Tools of the Trade: The Forklift

It’s easy to overlook the little details involved in a shipping business, especially when faced with the sheer scale of cargo ships and the scale of the operations that shippers have to organize. However, the importance of getting the smaller details sorted is revealed when you consider your shipping business as a machine, and these smaller details function as cogs within that machine.

If you want smooth operations, you need to ensure that even the smaller details of your operations have to be considered. Forklifts are a vital component of any shipping business. While they aren’t involved in the actual shipping of parcels, they help improve the efficiency at which parcels are loaded and unloaded.

Choosing the right forklift is vital to your shipping business because it has a direct impact on your operations. There are many kinds of forklifts, and these are the factors you need to consider when choosing one.


The environment in which your business operates will determine the type of forklift you need. You have to determine if you’re going to be operating indoors or outdoors and whether you’d be operating on rough or smooth surfaces. There are a wide variety of forklifts, ranging from your typical indoor forklift to others that are specialized for rough terrains, like the ones from Toyota Lift Northwest.

Height, Load, and Size Capacity

You have to determine what stock your forklift will be handling. This is because you don’t want to buy a forklift that can’t handle the size and weight of your stocks. Not only will this significantly hinder the performance and longevity of your forklift, but it will also increase the risk of an accident happening.

It’s also important to ensure that your forklift is able to reach your typical lift height because this will help move stock efficiently.

Fuel or Electric Motors

Electric forklifts are initially more expensive, but they save more money in the long run because of their longevity and their savings in fuel consumption. They produce no emissions and they are quiet, which makes them ideal for indoor operations. On the other hand, gas and diesel forklifts offer more power at the expense of fuel economy. This makes them ideal for outdoor situations.


It’s important to ensure that your operators are comfortable with their forklifts, especially when they’re going to be working long hours per day. Investing in ergonomic forklifts will lessen the likelihood of injuries and back pains, which, in turn, will help keep your operators in prime condition for work. Remember, skilled workers, are prime assets to any business.

To Buy or to Lease?

This is essentially a choice between forklift costs and reliability. Brand new forklifts have a much higher upfront cost, but they are great for both high and low weekly usage because they’re much less likely to break down. Used forklifts cost much less, but they should be used only for less than 10 hours as they are more likely to break down, and their servicing costs are higher.

Finally, leasing a forklift is a great option if you really want to save money. This is ideal for businesses that need to allow their money to other core operations.

I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about technology, News, Home Improvement, Business and in general. I am a technical writer, author and blogger since 2010.