Choosing the kind of forklift you will need for your operation may seem like a large feat, but it doesn't have to be. Choosing the electric forklift that is right for the jobs you need done just takes a little bit of planning on your part. Make sure you think the purchase through thoroughly by asking yourself these questions.
How Much Lifting Power Do I Really Need?
Some people may have the urge to just buy as much lifting power as possible. However, this is a mistake that can end up costing you money in the short-term and over the years of service of your forklift. You want to balance your lifting power needs with against your budget, not just buy as much power as humanly possible.
For example, if you have a warehouse that stores and ships pamphlets, you may have pallets that are never more than 500 pounds in weight. In a situation like this, you'll never want to pay more for a forklift that moves up to 8,000 pounds. That would leave you with 7,500 pounds of lifting power that goes completely unused throughout the service of the forklift, even though you paid for it up front!
If there's a cheaper forklift that only lifts up to 800 pounds, that would be a much better fit for your operation.
Where Will I Be Need to Use the Forklift?
Understand how your forklift will move throughout your work space so you can have a better understanding of the size of forklift that you need. Take inventory of what kinds of turns, aisle widths, and heights your forklift needs to be able to maneuver safely in order to keep your business running efficiently.
Consider whether or not you're likely to have multiple units operating in the same areas as well (aisles, loading docks, etc.) and make sure that the forklifts you choose will be able to move around quickly and safely under those conditions.
How Much Can I Afford to Spend?
Not how much you want to spend, but think about how much you really can afford to spend on forklifts. Don't go crazy because you've had a recent uptick in business or were approved for a business loan. Business goes up and down throughout the year, so unless your current forklifts are inoperable, hold onto them as long as is safe to do so and put extra revenue aside for emergencies.
If you've recently gotten a business loan, don't treat it like free money. Every dollar that you spend will have to be paid back, with interest, while creating another load of debt for your business. Don't spend loaned money lightly.
Keeping these three things in mind when you buy can help you feel confident, satisfied, and happy about the forklift purchases you make for your business.