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8 Questions to ask Before Buying a Forklift

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


  1. forkllift_mastDo you need an electric or an internal combustion (IC) engine? Electric forklifts are powered by batteries. IC forklifts are powered by traditional engines that run on different types of fuel.

  2. Do you handle food? If yes, you might need an electric forklift to avoid emissions.

  3. Will you be driving the forklift indoors or outdoors? This will determine what type of tires you need. Cushion tires are best on concrete. Pneumatic tires are best for asphalt, hard dirt or firm gravel.

  4. How many hours a week will you use the forklift? Used forklifts are great if you only need them for a few hours a day. If you plan to run your forklift four or more hours a day, consider a new model.

  5. How much weight are you lifting? Make sure to purchase a forklift that can handle more than your heaviest load.

  6. How high do you need to lift a load? Purchase a forklift that can lift a load to your maximum height.

  7. Will you be loading or unloading from trailers? If so, get a forklift specifically designed to work in tight areas. Pay particular attention to the lowered mast height of the forklift.

  8. What is the width of your aisles? If your aisle space is narrow, you may need a 3-wheel forklift or a stand-up rider model.  A narrow aisle order picker or reach truck may also be your best solution.


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