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How do I find out what forklift is right for my operation?

Posted on 05 March 2020

How do I find out what forklift is right for my operation?


Working out what forklift is best suited to your particular operation can be difficult, as there are many different factors to take into account before you make a decision.

Unfortunately, there is no true "one size fits all" machine when it comes to mechanical handling, even in very similar business types and industries the smallest of changes can make a big difference in what type of forklift would the most suitable.

In an ideal situation, the forklift which you purchase or hire should be customised to meet the specific site requirements. when asking yourself "how do I find out what forklift is right for my operation?" you need to consider the below factors:

  • LOAD CAPACITY: What are heaviest objects that you will be working with, and how large are they?
  • LIFT HEIGHT: How high will you need to lift up to?
  • LOWERED HEIGHT: Is there any low doorways or small spaces which the forklift will need to fit into? for example: a shipping container or under a mezzanine floor.
  • ENVIROMENT: What is the ground surface like? Do you have flat concrete flooring, or are you operating on rough and uneven surfaces?
  • FUEL TYPES: What area is the forklift going to be used in? will the machine be used indoors, outdoors, or both?



The capacity of the forklift you require will depend on the size and weight of the objects you are planning to lift, Calculating this can be tricky and getting it wrong can be disastrous. for calculating required capacities, we strongly recommend calling a specialist such as ourselves. We're happy to offer advice over the phone, or arrange a free no obligation site survey from one of our experts.

(contact us by clicking here, or calling: 01708 861 414 and ask about our free site surveys) 



Forklift masts come in a wide range of mast types and sizes, from the lowest at around 2 metres tall, all the way up to 16 metres (to put this into perspective, this is roughly the same height as 4 double decker buses stacked on top of each other!)



In hand with the different lift heights come different closed heights, there are several different types of mast, Simplex, Duplex and Triple for example. The "Triple" mast is perhaps the most popular, as it has a low closed height in combination with a high lift height.



What is the floor surface like where the forklift is going to be operated? Smooth ground, rough gravel, muddy grassland? We can offer non marking tyres, standard tyres, semi all-terrain forklifts and fully all terrain forklifts suited for even the toughest of conditions. 




Forklift Fuel Type Comparison
  Gas Diesel Electric
 Initial Cost: Low Medium High
 Consumption Cost: Medium Medium Low
 Noise: High High Low
 Emissions: High Medium None
 Refuel Time: Low Low High
 Outdoor Use: Yes Yes Yes
 Indoor Use: Yes No Yes
 Load Capacity: 1-60 Tonnes 1-60 Tonnes 1-7 Tonnes


If you would like a more in-depth view into forklift fuel types, click here to see our blog about them specifically.


*Please note, this advice is only offered as a rough guide and we always recommend having your application assessed by a professional before making any solid decisions.

We’re happy to offer completely free, no obligation site surveys to determine what mechanical handling equipment is best suited for you and your business.

Give us a call on 01708 861 414, or email us at whether you would like a site survey or just some friendly advice over the phone, we are happy to help.