Five features to consider when buying a forklift

  • Editorial Team
  • Forklift
  • 9 October 2019

A forklift truck is not a one-size-fits-all kind of machinery. Forklift models come in different specs, sizes, and builds. The variation of features means that different models of forklifts are designed for specific applications and industries. When browsing through listings in search of a used forklift trucks for sale, you must understand essential features that distinguish different types of forklifts.

1) Propulsion

Electric forklifts are cheap to maintain and run, produce low noise and have zero emissions. However, electric motors deliver less power compared to internal combustion engines. Most electric forklifts are designed for less demanding indoor use, while petrol and diesel engines are reserved for more powerful outdoor forklifts.

2) Type of tyres

Forklifts can be designed to run on pneumatic, solid or cushion tyres. The choice of the tyre has a huge impact on handling and manoeuvrability. Chunky pneumatic tyres are fitted to heavy, rugged outdoor forklifts. Cushion tyres are used on small indoor forklifts with small chassis and low ground clearance. Due to their durability and dependability, solid tyres are fitted to forklifts working in punishing and extreme conditions such as factories and lumberyards.

3) Manoeuvrability

Manoeuvrability is determined by the size of the chassis, type of tyres, wheelbase, ground clearance and steering precision. Smaller forklifts tend to be more agile than larger ones and can work in tight spaces. However, they struggle to move over loose surfaces and rough terrain.

4) Load capacity and lift height

Every forklift is rated for maximum load capacity and lifting height. Exceeding these limits is unsafe and could cause damage to the equipment. You must choose a forklift whose loading and lifting limits are beyond your demands.

5) Ease of use, maintenance and safety

Maintenance and servicing are a big part of the cost of running any machinery. Find out the maintenance requirements and additional attachments necessary for keeping the forklift running reliably. Also check for safety and convenience features such as driving aids, comfort, visibility, and handling difficulty.

Choosing a forklift

Forklifts are valuable tools in several industries, including construction, manufacturing, warehousing, storage, and shipping, to mention a few. The features we have discussed here will help you choose the most suitable forklift to meet your needs. Consider the nature of your work environment, and the types of loads to make an informed decision.

Speaking of choosing a forklift, make your pick from our forklift for sale. While you’re here, feel free to check out more of our used heavy equipment for sale.