A forklift is a powered industrial truck that is commonly used in warehouses for lifting and moving materials over short distances. They are an essential component of industries such as logistics, manufacturing, engineering and storage. If you are new to these industries and are looking to acquire forklifts for your business, then this article is for you. Intended as a beginner friendly introduction, we will look at the critical functions of a forklift and how this impacts your selection criteria.
A Forklift’s Instability
Firstly, a forklift’s ability to withstand instability is vital to its safe operation. Stability as a trait allows the forklift and its load to be considered a unit with continually varying center of gravity at any point in a movement.
To maintain stability, a forklift must never carry loads beyond the manufacturer’s specified maximum weight. Additionally, a forklift should never negotiate a turn at speed with a raised load as centrifugal and gravitational forces may apply on the forklift and cause a tip-over accident.
How does this apply to your selection of a forklift? Firstly, you need to consider the intended loads that the forklift is to carry. A forklift that has a maximum weight specification above the intended load with excess buffer should be purchased.
A Forklift’s Environment
The intended usage environment plays a big part in your choice of forklift. For starters, the terrain that a forklift works on affects the tyres which will be employed. In particular, tougheruneven terrains or those with angled slopes will require tougher tyres that have more traction. Conversely, if you forklift is meant to work indoors, then relatively smoother terrain such as a cement surface would make smaller wheels of an electric forklift desirable.
Additionally, it is worth considering the noise and air pollution created by your forklift’s operation. Indoor forklifts are typically electrical as they do not emit harmful pollutants and operate with minimal noise. However, if your forklift is to operate outdoors, then consider diesel, LPG or petrol based ones which generally have more power.
Desired Lifting Height
Each forklift model has its own maximum lifting height for its loads. As such, you should consider what is the highest lift height that your business will need. Complimentary to this is the collapsed height of the mast when a forklift is travelling in or out of the operating environment. If you have any low hanging lights or beams, then depending on the height of the mast, the forklift may not be able fit under.
Options when Acquiring a Forklift
If you were to approach a forklift Singapore reseller or distributor, then you will likely find the options to either purchase a brand new forklift or to rent one. Renting allows you to pay less capital upfront but in turn, you will be given a potentially less productive machine. Additionally, depending on the duration of the loan, you may soon end up paying the equivalent of a new forklift without ever owning the forklift.