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How To Choose The Right Forklift For Your Business

How To Choose The Right Forklift For Your Business

The necessity of forklifts is increasing day by day. That’s why most businesses rely on using forklifts for moving goods around in their warehouses. But choosing a forklift can be a daunting task because there are a lot of options out there. You need to be careful while choosing a forklift for your business because there are a lot of factors to consider. 

The right forklift can help you move materials more efficiently and safely, while the wrong forklift can be a safety hazard and waste time and money. We have compiled a list of factors that need to be considered before deciding on which type of forklift will best suit your needs. Read on for more information. 


  •  Consider the material you’ll be lifting

When choosing a forklift for your business, it is important to consider the type of material you will be lifting. For example, 

  • If you will be using it to lift heavy pallets of goods, you will need a forklift that is designed for heavy-duty applications. That means, apart from all types of forklifts, you should go with a side-loader and heavy-duty forklifts for lifting heavy goods. 
  • On the other hand, if you will be using it to lift lighter materials, such as boxes or crates, you can choose a lighter-duty forklift.


  • Consider your terrain and environment

You need to be careful and keep your terrain and environment in mind while selecting the forklifts – because some forklifts are better suited for smooth, level surfaces – while others excel in rough or uneven terrain. 

For example,

  • If the forklift will be used outdoors, such as at a construction site – make sure to choose a model that is designed for use in inclement weather. In this case, you need to look no further than a rough terrain forklift. 
  • Similarly, if you’ll be using your forklift in an enclosed space, such as a warehouse, you’ll need to choose a model that is narrow enough to maneuver between rows of shelves. For this, reach forklifts are a popular warehouse choice.

Once you know where it will be used, you can have a better idea in knowing which forklift to choose.

  • Consider the reach of the forklift

The reach of the forklift is another crucial point that you should keep in mind when considering your options. The reach is the distance that the forks can extend out from the body of the forklift. It is important because it determines how much weight the forklift can safely lift and how far it can reach. 

For example, if you need to lift heavy pallets of goods, you will need a forklift with a long reach. Conversely, if you only need to lift light items, you can choose a forklift with a shorter reach. 

Standard forklifts may reach heights of 10 to 15 feet, but special forklifts, such as the telehandler, can reach heights of up to 55 feet, depending on the telehandler size you choose. Therefore, considering the reach of the forklift is the best way to ensure that you choose the right forklift for your business needs.


  • Consider the lift capacity of the forklift

Lift capacity is the amount of weight the forklift can lift. It is a more important factor than anything because if you choose the lower lift capacity forklifts for your heavy load goods, this could become a safety issue. 

You can’t lift heavy goods with lower lift forklifts. So, it is better to check the lift capacity of the forklifts before selecting them. For reference purposes, on average, a forklift can lift 3,000 lbs to 50,000 lbs of goods. 


  • Consider different fuel types

There are three most common fuel types available on forklifts. Each one has its pros and cons. But it is necessary to understand them before choosing any type of forklift.

  • LPG (liquid propane gas) powered forklifts are typically less expensive than their diesel-powered counterparts, and can be used in a wider variety of environments. However, they require more maintenance and produce more emissions. 
  • Diesel-powered forklifts are more expensive to purchase and maintain, but they are more durable and efficient. On average, a diesel forklift consumes about 2.6L of diesel each hour.
  • Electric forklifts are the most expensive option, but they are also the most environmentally friendly and require very little maintenance. In addition, electric forklifts typically last longer than forklifts powered by internal combustion engines (diesel or liquid propane gas).


  • Consider prices and warranties

There are a wide variety of forklifts on the market, and the price can vary significantly depending on the model and brand. Many businesses make the mistake of choosing the first forklift they see without researching various prices or understanding how each company’s warranty differs. 

Don’t make the same mistake many others have. While evaluating the costs and warranty services of the various companies is a time-consuming process, following these three points, can make it an easy process:

  • Select and filter the company that you are interested in;
  • Then compare the different prices;
  • Finally, cross verify their warranty services.


  • Consider operator safety features

Every year, there are thousands of forklift-related accidents, many of which could have been prevented with the right safety features. Approximately around 20,000 workers are injured every year in forklift-related accidents (source). That’s why it’s so important to evaluate the operator’s safety features when choosing a forklift. 

Some of the most important safety features to look for include an adjustable seat belt, an emergency stop button, and a rear-view camera. These features can help to prevent accidents and keep your operators safe. When it comes to choosing a forklift, operator safety should be one of your top priorities.

While the guidelines we’ve outlined can help you decide what forklift to buy for your business, it is always best to consult with professionals in this field, such as Magnum Material Handling. Here at Magnum Material Handling, we can help you make the right decision for your needs. 

We offer new, pre-owned, and rental forklifts as well as comprehensive servicing for parts of the forklift, as well as certification training programs for your employees – around Toronto and its surrounding areas. 

We have years of experience helping businesses just like yours find the perfect forklift for their needs. Let us put our knowledge to work for you and help you find the best forklifts for the job.

Contact us today to learn more about our products and services – we would be happy to help you find the perfect forklift for your business.

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