Companies that are involved in the transportation and tracking of goods need heavy lifting equipment. Such companies need the machinery to make the transportation of huge loads a little easier and faster. In most cases, the proper machine for such a job is a forklift.

A forklift is a vehicle that has extended prongs at the front, which are designed to lift heavy goods and move them over a short distance. The prongs also move up and down, allowing the placement of goods at an elevated level.

The interesting thing about these vehicles is that there is more than one type of forklift. There are those that are specifically designed to transport pallets in very tight spaces. There are also other forklifts that are designed for outdoor work away from the warehouse. As a result, it can be very confusing for first time buyers to find and purchase the right forklift for their business.

Before you buy a forklift, it’s essential that you ask yourself the following questions:

•    Will the forklift be used indoors or outdoors?

•    Will you need to buy one with an electric or internal combustion engine?

•    What are the measurements of your aisles in terms of width and height?

•    What is the range of weights that you intend on carrying?

•    How many hours will you use the forklift in a day/week?

By answering these questions, you will be at a better position to pick out the right forklift for your business. This is because most of these questions are related to the different types of forklift out there. Here are other points that you may need to consider before making up your mind:

1.    Talk to an Expert

A forklift is an expensive piece of machinery that requires careful thinking before purchasing it. If you have never bought one before, you may have to talk to an expert, such as AgriLabour WA or a firm that sells forklifts.

Tell the expert what you need the forklift for and let them advise you. Ask them questions so that you can get rid of any concerns or doubts that you may have. If you went to a supplier for advice, they are likely to give you live demonstrations of how the different types of forklifts work.

Suppliers that have been on the market long enough are likely to do a satisfactory job. Apart from helping you find the right forklift, the supplier will also offer further assistance and proper maintenance services after the purchase.

2. Research

As much as you’d expect an expert to fill you in on all the nitty gritty that you need to know about forklifts, you’ll still need to do some personal research on the side. This is because some experts can leave out information that may be useful to you.

You should be aware of the fact that most experts want to make sales; therefore, they will give you information that entices you to buy their forklifts. Don’t just buy a forklift that will be appropriate for today’s use. You have to think about the future and how the forklift will be used by the company 5 or 10 years from now.

3.    Product Quality and Reliability

Every business needs to do careful assessments before making investments related to their line of work. After you have decided on the type of forklift that you want to buy for your business, you have to investigate the quality of the product.

Be sure to check out every aspect on quality such as the mast, cab, welds, and overall look and design. You might want to also look at the engine and the type of fuel that your vehicle uses.

4.    Ownership Costs

Once you’re satisfied with the features of the forklift, you should go ahead and calculate the cost of ownership. You should know that owning a forklift comes with its running costs. Ask the seller about what they are before you write them a check to purchase a forklift.

If you are buying a brand-new forklift, it should be able to work perfectly with almost no problem for the first couple of years. If you are purchasing a second hand forklift, let the seller tell you about its mechanical record. When was the last time it was serviced? Other ownership costs that you may need to know about are:

•    Driver comfort

•    Tire wear

•    Operator equipment and product damage

•    Fuel costs

•    Cost of spares

•    Resale value

5.    Availability of Spare Parts

There will come a point in time when your forklift will develop a mechanical problem. Such problems usually require parts replacement. This means that you should by a forklift whose spare parts are easily available in the local market. Ask the seller if they stock these parts before you buy the forklift from them.

In most cases, it is advisable that you buy a forklift that’s made by a local company because it may be easier to find spare parts for them. However, be careful not to compromise on quality.

Final Thoughts

Before buying a forklift for your business, you should conduct some personal research – assess your business needs and cost of acquiring such equipment. Are you better off renting or leasing instead of buying?

If you are going to use the forklift for a long time, you are better off purchasing it instead of leasing. Furthermore, seek expert advice before making the final purchase. An expert will help you avoid common buyer mistakes.


Published by Charlesa Gibson