Forklifts and Materials Handling Trucks

The forklift and materials handling truck market has numerous manufacturers including Hyster, Toyota, Komatsu and Crown. While new models are released regularly by the major suppliers, the second hand market is strong and easily accessed via online sales platforms. 

When purchasing a forklift the first decision is what type of truck do you need to do the job. The most commonly used forklift types categorised by application include:

  • Counterbalance –4 wheel: available in electric, diesel and LPG power with capacity 1.5 ton to 25 tonnes.
  • Counterbalance - 3 wheel electric: narrower than the 4 wheel which make them suited to aisle work.
  • Reach Trucks – enable warehouse operators to access particularly high storage to maximise their space
  • Power Pallet Trucks – great for moving pallets around indoor locations.
  • Stackers – essentially a power pallet with a mast so pallets and heavy loads can be lifted to heights.
  • Order Pickers – allow staff to select items for orders within a safe platform.
  • Rough Terrain forklifts - as the name suggests, this units are built to work on uneven surfaces such as gravel and dirt
  • Articulated Forklift – designed to cater for jobs in quite narrow aisles and spaces.

Purchase Considerations

There are a few tips from the experts to keep in mind when making your purchase decision:-

Size is significant

The more expensive forklifts tend to be those that have a larger capacity. If you want to contain your costs, be conservative.

Consider ongoing costs

Ask the seller or manufacturer what the operating costs are so you can factor that into your purchase decision.

Buy well, buy once

In a continuation of the previous point, purchasing a cheaper forklift or a second hand unit which is not in the greatest condition, you risk it costing you more in constant repairs than buying a brand new unit in the beginning.

Quality matters

As with many categories of equipment, there are high quality manufacturers and those that build to lesser quality. To realise long term return on your investment, opt for higher quality.

Consider both the new and second-hand markets carefully and weigh up the ongoing operating costs of used equipment against the costs of buying new.

Once you’ve made your decision as to which forklift or lift truck to purchase, you need to secure the right finance package.