Do you know how many different types of forklifts are available for sale in the US? A lot! Forklifts are a fantastic invention that really able a range of businesses, throughout a huge number of industries, to increase productivity dramatically.
Although many people only think of the pallet mover type of forklift, the powered industrial trucks designed to lift and carry over a short distances are now manufactured to suit small businesses moving crates from one end of a building to another, right through to heavier rugged outdoor vehicles designed that are more likely to be seen on a construction site. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forklift
Regulations relating to the many different types of forklifts are managed and controlled by the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF). The ITSDF are the non-profit organization ensures that the safety requirements relating to any new modification, design, operation or maintenance of a forklift are clear and able to be regulated.
In the United States use of forklifts is managed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSDA), who have clear regulations around who can operate a forklift, which type of forklift they can operate, and under which circumstances. In the US training is generally provided by the workplace and must be undertaken every three years in order to maintain the ability to operate the vehicles. In other countries specialist licenses are issued by independent bodies.
With the range of different options available it can be overwhelming trying to work out exactly which model you need. Although most people will know whether they need an industrial or commercial type (basically, outdoor or indoor), whether you need a pneumatic, electric or cushion forklift, or maybe a reach truck instead, it can get confusing. When you are buying used forklifts for sale in the U.S. there are a range of options but before you go out and just pick one based on price, ask around and talk to a reputable dealer.
You are looking at a big investment, and although you may save yourself a few dollars by purchasing a forklift used, when the starting price is around $5,000 and you could be heading well over $20,000 you don’t want to be making an error in judgement about who you buy from.
Reading reviews is a great way to find out if you are talking to a reputable company, but also make sure that they have a phone number, sometimes just being able to pick up and the phone and have a quick chat to someone at the other end is a fantastic way to ensure that you are getting a product that you will be happy with. If you can explain to them what you are going to be using it for you might find that they have a better solution.
Many times people will buy based on price, but if you are going to be using your forklift extensively, and for heavy work, you might find that spending just a little more will get you a machine that will last you much longer – and the right company will know the difference between the models that they are selling and be able to give you the right advise.
If you are buying for inside a warehouse or distribution center you are probably going to be wanting to look more at an electric or LPG model of forklift, as these have significantly less issues with carbon monoxide and emissions.
Electric options are relatively cheap to run, very quiet, and excellent on a smooth concrete warehouse floor. The downside is that they have a limited battery life, meaning that you will either need to invest in a secondary battery and charging unit, or be prepared to have your forklift offline while it charges. For most businesses charging overnight will be enough, but for heavy load days you may end up a little frustrated at delays.
Petrol or Diesel forklifts are often found on construction sides where noise pollution and emissions aren’t such a concern, but where power is a big issue. These tend to be a little more powerful (see here), and don’t need to wait to be recharged, just add more gas and carry on.