New Forklifts Why Purchase New? New forklifts are a great option for customers who want the peace of mind, reliability, and safety that come with owning a new piece of equipment. Also, many factories, warehouses, and other workplaces have specific requirements around the types of forklifts they need, especially when it comes to lifting height, weight capacity, and engine type. Warehouse managers also may consider the kinds of conditions the forklift is going to operate in when deciding the type of forklift to purchase.
Looking to rent/buy forklifts in your area? their own vehicle is in the shop, we can help business owners decide on the lift truck rental that best suits their needs. May 5, - I believe that one of the biggest decisions you can make for your business operational efficiency is whether to purchase material handling. There is much to consider when buying a forklift. Choosing the right machine can have a tremendous impact on everything from operating costs and productivity.
Wide or narrow fork spread Long or short forks In general, there are two main types of pallet jacks, electric and manual, most of which support between 3, to 4, lbs. Manual is among the most common, in part because these lifts are the easiest to use and also the least expensive.
Electric models achieve the same effect but with a lot less sweat. They feature an electric motor that allows the operator to select forward or reverse and raise or lower the forks when desired. Battery-powered, electric hand trucks have an integral charger that enables them to be plugged straight into the mains without requiring a stand-alone charging unit. Extra bells and whistles include optional rider kit platforms, extended forks that allow the movement of two pallets at a time, and scales to monitor the weight of the load.
Price range: Single-reach trucks extend the distance of one pallet and double-reach models extend the distance of two. Unlike an order picker that offers minimal weight support, reach trucks provide the ability to move entire pallets with weight capacities that range from 2, to 5, lbs. Outrigger legs on the front of the machine support the weight of the load up to heights of more than 30 feet. This is still far less weight than a sit-down, counterbalanced machine can support but often quite adequate for many indoor applications, especially in situations where diesel exhaust or the cost of fuel are prohibitive.
In addition to weight limitations, low undercarriage clearance and electric power systems are two more reasons reach trucks are largely used indoors. When operated in external environments, curbs and uneven work surfaces wreak havoc on the undercarriage and even tip the unit in extreme circumstances.
Plus, some units have been known to suffer contact trouble due to the shaking that results from rough terrain. Reach trucks are designed with two different types of operator platforms, one that includes a tilting cab function, leaning the operator into a better and more comfortable position during operation.
The other design makes use of a see-through overhead guard, often constructed from reinforced steel bars that prevent falling items from hitting the operator while providing a clear view of the forks and load overhead. Add-ons and upgrades include cameras that can be mounted on the fork carriage, enabling the operator to clearly see the load on an LCD screen. Sit-down counterbalance forklift trucks Considered the most common type of forklift truck overall, counterbalanced models provide the highest capacity, both in terms of height and weight.
Weight capacities typically range from 3, to 80, lbs. Most models offer lift heights between 10 to 15 feet, but some can lift as high as 36 feet. Powered by an internal combustion engine, sit-down lift trucks run on a variety of fuels including gasoline, diesel fuel, liquid propane gas LPG , or compressed natural gas CNG. Unlike electric models that require extended recharge times, IC forklifts can be refueled on the fly simply by filling them up at a gas pump or loading a new LPG canister.
The sit-down models are also available in two different types: The 4-wheel models encompass all of the features mentioned above and represent the most robust lift trucks on the market. However, the 3-wheel variety combines the electric power of a reach truck with the convenience of sit-down operation, enabling these machines to be used indoors.
They can also be used for longer periods of time as the design helps to prevent operator fatigue. The forklift battery acts as a counterbalance weight and enables the lifting and transportation of loads weighing between 3, and 5, lbs.
The first and most important consideration is the power source. The two primary options are: Electric, powered solely by an on-board battery Internal combustion IC , powered by a traditional engine that runs on one of several types of fuel Electric Powered by large, heavy lead-acid batteries, electric lifts typically provide enough power for one standard eight-hour shift or about 5 to 6 hours of continuous use.
The two biggest advantages to this system are that it produces zero emissions, a necessity if the lift is operated indoors, and is highly economical in terms of fuel. Internal combustion Internal combustion engines run on a variety of fuels including gasoline, diesel fuel, liquid propane gas LPG , or compressed natural gas CNG.
The main benefits of an IC forklift are the ability to operate them in any environment, a far greater capacity for weight , lbs. Their upfront price is the inverse of electric, making them initially cheaper than electric models, but they cost more per hour to run. Dual fuel — a happy median With the cost of diesel rising, dual fuel engines are becoming the preferred engine type for forklifts and similar industrial equipment in the United States.
Comparable in terms of output to single-power options, they provide the cost-saving ability to combine gas and liquid propane or diesel and electric operation, switching between the two modes when power needs change. In addition to the cost-saving benefits achieved through fuel conservation, dual fuel systems do not require spark plugs or an ignition system, eliminating a good chunk of the maintenance associated with traditional IC engines and boosting overall ROI.
Back to top Tires Tires are another primary consideration and will largely be determined by your operating environment: There are three different types to choose from: The tires are longer and wider than cushion tires, made of solid rubber, and are either solid or filled with air. This solid design makes them extremely durable. This indestructibility also makes them more expensive than air pneumatic tires, and justifiably so.
Air pneumatics work well outdoors on asphalt, gravel, and even unpaved terrain, but similar to a car or bike tire, they can be punctured. Cushion tires Constructed from solid rubber, cushion tires are pressed directly onto the wheel and feature a smaller chassis, sitting lower to the ground than pneumatic tires.
This position gives them a big advantage in terms of maneuverability by enabling a smaller turn radius. Unfortunately, the low ground clearance largely relegates them to indoor use as the lift may get hung up on curbs, uneven pavement, and other obstacles outside.
Polyurethane tires Easy to install, polyurethane tires are designed to be pressed onto the wheels of a forklift and feature a low rolling resistance that has been shown to prolong their lifespan. Popular for the excellent traction they provide, they do come with one downside: Polyurethane tires are incompatible with outdoor terrain and are therefore only installed on electric lifts that are used on smooth interior pavements and loading pads.
Back to top Attachments Get the most out of your lift by pairing it with the right attachments. Forklift accessories help lower the total cost of ownership by enabling a single machine to perform multiple tasks. Plus, many quality accessories are designed with a quick coupler, enabling operators to easily transition from one aspect of a job to the next. Some of the most popular forklift equipment and attachments include: Secured through a inch safety chain attached to the truck mast, standard lengths when extended range between 12 to 15 feet and are around 7 feet when retracted.
Cost is largely dictated by weight capacity, supporting up to 6, lbs. Fork extension — As the name implies, fork extensions enable you take a bigger bite and carry more in a single load. Available in lengths from 48 to 96 inches, they are usually available in yellow or black and come in fork widths of 4 to 6 inches. Hook plate — Constructed from heavy duty steel, hook plates maximize safety when lifting heavy loads with a chain, cable, or rope. A safety chain and secure clasp ties the hook plate to your forklift to prevent it from sliding off the forks.
Upper range for weight capacity is around 4, to 6, lbs. Lifting beam — Similar to a hook plate, a lifting beam provides a higher degree of safety when lifting or transporting loads that have chains, cables, and ropes. Available as single fixed, double fixed, single swivel, and double swivel, their design enables them to support loads from 4, to 30, lbs. Drum snatcher — Drum handling equipment allows for the quick and safe transportation of or gallon drums without the use of a pallet.
They are engineered individually to accommodate plastic, steel, or fiber drums and can take weights between and 1, lbs. Side-shifter — This add-on enables the operator to adjust loads left and right with the push of a button. Particularly useful in tight spaces, sideshifters quickly shift pallets and other loads on racking or at ground level without requiring the driver to reposition the truck.
Supported weight capacities are between 3, to 40, lbs. Fork positioner — Ideal for warehouse operations or similar environments that routinely deal with a variety of pallet sizes, fork positioners enable the operator to slide the forks in or out to accurately fit different pallet openings.
Shown to reduce damage to pallets while increasing productivity, fork positioners are available in mounting Classes II, III, and IV and accommodate fork carriers from 3 to 7 inches wide. Weight capacities range from 5, to 15, lbs. Roll and barrel clamp — Another option for palletless handling, roll and barrel clamps enable the operator to pick up and transport large rolls of newsprint and similar printing stocks as well as other cylindrical-shaped items within mills and warehouses.
Man baskets support weights between to 1, lbs. Ask your dealer for more information. Back to top Questions to ask a dealer Buying a forklift is a two-prong purchase decision: Believe it or not, the latter decision is equally important if not more so than picking out the actual machine. The forklift dealer you select will be responsible for providing the service and support that keep your lift running smoothly and reduce its operating cost over time.
Similar to interviewing any other employee or business associate, there are a number of important questions to ask that can help eliminate dealers who may not be compatible with your needs.
Some of these questions include: How long have you been in business? What level of inventory do you keep on-site for parts replacement? And how fast is your average turnaround for parts that have to be delivered? How many certified forklift mechanics do you have? How many machines have you sold in the last year? Do you provide on-site service?
What are your service hours? Do you have guaranteed response times? What brand or brands do you specialize in? Why did you select this particular brand? What kind of insurance do you carry? So the provision of operator training is a big plus and should factor heavily into your decision when included with purchase or an SLA. Those who operate powered industrial trucks must pass classroom training and a driving test before being licensed. They must also be over 18 years old and are required to be evaluated and re-certified at least once every three years.
Art Merino, Found and CEO of Forklift Academy cites two main reasons for forklift certification, and why its required for anyone operating at a lift. Currently there are approximately fatalities and 95, injuries due to Forklift related accidents every year here in the USA 2.
This penalty could be retroactive and apply to each employee working without the proper certification and training. There are two types of training, a Train-the-Trainer and individual Forklift Training. The Train-the-Trainer is with the latter intended primarily for foremen, supervisors, managers, and those responsible for workplace safety.
OSHA certification requires that forklift training consists of a combination of formal instruction, practical training, and evaluation of the operator's performance in the workplace. Many dealers provide training at their location if you only have a couple of operators.