A Guide to Buying the Best Forklift for Your Operation

The lead-up to purchasing material handling equipment can be an overwhelming process. This is why Crown Equipment wants to help customers in buying the best forklift for their warehousing operations.

With many factors to consider when purchasing a forklift, understanding where to start is crucial in the decision-making process. Whether you are a first-time buyer or simply in need of a quick refresher course, Crown Equipment is committed to provide customers with the right steps to help them purchase the best forklift suitable for their material handling needs. Through this guide, learn the process of buying a forklift, acquire tips on making the right purchase and note the common pitfalls to avoid.

Steps to buying a forklift

Look for the right material handling equipment (MHE) partner, before deciding on the equipment itself. 

Whether you are buying for a multi-national corporation or a small-and-medium enterprise, buying forklifts is an investment for the future. You can expect a better return-on-investment (ROI) with a dedicated partner by your side who will be there for you from the decision-making process to after-sales services. This relationship will return more value than simply buying a cheaper forklift without any additional support.

Have an expert forklift representative visit your site to provide guidance and recommendations. 

Like with any purchases, it is prudent to seek advice from the professionals before making a decision.

Decide if you are buying a brand-new or pre-owned forklift. 

Both options have their own sets of benefits, depending on your budget and operation’s demands. Discuss these benefits with your forklift representative.

Knowing your budget and factoring in that forklift acquisition is critical to purchase the right equipment. 

This is why it is important to understand what your business needs and purchase the right MHE for your operations.

Understand your warehousing requirements. 

Each forklift has its own set of capabilities, features and limitations. In order to match the right forklift to your warehousing needs, you must first understand what you need your forklift to accomplish.

  1. How high do you need to lift your load?
  2. What is the weight of your typical load?
  3. Will the forklift be primarily used indoors or outdoors?
  4. How wide are the aisles and doors?
  5. How many hours will the forklift be in use per day?
  6. Are there any specific accessories or attachments you will need?
  7. What are the training qualifications of your operators?
  8. What safety considerations need to be assessed

Tips on making the right forklift purchase

  • Look for references, case studies and customer testimonials to help with locating the right partner
  • Dealing directly with a manufacturer can help ensure that your used equipment is supported by factory-trained technicians using genuine original equipment manufacturer This will ultimately lower your total cost of ownership and ensure that your equipment meets the highest standards of safety and compliance
  • Do your audit and have a list of your warehousing requirements ready
  • Do plenty of research and identify the kind of forklift you need
  • Know what you can afford and how to maximise ROI (consider first the cost of productivity, performance, safety and operator effectiveness)

Five common pitfalls to avoid

Putting too little thought into selecting your forklift partner: 

Find a dependable manufacturer that has the expertise to accurately specify all the available forklift options and correctly assess your requirements to help you make the right decision. Ensure that you are not being pressured to simply purchase the most expensive option or buy equipment that does not meet your needs. You will benefit from the knowledge acquired by a manufacturer that has decade’s worth of experience.

Simply buying the cheapest forklift:

Forklifts are a long-term investment, which means price should definitely not be the only consideration. Remember that your purchase should be supported by a warranty, consultation services and spare parts availability for the long haul.

Buying without trial:

This applies to both brand-new and pre-owned forklifts. Before making the final purchase, ensure that your operators have the opportunity to give the forklift a try and provide feedback accordingly. They may be able to point out some key details you may have missed.

Not calculating the additional (or hidden) costs:

Understand your forklift’s monthly energy costs, ongoing maintenance fees and what your warranty will cover. Ensure that you know what you are paying for and beware if the upfront investment is much lower than the average market price.

Skimping on the maintenance plan:

This is crucial even for new forklifts. Having a maintenance plan includes having regular inspections to catch any problems early and help keep your operators safe and your overall running costs low. It can also help extend the useful life of a forklift.

While this guide serves as a starting point in your decision-making process, it is not intended to provide all the information you need. Crown Equipment, one of the world’s largest material handling equipment providers and an industry leader in Southeast Asia, is a trusted and established brand that is committed to helping its customers make the right decision to buy the most suitable forklift for its operations.

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