Forklifts play a vital role in factory work, with manufacturers in this $37.9 Billion industry constantly innovating these machines for enhanced safety and performance.
Are you looking to expand your operations by adding a few more forklifts to your business?
These are the things to consider when deciding on the sizes of forklifts that will best suit your warehouse operation.
Why Do the Sizes of Forklifts Matter?
It might seem logical to choose the largest forklift you can afford when you’re looking at forklifts for sale. After all, they’ll cope with a wider variety of loads.
However, you should never forget that you have limited space to work inside your warehouse building. Choosing a model that’s too big for the available space can cause accidents and logistical problems.
Rather, consider these important factors when you’re pondering the forklift types for you:
- Typical weight of loads
- How high must you lift these loads?
- How wide are your aisles?
- What are your pallet dimensions?
- How long is your largest load?
- Indoor or outdoor use
Forklift Types and Sizes
There are three main sizes of forklifts available nowadays. These are:
20 Ton Forklifts
These are the most widely used types of forklifts. They suit light to medium loads, weighing between 2,000 lbs and 15,000 lbs.
You must check the forklift capacities listed on the rating plate to determine the exact mass they can handle.
These high-horsepower forklifts are versatile, cost-effective, and offer high maneuverability. Their low ground clearance means they’re not always suited to outdoor use, though.
25-35 Ton Forklifts
These forklifts can lift weights between 20,000 lbs and 40,000 lbs, so they’re well suited to very large loads and heavy pallets.
They’re an expensive choice and can’t maneuver in tight spaces, so they’re not ideal for small, or crowded factories.
40 Ton Forklifts
The largest of all forklifts work best in outdoor situations or very large factories, warehouses, and industrial parks. They’re best for moving very heavy loads from one location to another in the same facility.
They have an exceptionally high capacity and can manage large ungainly loads, but these forklifts are usually far too big for the average warehouse.
Size aside, there are also different types of forklifts available in each weight category. These are:
- Warehouse forklifts
- Side loaders
- Counterbalance forklifts
- Heavy-duty forklifts
- Rough Terrain forklifts
- Pallet jacks
- Walkie stackers
- Order pickers
- Reach fork trucks
Depending on the size of your operations, you might need several of these, be sure they’re equally matched if you want to maintain continuity in your operations.
A shortfall in one area of your production line affects the whole process, i.e. if you have one machine that can only handle 2,000 lbs, you’re restricted to that weight throughout.
Think Down the Line
It’s important to consider all the above factors while you’re pondering the sizes of forklifts you need in your business. A forklift is an expensive and long-lived investment, so think of your future needs, too.
If you can afford it, and you have the space in your warehouse, it’s worth choosing the bigger size. That way, you won’t need to fork out more cash later on if you start stocking larger items.
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