Forklifts, despite their seemingly one-size-fits-all exterior, are available in a surprisingly wide variety of shapes and sizes depending on the equipment needs and purpose of the forklift itself. For this reason, prospective owners can often be overwhelmed – and that’s without considering the hefty price tags that quality forklifts can attract. For those unaware of differences between forklift models, or those unwilling to do their research, choosing the wrong forklift can be a costly mistake. To assist in your research, we’ve compiled a list of things that are commonly overlooked when buying a forklift – this way, you won’t have to end up with something that doesn’t suit your purposes!

Know exactly what you need before you research

Some business owners might convince themselves that they need a forklift as soon as humanly possible in order to not slow business down, but this could be a very costly mistake. Anyone serious about their forklift investment should have a thorough list of needs that their purchase must fulfil. The first step for many will involve determining whether they need an electric forklift or a traditional diesel-powered forklifts. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so this is another decision that will be based entirely on your business circumstances.  If do end up finding the perfect forklift for your specific needs, it’s then very much worth your time to investigate the relevant running costs of the machine. Operating costs will include things like fuel or electricity (depending on the type of forklift you buy) as well as long-term service and maintenance costs, including common repairs that are required. If you find a cheap forklift only to later find out that it’s a breakdown-prone fuel-hungry beast, you’re probably not going to be saving money in the long run.

Looking to buy second-hand?

Electing to buy second-hand is not a terrible idea when buying a forklift – just make sure to go through a reputable dealer, as it’s all too easy to get burned in private sales. Even if you do purchase your forklift from a dealer, it’s never a bad idea to inspect the forklift yourself and make sure it’s working in perfect order. One of the things you should be checking are any on-board technologies that the forklift might have, as these might have been compromised. You’ll need to carefully inspect things like weighing systems and dashboard systems as technology advances will be constantly rendering these systems obsolete. After checking the state of the forklift, it’s also an excellent idea to better understand the second-hand parts market relevant to your forklift. Ensure that parts are very easy to source and inexpensive, as regular maintenance will be crucial to having your forklift run well long into the future. This is an easy one to forget when you’re buying a new forklift, but it should still not be ignored!

Safeguarding your investment

If you’re interested in having your forklift around for a while, it’s important to invest time into extensive research. This way you’ll not only get the forklift that’s right for the job, but you’ll be able to ensure it won’t cost you an arm and a leg in the future. Second-hand advice also might not be worth much when it comes to forklifts – modern forklifts can do a lot more than they could do ten years ago, so it’s a better idea to discuss your options with a professional rather than your supposed expert uncle.

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