Choosing The Right Forklift

There are many factors to consider when choosing the correct forklift for your warehouse.  Some factors include frequency of loads, maneuvering space, and duties of the operators.  Your current forklift selection process may be working now, but you could be missing out on a more efficient way of moving materials or goods in your warehouse.  There could be a model that can reduce the fatigue of the operator,  load trailers in a cost-effective way, or allow your operators to get more done.


Below are three factors to consider when deciding on a lift truck model:

1. How Often Are You Loading Trailers:

If your shipping department only loads a few semi-trailers or box trucks a week, consider using an electric walkie or walkie end-rider if:

  • Jungheinrich EJE Electric Walkie Pallet Jack

    the load capacity is between 3,000 and 8,000 lb.

  • loads are not stacked vertically inside trailers
  • there are no sensitive loads to handle.  The transition from the dock floor, dock leveler, and into the trailer can be harsh to riders.  If the transition is smooth then a smaller load wheel, like the electric walkie or end-riders can be ideal for traveling over dock plates.

Now, if you are constantly loading trailers, a stand-up end control forklift may be ideal over a walkie.  These lift trucks can easily fit into standard trailer doors and their masts allow for stacking if needed.  Capacities can range between 3,000 and 4,000 lbs.

2.  What Type of Space Are You Working With:

Cat  Electric Three-Wheel Forklift

Some warehouses have lots of room for operators to maneuver in and out of aisles with. Others may be filled to max capacity and have limited space for larger equipment.  This may call for a three-wheel electric forklift to perform smoother in tighter turning radius areas.

If space is not a concern, choosing between a three or four-wheel forklift should be based on:

  • what the operator prefers.
  • the capacity required to move the product or materials – three-wheel electric trucks max out at 4,000 lbs, so if you are lifting more, you will need a four-wheel model.

3. What Are The Operators Duties:

Jungheinrich ETG Stand-Up End Control Forklift

An important factor to consider before choosing a forklift is what are the duties each operator has when moving materials.  Are they not only loading trucks in shipping but are they also replenishing lines, storing inventory on racks, delivering paperwork, scanning barcodes, etc..  They can be constantly getting on and off lift trucks, which can cause major fatigue, and you should consider a stand-up option for easy access.

While in other applications, drivers may be on the machine for seven or eight hours a day.  Loading and unloading fairly similar load types constantly, so they don’t have to mess with paperwork or adjust for different loads.  This application may call for a sit-down counterbalance truck with add comfort to improve their efficiency during the workday.

 


Need help finding the right forklift for your application?  Contact one of our experienced account managers to help you choose the best lift truck solution for your business. Contact us at 330-633-6000!

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