When selecting a forklift for your business, it is important to take into account several different factors. There is no “one-size-fits-all” type of solution, even within the same industry or market segment.


Rather, each forklift should be customized to fit your specific needs and requirements. You want to evaluate and consider each of the following factors:


  • The environment where the forklift will be used. Do you plan on using it indoors or outdoors or both?
  • The type of facility where the forklift will be operated. Will you use it in a warehouse, in a shipping dock, or in some other type of commercial facility?
  • The aisle width and door overhead clearance. The lift truck must be able to navigate and turn in the aisles and pass under any doors or overhead obstructions.
  • The surfaces upon which the lift truck will operate. Will the machine be operated on smooth level polished concrete, irregular or smooth paved surfaces, gravel or rough terrain?
  • The number of hours per day or week the machine will be used.
  • The type of fuel used by the forklift. There are electric, gas, and diesel models to choose from and the fuel type should match the environment where it will be used.
  • The maximum lifting height you require. You want to make sure the forklift can safely reach the heights you require.
  • The maximum load capacity of items the forklift will be hauling. You want to choose a forklift that exceeds this amount to allow for load discrepancies from normal wear and tear.
  • The type and dimensions of the loads. Some loads may require longer forks, fork extensions or a special lifting attachment.
  • New or used machine? You can find both new and used models for sale but be sure to check the accuracy of the manufacturers data plate on used machines which may need to be updated per OSHA requirements prior to use.


For additional information on selecting the right forklift for any operation, we invite you to continue reviewing the following infographic. Remember to check out the tools, resources, and services available at Lift Truck Capacity Calculator to help with your research and contact professional Forklift Engineering Services, LLC with questions.


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