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New to Forklifts? Here are some...

frequently asked questions

New to Forklifts? Read our

FAQ’S

Looking for More Information?

Buying a new or Pre-owned Forklift can be a daunting task. Each machine is different and has it’s own set of strengths and applications. Luckily, Granite Industrial is here to help you through the process and fit you with the perfect forklift to suit your particular business needs AND budget.

How do i know what kind of forklift i need

Electric forklifts are relatively quiet and have no fumes. The batteries do require attention; they must be kept filled with water and charged regularly. When purchasing a used electric forklift, be aware that two costly components are the battery & the motors. Try to assure yourself of the condition prior to purchase. This can be done by having a warranty on the components, or have a reputable forklift service inspect the motors and take a capacity test on the battery. Some forklift motors are easier to inspect than others. Electric forklifts are typically used in the food industry and in warehouses where aisle spacing is critical. Electric forklifts are most commonly used as “4-wheeled sit-down”, “3-wheeled sit-down ” & “stand-up” styles, although there are other, more specialized styles available.

Propane forklifts have an engine and, as a result, generate some level of fumes. These forklifts are OSHA approved to be used indoors. Propane forklifts are easy to deal with in a low use application because you simply change the propane tank when you run out of fuel. Typically, propane forklifts are a 4-wheeled “sit-down” style & need a minimum of 12′ to right angle stack.

What should I consider when buying a forklift?

What type of surface will you be driving on (i.e.) concrete, asphalt, dirt, gravel? Cushion (rubber, indoor) tires are for use on concrete and can be driven on asphalt as well. Pneumatic (air, outdoor) tires are designed for use on asphalt, hard packed dirt or firm large-stone gravel. These units are also “higher profile” than cushion forklifts. Rough terrain forklifts trucks, with large tractor-type tires, are needed for work in sand, loose gravel and for construction sites.

How much weight are you lifting, what are the physical dimensions of the load, how high do you need to lift? In determining the capacity that you need, keep in mind that typically, forklifts are rated on a 24″ load center. Any load that is over 48″ in length will affect the forklift trucks load capacity. The lift height is measured at the forks and can also affect the capacity of the forklift truck.

What are your aisle widths? “Right angle stacking” is the key to storing pallets on racking. If you are in a confined area and have aisle spacing less than 11′, you will need a 3-wheeled unit or a stand-up forklift.

How many hours per week will you use the forklift truck? Your usage will help determine which forklift will be most cost-effective for you. For example, an older forklift can work well under a low use application. By the same token, if you need a forklift to be operated four or morehours per day, you may want to consider a new unit.

Will you be driving into tractor-trailers? Some forklifts are designed to work in tractor-trailers, and others are not.

Are you in the food business? If you are in the food business, you should strongly conside investing in an electric forklift.

What should I consider when buying a forklift?

What type of surface will you be driving on (i.e.) concrete, asphalt, dirt, gravel? Cushion (rubber, indoor) tires are for use on concrete and can be driven on asphalt as well. Pneumatic (air, outdoor) tires are designed for use on asphalt, hard packed dirt or firm large-stone gravel. These units are also “higher profile” than cushion forklifts. Rough terrain forklifts trucks, with large tractor-type tires, are needed for work in sand, loose gravel and for construction sites.

How much weight are you lifting, what are the physical dimensions of the load, how high do you need to lift? In determining the capacity that you need, keep in mind that typically, forklifts are rated on a 24″ load center. Any load that is over 48″ in length will affect the forklift trucks load capacity. The lift height is measured at the forks and can also affect the capacity of the forklift truck.

What are your aisle widths? “Right angle stacking” is the key to storing pallets on racking. If you are in a confined area and have aisle spacing less than 11′, you will need a 3-wheeled unit or a stand-up forklift.

How many hours per week will you use the forklift truck? Your usage will help determine which forklift will be most cost-effective for you. For example, an older forklift can work well under a low use application. By the same token, if you need a forklift to be operated four or morehours per day, you may want to consider a new unit.

Will you be driving into tractor-trailers? Some forklifts are designed to work in tractor-trailers, and others are not.

Are you in the food business? If you are in the food business, you should strongly conside investing in an electric forklift.

Consider where you plan to use your forklift

How high do you need a forklift truck to lift a load?

If you primarily use forklifts to load and unload trucks, you may not need much lift height; if your warehouse has 20 feet high racking, your forklift will need to reach them. Unlike load capacity, your height needs are unlikely to change over time barring new construction or major renovations. Buy for the height you need now. In a warehouse setting, the size of the lift truck may be an issue as well. Standard lift trucks need aisles that are 11 feet wide or larger to be able to operate and turn around. For aisles that are 8 feet to 10 feet wide, you will need a narrow aisle (NA) forklift; for aisles as narrow 6 feet wide, you will need a very narrow aisle (VNA) truck. These narrow aisle trucks have forks that are turned at a right angle, so they can drive straight down the aisle but pick up loads to the side.

 

Forklifts should have tires that work best in your location.

Cushion tires: Cushion tires made of solid rubber work best for internal applications. Electric forklifts designed for inside work typically have cushion tires.

Pneumatic tires: Pneumatic tires inflated with compressed air cost more than cushion tires, but make a better choice for outdoor work. For heavy-duty lifting outdoors on uneven terrain, you’ll commonly find propane or diesel powered forklift trucks with pneumatic tires.

Solid pneumatic tires: Solid pneumatic tires are ideal for outdoor environments where there’s a high risk of popping regular pneumatic tires, such as lumber yards or recycling centers where glass or nails can be scattered. Solid pneumatic tires combine the solid-rubber construction of cushion tires while maintaining the rough terrain capabilities of pneumatic tires.

 

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