A complete guide to purchasing a forklift for your business
Deciding to buy a forklift
This is a big decision to make for your business, and not just because it is a large piece of machinery. Forklifts can prove to be a worthwhile investment in any company that has to frequently transport heavy goods and materials. Understanding everything about your purchasing process will allow you to pick out the piece of machinery that will work best for your business.
Determine your needs
There are a couple of important factors that will go into deciding what to purchase. One of the first evaluation markers is to determine how heavy your usual load is, and what the maximum size loads tend to weight. Additionally, you need to think about how much room you need to be able to maneuver your forklift. This consideration also includes figuring out how high your forklift will need to be able to raise its load to fit on to your shelves. The last key factor to gather is an estimate of how frequently the machine will be used. All of this information should be compiled and research should be done to match your workload with the proper machine.
Select a fuel option
The main question to ask yourself here is whether or not you want to go with fuel or a battery powered forklift. The electric variations are powered by battery and are meant to last an entire 8 hour shift cycle. These are typically more expensive but require less maintenance and down time over their lifetime. Other machines will run with internal combustion and require gas or diesel to operate. These are typically the cheaper option to purchase outright and are recommended on loads in excess of 12,000 lbs for better speed and stability.
Inside or outside?
Will your forklift primarily be used outdoors or inside a warehouse? This is an important question because several different forklifts are available for each case. Also, tires vary depending on which use they will have for you. For example, tires with cushion are ordinarily used in interior environments to preserve both the floor and the vehicle from wear and tear.
Choosing the right supplier
When searching for options you want to try to find the providers that offer the widest range of forklifts. These distributors are in a better situation to offer you exactly what you need to make an efficient and worthwhile purchase. If you have your information prepared, you can talk with an agent from a distributor and ask for their opinion. If you are in an industry that requires certain care or volatile products, be sure to mention that to your salesperson before you commit.
Evaluate all your options
Compare the prices and lifts offered by each distributor. If none of the distributors are giving you exactly what you need, or if the price is too high, consider asking about rental options that might better fit your current situation for the best investment.