Buying a forklift truck for the first time? Read this

3 Oct, 2021

Buying a forklift truck for the first time? Read this

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Some of our homeowners and estate owners at Housesit Match move to a large property, sometimes with horses and land. This may be a new move this kind for them. They may never have had to manage the land or large equipment before. Buying a forklift truck can be intimidating for the first time. Here is an article that will help you to get it right.

Buying a forklift truck for the first time?

buying a fork lift truck
Fork lifts are useful for handling large bales of hay or silage

7 Things To Consider Before Buying

Buying a forklift for a first-timer can be a daunting and confusing task. You need to avoid buying one that may end up not catering to your needs. Forklifts come in different sizes and features which are designed for different purposes. One wrong step and you might find a hole in your ceiling. However, if you know exactly what you are looking for, buying a new or used forklift will be a piece of cake. Here are 7 things you should consider before making an investment.

Used Vs. New

Some people are not even aware that you can buy used equipment, which can save you some serious money. However, buying a new machine seems to be the wiser option as it will come to you with no shortcomings whatsoever. If you want to replace a broken forklift or need another one urgently, buying a used one will do the job, especially if you are on a tight budget. Whether you opt for new or used, make sure that the dealer you’re doing business with is well known and reliable.


It is essential to know what kind of weight and work you expect to use your forklift for beforehand. Take into consideration that the more capacity the machine can lift, the higher the price will be. To know your capacity requirements, you need to know:

  • What lifting height is required
  • What kind of attachments you require
  • And what are you transporting, with what kind of weight.

It’s essential for you to clarify whether these calculations might change over the next couple of years. Knowing the capacity beforehand is important because if you overburden the forklift, its condition will deteriorate quickly. Then you will need to replace it.

buying a forklift truck
Usually forklift trucks are used in factories and warehouses


Operators have a tiring job as they work the machine for hours, and you need to make sure they are comfortable while working. Additionally, some forklifts provide safety features along with comfort to reduce the chances of injury. When the operator is working on a comfortable forklift, they will have higher productivity while preventing accidents or injuries that can cost your business a lot of money.

Working Conditions

The place where the machine will be used and the number of hours are extremely relevant to your decision-making process. The number of hours will affect the number of forklifts you are going to need and their type. The areas that it will be used in are important as some forklifts are built for working through tight alleys while others are probably too big to move freely. Knowing beforehand the optimal size and the number you need for your business will save you a huge amount of money and time.

Accessories and Attachments

Forklifts come with a wide range of accessories and attachments for different kinds of jobs. You can boost productivity by purchasing side shifters, rotating clamps, a bale clamp, or a single-double twin pallet handler.  It’s important to note that these attachments reduce the forklift’s capacity, so you should calculate the capacity you need with the attachments you want. On the other hand, attachments do allow it  to carry out different kinds of tasks, which means you won’t need to make unnecessary investments in different machines

buying a forklift truck
You may only need a small second hand forklift

Mast Height

No matter how heavy the items that need moving are, you’re obviously going to have a maximum height when it comes to your racks or your ceilings. Before making a decision, you need to find out what the lift height of the mast is. This is imperative so that you don’t end up piercing a hole through your ceiling. It is important to know if, when you lower the mast, whether it will fit through doorways and racking tunnels or not. You should opt for a machine that can lift the maximum load weight with a mast at an appropriate height that can handle that weight. Or opt for something even heavier just to be safe.

buying a forklift truck
On a farm you may need a forklift with various attachments

Engine Type

Choosing the engine type is an easy decision to make. For applications such as pharmaceuticals, food, or underground work, electric engines are the best type for them. Diesel engines are designed for more heavy-duty applications or outdoor jobs. Keep in mind that electric forklifts cost more than their diesel counterparts. However, they make up for their cost in the long run. You may consult a dealer to know what the best engine type for your business is.

A final thought on buying a forklift truck

Choosing the right forklift can save you money, headaches, and time. It is essential to know what you can expect. This is particularly in terms of performance before investing. That way that you wont be stuck with the wrong one. And if you are not used to buying a fork lift truck or indeed this is your first, take special notice.  If you own a large estate or farm and need equipment to move things around, stack bales of hay or silage then it will be useful. 

You need to decide whether you want a new or used one and what capacity. Another key point is the comfort it provides for the operator. What attachments will you need? What, mast height and what engine type so that your forklift will last and be useful for years.


Whether you are a member of HousesitMatch as a homeowner, land owner, farm or estate owner, you may well find these links of use.

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