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4 Steps to Getting the Best Forklift for Your Job

The most important point to remember when hiring a forklift for any reason is that planning ahead can give you significant cost savings. Being heavy machinery, there are many factors to consider including transportation, capacity, environment and hiring rates. This article discusses some tips you can use during your planning in order to ensure you get the right forklift for the best price, and are able to derive maximum use from it.

1. Determine what you need it for – in detail 

Different forklifts have different weight and height capacities. Therefore, you should know the weight and height of the load you'll carry as well as how much work it'll do. Some forklifts are intended for light-duty work, but if you're going to lift very heavy weights throughout the working day, consider heavy-duty forklifts which are stronger and unlikely to break down at your job site. In addition, you should also know how the load is packaged and how it'll be secured to the forklift for carriage. Make arrangements to have carriage attachments added where there aren't any.

2. Determine where it will be used

As a heavy machine, the surface on which the forklift will be placed must be strong enough to withstand the weight. There must be adequate room to operate the machine around the loading area as well as the off-loading area – this can be worked out by knowing the turning radius and width of the machine and making enough room for it.

The ground surface will determine the kind of tyres you need on the forklift. Pneumatic tyres are the best for heavy-duty lifting – heavy loads, uneven surfaces, heavy usage. Solid rubber and polyurethane tyres are also options if you have smooth ground surfaces.

3. Determine when and how long you need it

Forklifts are rented on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on user requirements. You can also negotiate with the rental company to offer a customized schedule if you require intermittent usage, e.g. if you receive or send shipments at set times. Negotiating a long-term contract is one way to reduce your costs. You should pen down your schedule and book as early as possible. This gives ample time to compare rental rates and available products, as well as ensure the right forklift is available when you need it.

4. Determine additional costs

You should also consider additional costs such as fuel, transportation of the machinery to and from your job site and operator costs – forklifts must be handled by a trained operative. Talk to the renters about their additional charges e.g. unforeseen delays/overtime charges and cost of service for long-term users among others.

If you're using a forklift just once, you can let the renting company take care of delivery, usually at added cost. However, if you're looking at a long-term contract, making your own delivery arrangements can help you save, as well as increase your level of convenience. Once you know the forklift you're renting, it's easier to choose the right transportation method to avoid damage and make movement easier.