A forklift is a significant purchase, whether you’re a growing company looking to invest in this type of machinery for the first time, or an experienced business looking to replace a worn out machine. Since prices vary for each model, and since you will ideally own the truck for many years, you need to ensure that the machine you choose will physically and financially fit your needs for as long as you own it. Take a look at some of the factors to consider if you plan to buy a forklift in 2019.
Choose between new and used before you buy.
One of the first decisions you will make regarding your lift truck is whether you want to purchase a new or a used one. Each type has its own advantages. For example, used forklifts tend to cost less to purchase up front, while new ones may have fewer forklift maintenance and repair costs over time.
The decision whether to buy new or used will typically come down to your company's specific situation. For example: Does your business have enough cash or financing to purchase a new lift truck or does your financial situation require you to buy a used one instead? Make sure you understand the pros and cons of each, and buy a forklift that best meets your company's immediate and future needs.
How do you want to use it?
Not all forklifts are the same. Some are made for rough terrain such as outdoor construction, while others are built to handle the narrow aisles of a warehouse. Some are ideal for picking items off shelving, while others are tough workhorses designed to lift heavy loads outdoors in all kinds of weather. Will you use it indoors or outdoors? Will it be used in tight spaces and narrow aisles or a more open environment? Will it need to lift heavy pallets, or simply pick items off a shelf?
Lastly, don’t forget to consider future usage: Will your needs change in the next five years and, if so, will that change the type of lift truck you need? Choose one that will meet both your immediate needs and any anticipated future needs.
Load and height capacity.
Two important features to consider are the load capacity and the height capacity of the machine. These vary depending on the specific lift truck you purchase. Load capacity refers to the weight that the truck can lift, and can vary greatly. If you’re using the truck to pick items in a warehouse, a 5000-pound capacity lift truck is probably sufficient, but that outdoor construction may require a higher load limit. Evaluate the maximum load capacity you anticipate needing, and buy a forklift that can handle slightly more than that to ensure that your machine can safely lift whatever you require throughout its life.
Height capacity refers to how high the forklift can reach. This varies, and what you need will also vary depending upon how you plan to use the lift truck. Because weight capacity sometimes (but not always) increases with the height capacity of the truck, consider both together to ensure you get the right combination for your machine.
Long-term maintenance and repair costs.
Planning to buy a forklift means more than just making sure you have the finances on hand to make the upfront purchase. Forklifts also come with long-term maintenance and repair costs that must be factored in.
For example, all lift trucks come with a recommended maintenance schedule that includes daily, weekly, monthly, and annual steps you should take to ensure the proper operation of the machine. In addition, OSHA regulations require you to keep your forklift in a safe operating condition. If you work with a qualified dealer, like Darr, you can get customized and comprehensive maintenance solutions and recommendations to keep your forklift in good repair for the duration of ownership.
Long-term costs of ownership.
In addition to forklift maintenance and repair, there are other long-term costs of ownership to think about. For example, fuel costs can add up over the life of the machine, as can battery purchases, charging stations, and more. Before you make your purchase, plan out these long-term costs so you know you are getting a lift truck you can afford and one that will benefit your company over many years.
Work with a reliable dealer to plan your forklift purchase.
The best way to plan for a forklift purchase in 2019 is to work with a reliable dealer. Here at Darr, we work with you to identify your business needs and forklift requirements so we can offer you exactly the machine you need for your company. With tailored service and reliable machines, you can feel confident that the lift truck you buy will meet your needs both immediately and in the long-term.
Ensure that everyone using the forklift is trained in its operation and safety.
Finally, you need to plan for safety and operational training after you buy a forklift. Darr, for example, provides comprehensive operator and safety training that will equip your employees to properly use the lift truck. This training helps prevent accidents, familiarizes employees with the full range of use possible with the forklift, and makes you aware of all safety regulations.
Planning to buy a forklift is a major undertaking. If you can implement these steps, you will be well-equipped to purchase a forklift in 2019. For more information, contact Darr today!