BEFORE YOU BUY A NEW FORKLIFT
which forklift truck is the best choice for your company?
Before you decide to choose a forklift truck, you should carefully analyze which forklift will be the best solution for your company. The final choice of a forklift should be influenced not only by the price, but above all by its functionality in terms of meeting the needs of your company, including:
Where will the forklift work?
- Outside or inside, or maybe both?
- What surface will it be driving on (paving stone, concrete, gravel road, etc.)?
- Under what weather conditions (rain, snow, or maybe only in summer)?
- If inside, are there any restrictions - mast height? Turning radius? The weight of the stroller? Cleanliness requirements? No exhaust fumes etc.?
What will the forklift do (what tasks the forklift will do):
- Bringing pallets to the warehouse, from the warehouse, loading on a car, unloading a container, handling racks?
- Is the load on a pallet or other carrier or not?
- Load dimensions and weight?
- Work multi-shift?
- Use intensity (number of mth per month)?
An important element in choosing the right forklift should be the so-called TCO (total cost of ownership) - running costs (spare parts), costs of inspections, servicing, repairs, costs related to the operation of an internal transport device - energy costs - fuel, gas or electricity, depending on the type of forklift drive selected.
Basic parameters when choosing a forklift on the example of a counterbalance truck:
Electric drive, diesel or maybe LPG?
Electrically powered forklifts are most often used for work in closed rooms, such as production halls or warehouses, but we can also use them when working outside. Their use inside closed rooms is safe for employees because they are characterized by the absence of exhaust emissions. The advantage of the electric drive is acceleration, smooth driving, precise maneuvers and small size of the engines. The limitation of the truck is the battery, which usually requires several hours of charging. Currently, lithium-ion batteries are used more and more often, which, unlike acid batteries, can be quickly recharged, extending the working time of the truck. There should be a special stand in the hall or warehouse where the battery can be connected. Among the machines with electric drive we have models with DC motors - DC and trucks with AC motors - AC. The latter type is more popular because the use of AC technology improves the efficiency of the device.
Diesel engine trucks operate in open spaces. They should not be used in closed rooms due to poisonous exhaust fumes. However, they are the most durable, efficient and economical units, especially with high lifting capacities. LPG forklifts are a good alternative for companies that use the machine both outdoors and indoors. The most modern filters that reduce the amount of exhaust gases are used in LPG engines.
Proper lifting capacity of the forklift - what to pay attention to.
One of the most important parameters of the forklift is its lifting capacity. When buying a machine for a company, we should remember that the capacity specified by the manufacturer is the catalog capacity for strictly defined conditions. The capacity is determined on the basis of the load center of gravity and the lifting height and is selected in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines. Yes, for example, in the case of an undersized load, a forklift with a capacity of three tons can only lift 1 ton of load. Another thing that causes a drop in load capacity is additional attachments, such as a grapple or a side shift. The equipment moves away the center of gravity of the load and can weigh quite a lot itself.
What type of mast to choose?
The type of mast determines the height at which we can lift the load. There are three basic types of masts to choose from:
- Simplex – the forklift is equipped with one arm in which the carriage of the stroller moves.
- Duplex – the forklift has a double frame, one part of the mast extends from the other part.
- Triplex – the mast of the forklift consists of three parts.
An important parameter when choosing a mast is the so-called free stroke of the forks, i.e. to what height we can raise the forks without extending the mast beyond its resting value. For example, if we use a forklift that loads and unloads our containers / semi-trailers, we can use the simplest mast type, simplex, but when in a car semi-trailer we have to put a pallet on a pallet and we are limited by the ceiling, we will use the mast with the largest free lift possible, i.e. e.g. triplex.
There are two main types of tires to choose from: solid tires - super-elastic or pneumatic tires. The first type of tire has a longer service life than pneumatic tires. They are designed to work on level ground. Perfect for a warehouse or hall. Their advantage is that they are not exposed to punctures. This value reduces the risk of unplanned downtime. On the other hand, pneumatic tires have better shock absorption. This feature contributes to the longer life of the torsion beam. If you have doubts or you are not sure which forklift will be the best solution for your company - contact our advisors who, thanks to their many years of experience in the industry, are able to offer solutions ideally suited to your needs and possibilities.