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.
Purchasing A Forklift
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
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.
Electric, LPG, Petrol or Diesel Forklifts?
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
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
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