Get an Idea of How Forklifts and Attachments Can Benefit Your Business

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It’s hard to picture any large storage facility without forklifts. They’ve become essential pieces of equipment in warehouses not only for efficiently moving around products but also for improving the safety of workers and everyone else in that area. These units come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, so picking the right one for your facility is key to getting the most value out of it.

There are also various forklift attachments, such as spreaders, extensions, hook attachments, round slings, prongs and forklift cage for sale that can make the forklift even safer and more efficient than it already is. That being said, you need to consider a couple of important factors that will impact the long-term cost of the machine. For instance, how high and how much it can lift as well as how careful you need to be when maneuvering the load in sensitive spaces.

With so many technological advancements and new ergonomic designs, even the most minor adjustments can save your workers’ time, consequently boosting the productivity and cost-effectiveness of your warehouse operations. That being said, when comparing the different forklift models, there are a few important specs that can help narrow down your choices.

Forklift Power Source

Forklifts can be either electric-powered or internal combustion-powered. Electric forklifts are powered by large lead-acid batteries that typically provide enough power to last a shift or at least 5-6 hours of continuous use. The advantages of electric-powered forklifts are that they’re environmentally friendly (produce no emissions), which is a big deal if the forklift is going to be used indoors. Next, electric forklifts are more cost-effective long-term, offering a significantly lower cost-per-hour-of-operation compared to internal combustion models. As a result, they’re more expensive to buy.

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Internal combustion forklifts run on liquid propane gas, diesel fuel, gasoline or compressed natural gas. The main advantages of these forklifts are the ability to run them in any environment, their ability to lift far more weight and to be refuelled instantly on-demand. Further, they have a higher reach and are more affordable to purchase than electric models. However, they’re costlier to operate in the long run.

Forklift Tyres

Another major factor to consider when choosing a forklift is the types of tyres it’s equipped with. The ideal tyres will depend on the operating environment – outdoors or indoors, rough terrain or paved surfaces. There are three types of tyres to choose from – polyurethane, pneumatic and cushion.

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Pneumatic tyres are designed for outdoor and heavy-duty applications. A diesel- or gasoline-powered forklift equipped with pneumatic tyres has the same functionality as a normal truck or car. Pneumatic tyres are usually wider and longer than cushion tyres, made of solid rubber, and they’re either filled with air or solid. Their solid design makes them quite durable, so they won’t puncture, pop or go flat, making them ideal for lumber yards, construction zones, recycling centres and other areas that may contain nails, metal shards and other damaging items. All of this, however, makes them the most expensive option out of all three.

Cushion tyres are made from solid rubber. They’re directly pressed onto the wheel on a smaller chassis, which makes them sit lower to the ground. Forklifts with cushion tyres are more manoeuvrable as they have a smaller turn radius. However, this limits their use to indoor applications, as the forklift can get hung up on uneven pavement, curbs and other obstacles. Cushion tyres are more affordable and readily available.

Polyurethane tyres are easy to install, and they’re designed to be pressed onto the wheels, featuring a low rolling resistance that makes them last longer. This type of wheels is popular due to the great traction they provide. However, as is the case with cushion tyres, they can only be used indoors.

Forklift Attachments

In order to get the most out of your newly bought forklift, you can pair it with a couple of attachments. Forklift attachments reduce the total cost of ownership by enabling a single piece of equipment to perform a wide range of tasks. Plus, you’ll find some attachments, like a forklift cage for sale, that will make performing various tasks much safer. Some of the most popular forklift attachments are the following.

  • Fork Extension – This unit allows you to carry more products in a single load. Fork extensions come in a variety of lengths. They’re typically available in black or yellow and come in fork widths of 10 to 15cm;
  • Side Shifter – This attachment allows you to adjust the load right and left, which can be useful in narrow spaces. With the push of a button, side shifters shift pallets and other loads at ground level or on racking without the operator having to reposition the forklift;
  • Fork Positioner – This piece is ideal for environments, such as warehouses, that routinely deal with a wide range of pallet sizes. Fork positioners let you slide the forks in and out to fit different pallet openings. This reduces pallet damage and increases productivity at the same time;
  • Forklift Safety Cage – This attachment allows employees to safely perform work off the ground. Forklift cages come in a wide range of sizes and lengths and can accommodate a different number of people.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.