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(FAQS) About Forklifts

Have questions about Forklifts? Here are the frequently asked questions (faqs) about forklifts with answers from experts. Learn more now!

Which forklift brand is best?

There are a large number of forklift brands to choose from and each have their pros and cons. Sometimes defining the “best” brand comes down to your intended use. Therefore, there are a few areas to focus on when you’re evaluating which forklift brand is best suited for your business.

Brands that sell well

The more a specific brand of forklift is sold, the better the chances that aftermarket parts will be more affordable. This also increases the chances there will be trained technicians to work on that specific model of forklift.

Easy to work on

It can be challenging to find good mechanics for obscure forklift brands who use proprietary systems. Often the “best” forklift brands are defined by how easy it is to work on them.

Built in the same region of the world where you operate

There are countless examples of people who have run into problems because they ordered forklifts from the other side of the world. It can be challenging for an obscure European manufacturer, for example, to provide support for one of their machines located in North America. Sometimes searching for the “best” forklift for your business should involve finding a more “local” manufacturer who can provide the proper support for your forklift.

Which forklift should I buy?

Understanding how you intend to operate your forklift will significantly influence the type of machine you will purchase. Here are a few questions to get you on the right track:

How much weight will you be lifting?

Check the specs of your forklift before purchasing to ensure it can handle more weight than even your heaviest loads.

What is your average aisle width?

Do you have narrow aisles? Wide aisles? The width of your aisles will directly impact the forklift you decide to purchase. For example, 3-wheel forklifts are a good choice for narrow aisles.

What type of engine type do you prefer?

Research the various types of forklift engines available. Internal combustion engines, for example, run on various types of fuels whereas electric forklifts operate on battery power.

Will you be handling food?

Perhaps a forklift will be your best option to avoid emissions common with internal combustion forklifts.

How often do you intend on using your forklift?

Simply put, how many hours a day do you intend on using your forklift? If you only need your forklift for a few hours a day or less than a used forklift will be a great option and save you a lot of money. However, if you intend to use your forklift for four or more hours a day then purchasing a newer model is advised.

How high will you have to lift loads?

Make sure the forklift you purchase can lift loads to the maximum height that you require in your workplace.

Which forklift certification should I get?

Not all forklifts are the same. As a result, there are various types of forklift certifications that an operator can receive. Specifically, three different certifications have been created by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Keep in mind that forklift drivers are only allowed to operate the forklift that they have been certified to operate.

Standard Forklift Certification

As the name implies, this is the most common certification, and it encompasses the vast majority of forklifts currently in operation. With this type of certification, you’ll be trained to operate each type of applicable forklift safely.

Order picker forklift certification

This particular certification is a bit different in that it trains forklift operators on how to safely lift themselves and their loads. The other forklift certifications only cover the lifting of a load while the operator stays stationary. This certification allows both driver and load to be lifted which is often necessary when line of sight is required while positioning a load.

All-terrain forklift certification

With this type of certification, the driver is allowed to operate a forklift in any weather and terrain. This certification is most common for construction sites where large items, such as heavy equipment and material, are moved on a daily basis.

Which oil should I use for a forklift?

There’s no straightforward answer to this question because it depends on the type of forklift you’re using. Check with your manufacturer to see what type of oil your forklift takes. This is important because putting in the wrong oil into your forklift can place both the operator and the machine in danger.

To help you during your search, here are a few abbreviations you’ll likely run into:

ISO VG = International Standardization Organization viscosity grade. This is a measure of the viscosity of the lubricant you place inside of your forklift.

API = American Petroleum Institute classification. API is used to classify lubricants based on performance level and series.

SAE = Society of Automotive Engineers classification. This is yet another measure of lubricant viscosity.

Where should forklift blades be when parked?

Forklift blades should be pointed downward and tipped forward. This will reduce the chances of someone accidentally tripping and hurting themselves. You should try to angle your forklift blades as close to the ground as you possibly can.

Where do forklift drivers work?

Forklift drivers work in a variety of environments, but the most common include storage yards, factories, construction sites, warehouses, and ports. Depending on where you work you may be subjected to extreme temperatures whereas other work environments are air-conditioned.

Where do I go to get a forklift certification?

There are generally three places where you can go to get your forklift certification.

Your workplace

If you work for a company that requires you to be a forklift operator, they may train you themselves. Due to regulations set in place by OSHA, employers are held accountable for the proper training of their forklift operators.

One of the primary advantages of employer-sponsored training is your trainer can modify the training to directly reflect your workplace, making it that much easier to operate in your specific work environment once you’ve received your certification.

Training School

This option is mostly geared towards those who have no experience operating a forklift. Training schools are designed to train students on how to operate forklifts that are specifically suited to their needs. For example, students who work on a construction yard would require an all-terrain certification as opposed to a standard certification.

Therefore, you should ensure that the training school you enroll in trains its students on the specific forklift you intend to operate. With that being said, training schools typically have two sections — classroom lectures and driving demonstrations.

When you’ve reached the end of the class, you will be given a test that covers both the written portion and a practical portion. If you happen to fail, you’ll have to take the course all over again.

Online certification

There are plenty of online schools/businesses out there who offer online forklift certifications, but many argue that online certifications aren’t good enough because students don’t have an opportunity for hands on training.

Thus, students who decide to go this route are required to go somewhere else for the hands on portion of their education. Online certification is best for those who don’t have the time to actively attend a training school or receive on the job training. It’s also a good option for employers who wish to save money when it comes to training their employees.

Where do I go to renew a forklift license?

OSHA regulations state that all forklift operators must renew their certifications every three years. Other reasons an operator may have to renew their certification is if they operated their forklift in an unsafe manner, such as getting into an accident. Another reason for renewal is if the workplace changes in a way where workplace safety regulations are changed.

You can renew your license with a certification renewal program. You can do this through on the job training, through a training school or with an online certification. The renewal process is similar to when you first received your forklift certification.

Where can I buy forklift propane tanks?

Propane AKA LPG has been the source of power for forklifts for a number of years. If your forklift has an engine the chances that it runs on LPG is high. If you’re searching for quality propane tanks, you can find them right here at intellaliftparts. When it comes to the actual tank itself, we provide complete LPG tanks and parts for the tank such as LPG tank shut off valve, and o-rings. We also carry various brackets for all of your mounting needs.

Where can I fill a forklift propane tank

Many worksites have propane cylinders delivered directly to their facility. When the forklift has expended its fuel supply the cylinder will be switched out for a new one. Sometimes facilities may even have the ability to refuel on site.

Here’s a quick tip before refueling — always perform a visual inspection before you begin refilling a propane tank. If the tank shows signs of physical damage of any kind, have it checked by a professional before filling it with more fuel.

Where should I buy a forklift?

It can be difficult to determine exactly where you should buy your forklift. There are practically thousands of dealers out there. However, there are a few factors you need to keep in mind.

Consider your own knowledge level. If you’re not an expert, you should choose a company that has excellent customer service that can help you make the right purchase. Also, consider whether or not financing is possible.

You might not have the ability to finance your forklift with some companies. Financing allows you to build up equity without paying massive fees upfront. That means the forklift can make you money as you pay it off.

Finally, consider whether the company you’re dealing with offers both new and used forklifts. Buying new isn’t always necessary. Sometimes a used forklift is all you need to get the job done. Ultimately, knowing how you intend to use the forklift will help you to pin down where you should buy your forklift.

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