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How to Choose the Right Lift Truck For The Job?

Lift trucks are commonly used for lifting anything from stock in a warehouse to personnel required to perform tasks at a certain level like picking stock. Today’s technology allows not only for convenience and safety but also productivity in a warehousing or storage area. Purchasing a suitable lift truck for a specific operation might sound easy, but take into consideration the following when deciding which lifting equipment is suited for your specific tasks.

What are the properties of the materials that have to be lifted?
Understand the properties (load) of the materials that have to be lifted. Lift truck capacity is affected by how high you need to lift the materials and the size of the load.  Also consider the the dimensions of the load, as this will affect the size of the truck selected.

How will the materials be stored?
The way materials are stored also plays a role in determining the type of lift truck that would be required.   Is it a heavy load that must be stored at a high level in extreme conditions such as uneven terrain, plenty of dust and temperature controlled environments, or which does not allow for much room to move? Or is the load to be stored in a warehouse where employees are hoisted to break bulk in order to select merchandise? Is the area well ventilated or is it an explosive environment where you may need a machine that does not produce open sparks which could ignite the environment?

What type of terrain must the lift truck travel on?
Most forklifts are designed to work on smooth, level surfaces. These machines will not function efficiently or safely on rough or uneven surfaces.  If you intend to use the forklift in an outdoor environment, you will want to consider a pneumatic tire forklift or even a rough-terrain forklift. Rough terrain lift trucks are equipped with additional suspensions and are generally wider than the standard forklift. This provides a more stable work platform with a lower center of gravity.

How will the materials be received and shipped?
Are you using a loading dock, going into a trailer or shipping container? How you receive or ship materials will affect the size, lifting capacity and maneuverability of the lift truck required.

What is the weight of materials that have to be lifted?
Bigger is not always better in the materials handling business.   You might reason to just get a bigger truck for heavier loads.   But bigger trucks require more space to move and may cost more, making it not the most suitable solution where heavy materials in small spaces have to be moved.

At which height must the materials be stored?
Lift height and load size determines the capacity of a lift truck. A bigger load size moves the lift truck´s center of gravity, reducing the lifting capacity, making the height at which the materials that have to be stored just as important as the load.

Once the properties of the materials are determined, the capabilities and options of the lifting equipment should be evaluated. How the lift truck is powered (lp, diesel, electric), mast options, aisle type, safety features and many more factors have to be taken into consideration when determining which lift truck to purchase.

What options are needed?
The number of options available for forklifts is quite varied. You may choose a side shift option, back-up alarm, warning lights, turn signals, fans or gauges. The determination will need to be made on which of these options are needed, and which would be simply a luxury item.

As you can see, there are numerous considerations to be made when choosing the right lifting equipment for your operation.

Contact us today for assistance in choosing the right lift truck for your job. We will even come to your facility to do a site survey which will answer all of these questions and more.

SuperTech, Inc.
(770) 716-7959   or   use our convenient online form