5 Things to Expect Before You Buy a Forklift

Material Handling Best Practices, Tips, Information and More from Toyota

Buying a forklift is a big investment and it can provide a large ROI for your business, however, if not taken care of, a forklift can become another cost center. The right forklift can help you save money, increase productivity and decrease your overall downtime. Below are five things to consider when buying a new or used forklift:

1. Understand your requirements.

There are a number of things you need to know before you begin your forklift search.


  • How high do you need to lift?

  • Where will the forklift primarily be used - indoors or outdoors?

  • How wide are the aisles and doors?

  • How many hours will the forklift be in use per day?

  • What kind of tires will you need?

  • Are there any specific options or accessories you will need?

  • Do you have properly trained operators? This is an OSHA requirement.

  • Don’t know? Your Toyota dealer can do a site survey to help you figure it out.

2. Consider your fuel options.

  • If you have an indoor space, Toyota’s electric forklift line as well as the IC Cushion forklift line are your best bet. Electric forklifts have no emissions and can lift up to 12,000 lbs., while IC Cushion forklifts are powered by either gas, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) or condensed natural gas (CNG) and can also lift up to 12,000 lbs.

  • If you have an outdoor space, IC (Internal Combustion) engine forklifts are the more popular line. IC forklifts are powered by different fuels including gasoline, diesel, liquid propane (LPG), and condensed natural gas (CNG). Toyota’s IC pneumatic forklift line has a lift capacity range of 3,000-51,000 lbs. Toyota also offers Electric Pneumatic forklifts, which run off a battery, but are equipped to operate similar to an IC forklift model.

3. Decide on new vs. used.

As a general rule of thumb, if you think you’ll run a forklift more than four hours a day, consider a new forklift. Factoring in maintenance costs, it will serve you better in the long run.

4. Think about options and other requirements.

  • Does your operator have a bad back? Consider the brand with the best ergonomics.

  • Safety is always a key issue. Make sure you understand what safety features are available.

  • Would a special forklift attachment make your operator more productive?

Ask your dealer about forklift attachments available for special order.

5. Choose a brand and a dealer.

  • You may find a lesser known brand and a cheaper up-front price, but how easy will it be to get replacement parts when your forklift breaks down? And, why are they lesser known and cheaper?

  • Visit the dealership and ask about the skill level of the technicians. Check references. You’re choosing a dealer that will be your material handling partner for years. You’ll be glad you did your homework.

At Toyota, we are not interested in short-term gains. We are interested in becoming your forklift partner for life. Check out our material handling solutions and contact your local Toyota forklift dealer.

Request A Quote or for pricing, parts & more, click here to find a dealer near you.

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