when to buy and when to rent heavy construction equipment

Considerations When Buying a Forklift

A forklift can be used for loading boxes at a warehouse, moving pallets of sod during landscaping applications, and loading equipment onto a truck. Those who are just getting into the industry might think that any forklift is just as good as another, but in order to get a forklift that will work best for you, you need to know what to look for. 

Electric or Combustion Motor

You can find forklifts with either a combustion motor or an electric motor. Each of the options has its ideal application. For example, if you are trying to move equipment around a remote site, then having a forklift with an electric motor is not a good idea because finding a place to charge it may not be feasible. It's a lot easier to haul gas to a remote site than to try to find a charging station. On the other hand, when you are working in an enclosed space, the fumes from a combustion motor can create a toxic environment. Thus, electric motors are the standard option for those who are working inside warehouses and other buildings. 

Three-Wheel or Four-Wheel Model

The other main consideration when buying a forklift is whether it has three or four wheels. The idea behind a forklift with three wheels is to decrease the turning radius of the forklift. This makes forklifts popular in warehouses where tight spaces are common. On the other hand, when you are working outside and don't have to worry about navigating aisles of boxes, the wider radius of a four-wheel forklift should be adequate. 

Four-wheel forklifts may not have a tight turning radius, but they are known for their stability. This is another reason why you want a forklift known for stability if you are going to be driving over uneven surfaces, such as you might find outside. In contrast, three-wheel models work best on flat, smooth surfaces, which is another reason why you mostly find them in warehouses.

When your working operation gets big enough that you require a forklift, you need to take a little bit of time to do your research. If you need help choosing the right features for your forklift, you should sit down and talk with someone who is used to selling and working with warehousing equipment. They will be able to advise you about which forklift will work for your needs. Contact a representative from a company like Independent Lift Truck Of Alaska to get started.