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So you have realised that you need to consider forklift leasing or buying new or secondhand forklifts for your business. Maybe you are expanding into a new business area or are adding services to what you already offer. Whatever the situation, how do you know what is the right forklift for your business?

The right lift

One of the fundamental questions when you are considering forklift hire in Sussex is what is the right lift for the job you need doing? This refers to the amount of weight you want the forklift to pick up at one time. The weight safety for each forklift is a little different and there are also height issues to consider – and always a safety margin to incorporate. This means you should consider what the forklift will lift, carry and how high you want it to lift from and lift to.

Indoors or outdoors?

Using a forklift indoors doesn’t take too much consideration but if you want the machine to operate outdoors some or all of the time, you need to consider a few extra things. One is the right type of tyre for the conditions it will be driving in – you don’t want to face constant forklift repairs because the tyres aren’t up to the job and there’s damage to the body.

Another consideration is how the forklift will get in and out of the property. Are there any obstructions that would cause problems for the forklift moving in and out of the building, such as steps that would need a ramp? Is the door large enough to accommodate the forklift?

Electric, gas or diesel?

Each of the power types has its pros and cons so weighing these up is a big part of assessing the right forklift. Electric powered forklifts, for example, are much cheaper to run than other options, are pollution free and have great green credentials. They are ideal for warehouse lifting due to a compact size and are also favoured for food factories or refrigerated warehouses.

Electric forklifts do need a lot of charging and this can limit their use. Diesel forklifts tend to work better in tougher conditions such as outdoors and are very sturdy but can cause problems when used indoors due to fumes.

Gas forklifts are the middle ground, producing minimal pollution and being able to load similar amounts to diesel forklifts. The main concern can be the presence of LPG cylinders in the business.

Will you need to train staff?

Finally, how much forklift driver training will you need? If staff have never used forklifts before, you will need a full training course to ensure they are legally allowed to drive the forklift. If they have some experience with a particular type of forklift, then a refresher course may be all that is needed to prepare them for the new type of machinery you are planning to buy or hire. Training can be done in-house as well at specialist training companies who offer accredited training for all kinds of forklifts.


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