How to Choose Warehouse Forklifts: Essential Factors to Consider
You do not want warehouse forklifts that are not suited to the job; you want equipment specifically suited to your warehouse environment. We offer an extensive range of forklifts for sale and lease. But to make sure you get the best equipment for your particular warehouse setup, we share a few tips below on how to choose lifting equipment. The most important tip of all is to buy your equipment from a trusted supplier with your interests at heart. We meet that requirement. The second tip is to determine your requirements and purchase forklifts accordingly. You cannot adapt the warehouse to match the equipment. It should be the other way around. Let us start by reviewing the important factors that you should consider.
Understand Your Capacity Requirements
Answer these questions to determine the capacity requirements before shopping for equipment:
- What is the maximum height to which the load must be lifted?
- What is the maximum load weight?
- What is the maximum load length?
- What is the maximum load width?
- Can it be loaded on a pallet or do you need special attachments?
- How narrow is the narrowest aisle in which the machine must be able to move around and turn?
- What is the distance that the machine must travel in the warehouse (with a full load)?
- How many such loads must the machine lift and place daily?
Engine or Electrically Powered
Decide whether you need forklifts for indoor or outdoor use – or both. Keep in mind that fuel-powered units with internal-combustion engines cannot be used indoors, as their hazardous exhaust emissions create health risks and affect food products. These types of forklifts are often too noisy for indoor use. Electric forklifts are well-suited for warehouses with smooth floors. They are quiet and far more environmentally friendly in use than petrol- or diesel-powered models. They have fewer moving parts and as such, the risk of downtime because of breakdowns is reduced. They also exhibit less vibration and noise; as such, operator fatigue is reduced.
The units can operate for several hours before recharging is necessary. Many electric forklifts have power-regenerative functionality too, which enables them to operate for longer periods. With the units having fewer moving parts, repair and maintenance costs are lower than with fuel-powered ones; however, fuel-powered trucks are ideal for outdoor usage because they can travel over uneven terrain and can handle heavier loads, as normally required in the outdoor yard. It is possible to use these machines indoors for short periods but only if the space is very well ventilated. These trucks do not require downtime for recharging and can accelerate faster than electric units. They have counterweights to allow them to lift heavy loads.
Understand Aisle Requirements
Regardless of the many warehouse forklifts on the market, these machines are useless for your work environment if they cannot fit in the aisles. To this end, determine the aisle widths and turning spaces. You will need to select machines that can turn in the available spaces and move through the aisles with ease.
Choose the Right Mast
Since it is all about lifting, the choice of the mast is important. The mast is the upright section on the front of the machine. It is raised and lowered with or without a load. The mast must be suited to the particular application. It contains a carriage that attaches the forklifts. Know your requirements, as well as the capacity, characteristics, and limitations of each type of mast.
Let us help you choose the best equipment for your particular operational requirements from our range of warehouse forklifts. Get in touch for professional help from one of our consultants.