Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about material handling equipment. Learn more about forklifts below.
Forklift load capacities range anywhere from 3,000 pounds to over 50,000 pounds. If you’re looking for a standard narrow aisle reach truck for warehouse operations, you’ll likely need a capacity between 2,500 and 5,500 pounds.
For large outdoor operations, look for an internal combustion forklift with a load capacity of 30,000 pounds or more.
To determine the specific load capacity you need, consider your average load weight, maximum load weight, and typical load shape.
Remember, rated load capacity is the amount of weight the equipment can handle when the load is centered. Load shape plays a huge role in actual load capacity. If you plan to move oddly-shaped loads, consult your forklift’s load capacity chart. This will tell you the actual capacity based on the load center.
The load center is the distance from the face of the forks to the load’s center of gravity. The standard load center is 24 inches because most pallets are 48 square inches or less.
To determine how much weight your equipment can handle at a different load center, divide the standard load center (24 inches) by the actual load center and multiply that number by the standard rated capacity of the forklift. You can also consult the load capacity chart on the equipment.
If you plan to operate indoors, choose a lift height based on the height of your warehouse rack shelving. Add six inches onto the height of your tallest shelving to find your optimal lift height.
For outdoor applications, you’ll simply need to consider your typical worksite and applications to choose the right lift height.
No. Forklift Inventory is completely free to use. Simply select your equipment type and specifications here. Then, enter some contact information to indicate where you’d like us to send your quotes.
You’ll receive free pricing and information on forklifts that fit your needs in no time. Plus, there’s no obligation to make a purchase. If you don’t see anything you like, you can leave the site or select a different equipment type and request more quotes.
Choosing between a new or used forklift depends on your usage and priorities. If you plan to use your equipment heavily, it is a good idea to buy new. New equipment is more reliable and has a longer lifespan. It also typically comes with a solid warranty.
Purchasing new equipment is a fantastic investment. For daily or frequent use, opt for a new forklift. Plus, when you no longer need the equipment, you can sell it and get some money back.
When you buy new, you’ll also get exactly what you’re looking for. When you buy used, there’s no guarantee that anyone will be selling equipment that checks all your boxes. With new equipment, you don’t have to worry about that.
Of course, if you’re on a tight budget, quality used equipment can help you save money. If you want to save money and purchase new equipment, financing is always an option. Forklift financing can help you get the equipment you need without sacrificing quality.
Regardless of whether a new or used forklift is the right fit, Forklift Inventory can help you find the best deal. Compare pricing on both new and used forklifts for sale in your area today.
When choosing a forklift type, consider your worksite, applications, and budget.
There are seven major forklift types to choose from: counterbalance forklifts, order pickers, narrow aisle reach trucks, container handlers, telehandlers, rough terrain forklifts, and piggyback lifts.
Standard counterbalance forklifts, order pickers, and narrow aisle reach trucks are ideal for warehouse applications. If your worksite is indoors and is hard to maneuver, one of these forklift types might be the best fit.
Of the three, standard counterbalance forklifts are the widest and can lift the most weight. Use these machines for loading, unloading, and transporting pallets. Order pickers lift the operator, making it easy to retrieve small boxes and piece-part orders. Reach trucks are used in tight aisles that are less than 12 feet wide.
For outdoor applications, telehandlers, container handlers, or rough terrain forklifts are a better fit. Telehandlers have an extendable boom arm, giving them more reach than other types. Container handlers are used to transport large shipping containers and unload cargo ships. Rough terrain forklifts are used for any outdoor application that requires traversing over rough, uneven terrain.
If you need a small piece of equipment that can be easily transported, consider a piggyback lift. These forklifts are ideal for businesses that constantly need to load and unload trailers.
There are countless forklift attachments available. Each one helps adapt the equipment to a different application. Some of the most common attachments include forklift fork extensions, sideshifters, fork positioners, clamps, rotators, and push-pull attachments.
Extensions increase the length of the forks, helping the equipment carry long or oddly-shaped loads. Use this attachment to avoid bent forks when handling bulky materials.
Keep in mind that the inside width of the extensions shouldn’t exceed the width of the fork by more than half an inch and the center of the load shouldn’t exceed 50% of the length of the extensions.
Many standard forklifts come with sideshifters. Sideshifters allow the operator to move the forks horizontally. This makes it easier to align the forks and pallets without repositioning the machine.
Similar to sideshifters, fork positioners move the forks horizontally. However, fork positioners allow the operator to move each fork individually. In contrast, sideshifters move both forks together, maintaining the distance between them.
Forklift clamp attachments are used to grab materials from the sides or top and bottom. This is a good tool for industries with oddly-shaped loads, like textiles, paper, and recycling.
Some different clamp types include drum clamps, roll clamps, and blade clamps. They vary in size, shape, and lifting capability.
Forklift rotators allow the forks to rotate 360-degrees in either direction. This attachment is mounted directly to the mast in place of standard forks and carriage.
A push-pull attachment uses a faceplate and gripper to pull loads onto a slip sheet. After the forklift transports the load, the attachment then pushes the load off the sheet. Use this attachment to move things like bags of seed, corrugated boxes, and packaged dairy.
Forklift prices vary depending on several factors, the most important being equipment type and load capacity. As the size and capacity of the forklift increase, so does the price.
In general, you can expect a new electric forklift to cost between $20k and $45k. Standard capacity internal combustion (IC) forklifts will cost $15k to $30k. An IC forklift with a 10,000 lb capacity will cost between $25k and $50k. An IC forklift with a 35,000 lb capacity will cost anywhere from $50k to $100k+.
To find exact pricing on forklifts for sale in your area, use Forklift Inventory. Get free quotes on equipment that matches your needs.
Manufacturers suggest changing forklift hydraulic fluid every 1,000 hours of operation. You can change your hydraulic fluid yourself. Learn how.
Manufacturers suggest getting a forklift oil change every 200 hours of operation. Schedule routine maintenance for your forklift to ensure that small problems don’t escalate.
To learn how to perform an oil change on your forklift, click here.
A certified technician should perform full servicing on your equipment every 200 hours of operation. In addition, you should blow out the forklift’s brake shoes every 250 hours and replace them every 5,000 to 7,000 hours.
Be sure to conduct a daily pre-operational inspection to catch any issues before they become expensive repairs.
Forklift certifications require renewal every three years. Operators should be evaluated and given refresher training during this time. They must receive additional training if they fail an evaluation or use the equipment in a dangerous or unsafe way.
All forklift operators must be certified. OSHA requires proper training and certification for every operator. Failure to comply will result in hefty fines for employers.
Forklifts start to lose reliability after 10,000 hours of operation, which is about seven years of daily use. Of course, how and where you use your equipment will affect your forklift’s lifespan. Keep up with preventative maintenance to increase your equipment’s longevity.
Remember that there is a difference between a forklift’s useful life and its economic life. Even if you can still operate your forklift, you should consider purchasing a replacement if it is constantly breaking down.
Repairs add up. If your equipment is costing you more money than it’s generating, it is no longer an asset to your business.
There are two main forklift tire types to choose from. Pneumatic tires are air-filled and have deep treads that provide traction on uneven surfaces. Cushion tires are solid and smooth. Use pneumatic tires outside and cushion tires inside.
Another, less common tire type is polyurethane tires. These press-on tires are similar to cushion tires but are made of polyurethane rather than rubber. Polyurethane is more durable than rubber, which is why these tires are more expensive.
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