How to choose the right forklift:
Knowing how to choose an appropriate forklift for your needs will ensure considerable savings in time and money, but this is not an easy task; For example, when prices range from $ 15,000 to $ 100,000, it may be tempting to choose according to the lowest price, without considering the cost of maintenance and operation that would be more expensive than the purchase price of the forklift.
Considerations for an optimal purchase:
Inside or outside the warehouse:
- The first consideration to take into account is whether the forklift will operate inside or outside the warehouse.
- If the use will be outside the warehouse, we will use a combustion engine, which may be: gasoline, diesel or LPG.
- The gasoline engine is very useful if the equipment is going to have constant on and off.A diesel engine is designed to operate on more difficult terrain thanks to its extra torque. Also the use must be continuous because turning a diesel engine on and off every 5 minutes will wear its components prematurely.
- LPG gas engines are similar to gasoline engines, with the advantage that their emissions are less toxic, so they could be used in mixed applications that require operating inside and outside the warehouse.
- The type of terrain will determine the type of tire to use, for uneven terrain the pneumatic ones are ideal and for hard and smooth terrain the solid ones.
- Equipment within the warehouse
If the required use is for indoor operation, electrical equipment is the most suitable because they are silent and do not pollute.
- On the other hand, the use of batteries allows a compact design that saves maneuvering space.
- The initial cost of an electric forklift is higher than a combustion equivalent, however they have a much lower operating cost throughout their useful life; there are no costs of fuel, filters, oil, spark plugs, or injectors.
- However, electrical equipment must be well maintained for batteries, since they represent a good part of the cost of the machine.
- Once decided by an electrical equipment the factors to consider in this phase are the application and the design of the warehouse.
- If the application is to load and unload trucks, a counterbalanced team will be very useful. There are three-wheeler that have more maneuverability and a smaller turning radius, against four-wheeler that can carry more weight.
- If the forklift is going to operate inside containers, an important point is the height of the retracted mast and the free lift.
- The width of the corridor is important, an electric counterbalanced forklift requires 3 to 4 meters of corridor, a narrow corridor type requires between 2.5 to 2.9 meters and a trilateral equipment can use only 1.8 meters of corridor.
- Capacity is the other factor to take into account. If you are going to move loads of 1000 kg mostly, a 1500 kg forklift is sufficient.