For a lot of businesses, a forklift is a significant investment. Unlike the paperclips, pens and pencils you order once a week, a new forklift is something you might buy every few years as your business grows, or you might make your first forklift purchase one for life.

Whichever situation you’re in, it’s a decision that can’t be made after one flick through a brochure. There’s research to be done and questions to be asked so you can find a forklift that suits your business needs. And here we’ve broken them down:

Do I need a used or new forklift?

One of the first points you’ll likely consider when looking to buy a forklift. Both used and new forklifts have their benefits and drawbacks. Obviously, if you buy a new forklift it will likely cost more than a used one. However, a new forklift is fresh off the production line, meaning you’re the first business to make use of it and there’s no wear and tear. It will also be the latest and greatest in forklift technology, which has the potential to boost your efficiency.

The standout benefit of buying a used forklift is the cost saving. Being used, they’re significantly cheaper and the purchasing process is likely to be quicker. The drawbacks of buying a used forklift are that if you buy from an uncertified seller, you might not necessarily get the most recent model on the market and it may require a little more maintenance than a new one. So it’s important to ensure the seller you purchase from is credible and can help look after the fork lift if there are any issues.

How often will you use the forklift?

A forklift may be something you use a few times a week or it may be something your business can’t function without. Either way, this is an important factor to consider when buying a forklift. If you plan to use the forklift sporadically then it might be beneficial to consider an electric ‘walkie’ forklift, as they’re more cost effective.

A forklift that’s going to be used frequently or for a variety of purposes may require different levels of customisations for different tasks and for the comfort and safety of the driver.

Will you be driving inside and outside?

It’s important to know exactly where you’ll be using your forklift so you can make sure you buy the right one to suit the environment. If you’re looking to use a forklift indoors only then an electric forklift may be the ideal solution. Not only because they’re quieter and more compact than fuel forklifts, but they’re often fitted with cushioned tyres, which make them ideal for smooth surfaces or loading docks.

If you’re seeking to use your forklift outdoors then a diesel or gas forklift will suit you better, as they’re mostly fitted with pneumatic tyres that have strong traction. Making them ideal for rough or uneven terrain.

Does brand matter?

Just like any industry, there are a plethora of different forklift brands to choose from, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. Whilst it sounds tempting to choose one of the markets cheaper, smaller brands. Any savings made might be wiped out by frequent servicing and repair costs.

In short, you’re always better off going for a trusted, reputable brand with a history of providing quality machines.

As you can see, there’s a lot to take into consideration when deciding which forklift you should buy for your business. It’s important to do as much research as possible and once you’ve decided which to buy, continue to do your research, read reviews, articles and ask as many questions as you can to the seller. A forklift is a big investment, so make sure you make the right choice.

If you’re interested in buying a used or new forklift and you’d like some advice on where to start, get in touch today.

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