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Best Warehouse Forklift

What forklift is best for a warehouse setting?

Best warehouse forklift

There is no one end-all be-all forklift for every different kind of worksite out there. There are a lot of different brand names, each offering a large variety of equipment that may or may not work for you. However, by answering a few simple questions, you can narrow down the results greatly. Before you make any kind of decision on buying a forklift, there are a few questions you need to answer.

 What is the size of your warehouse?

Your options for equipment are going to depend largely on the size of your work area and the product you’re moving. If your workhouse consists of close-knit aisles and tight corners, you’re going to have to buy a smaller machine out of necessity. If you’re working in a larger, more open area where space isn’t an issue, a bigger truck becomes feasible if it’s needed for the product your moving. Either way you go however, you must also keep in mind that on top of room to use the equipment, you also need to allow room for storage, charging/refueling, and possibly maintenance if you have equipment that requires regular, extensive work.

What is your budget?

CapacityConditionElectric (1)Gas
5,000 lbs.New$28,000 $30,000
5,000 lbs.5 Years$9,000- $17,000$9,000 - $15,000
5,000 lbs.10 Years$2,500- $7,000$4,000 - $7,000
10,000 lbs.New$43,000 $45,000
10,000 lbs.5 Years$17,000-$24,000$14,000-$27,000
10,000 lbs.10 Years$5,000- $12,000$6,000 - $11,000

(1)- Electric forklifts need batteries and a charging station, which is usually sold for an additional $5,000.

 When shopping for a warehouse lift truck, it always pays to shop competitively. Prices can vary greatly based on market and inflation, not to mention the manufacturer and special features you choose. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that the used forklift market is just as vast, if not more so than the new forklift market, and much cheaper at that.

Electric vs Gas?

This brings us to the all-important question in warehouse lift truck shopping: Should you buy gas or electric?

Gas Forklifts:

  • May be powered with diesel, LP gas, or standard gasoline.
  • Often used in a large warehouse to provide extra power to carry heavy merchandise.
  • Gas trucks are capable of running multiple shifts back to back by changing gas cylinders
  • More maintenance intensive
  • Noisy
  • Emit fumes

Electric forklifts:

  • Commonly used in retail and hardware warehouses
  • Do not emit fumes
  • Less noisy
  • Greater maneuverability
  • Easier maintenance
  • More space needed for storage (charging station)
  • Smaller load capacity

The Best Warehouse Forklift

If you need a machine that can work through multiple shifts, move heavier loads, and have a better remote or outdoor capability, you should look into buying a gas powered truck. Look for a load capacity that fits your needs, and keep in mind that rubber wheels are more suited to inside work, whereas pneumatic wheels work better outside. If you’re working in a smaller warehouse, and only needing one or two shifts worked a day an electric truck is more ideal. Electric trucks are much simpler to maintain, can be charged as the opportunity arises, and have much better indoor mobility over there gas powered counterparts.