make the most education decision.