5 Tips for Buying Your First Forklift

Are you looking to take the plunge into the material handling world? In doing so, will you be purchasing for your first forklift? Do you know what to look for or where to start? Buying a forklift is an investment. Contrary to popular beliefs, it is not just a vehicle but an asset. A forklift can have a tremendous impact on profitability, efficiency, and performance metrics. It all starts with identifying the right vehicle for you. There are many things to take into consideration when you buy your first forklift. Among them are versatility, fuel economy, longevity, ergonomics, and safety. These five facets are worth focusing on most of all. Here is a comprehensive guide to buying your first forklift.

1) Versatility is Key– The key to any forklift is the ability to tackle multiple concurrent tasks in a wide range of capacities and initiatives. Having a multi-purpose vehicle has tremendous upside. First, when you are ready to trade in the forklift for something newer the value is likely to be retained. Secondly, it also will spare you many upfront costs be that you have a one size fits all application as opposed to having to purchase multiple vehicles for specific operations. For a first forklift especially, one that is versatile is essential.

2) Fuel Economy – This is a broad concept. Fuel economy can be broken down into efficient gas-fed forklifts or the possibility of expanding into green technologies. Either way, fuel economy is a huge consideration to be made albeit it effects operating budgets significantly. In today’s production environments fully-electric or hybrid forklift trucks are becoming more of a commonality. With this being stated, these vehicles are conventionally more expensive in comparison to the forefathers that are traditionally petroleum-based. However, when you add up the fuel costs over the span of a lifetime, electric forklifts take the cake when it comes to overhead control. The determination comes down to how long you plan to own the vehicle and pricing out the numbers accordingly.

3) Longevity – Our third bullet point ties in with all of these narratives. Longevity is another consideration that must be made. If you plan to run a material handling operation for a short period of time, a used forklift may actually be best suited. However, for those looking to make an investment in a long-term scenario a first forklift should be one that is built to last. According to Toyota, this is something that must be deliberated carefully.

4) Ergonomics– The machine has to fit the job. Ergonomics derives the best approaches to make any forklift do just that. When purchasing a first forklift, it is great to ascertain if it can be equipped with telemetric monitoring or integrated with the latest supply chain interfaces. In doing so, you will find out how to get the most out of your forklift and once again enhance your return on investment with your acquisition.

5) Safety – The most important facet of any forklift is how safe it is in operation and whether or not it can be effectively used in a safe manner. For new drivers in particular, it is imperative to make sure your first forklift is equipped with all the latest safety features to assure optimal results.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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