No mattElectric forklifts have transformed the way companies are able to manage logistics, warehousing, and material handling. From being able to operate in enclosed areas to creating a quieter work environment, electric forklifts have the potential to solve a variety of problems for your business. However, before you get there you need to answer a few critical questions to get the most value out of your forklift investment.

In this post, we’ll outline those key questions and help you answer them, so you know precisely what to look for in a lift.

What Benefits Are You Looking for in an Electric Forklift?

Before selecting an electric forklift, it helps to begin by asking what you’re looking to gain by going electric. Over internal combustion forklifts, electric lifts offer a variety of benefits, including:

Reduced Fuel Costs

Since electric forklifts don’t require a combustible fuel source to operate, you can save money by only paying for the electricity needed to recharge them.

Minimal Maintenance Expenses

Compared to internal combustion forklifts, electric forklifts have fewer moving parts. As a result, electric forklifts lifespans are generally longer than combustion lifts. That also means electric forklifts are easier to maintain and repair in the long run, saving you money on overhead.

Optimal Indoor Operation

Electric forklifts are safe to operate in an enclosed area. Combustion forklifts, on the other hand, require open, well-ventilated areas for safe indoor operation. This factor is critical if you’re working around food products that can’t be contaminated by exhaust.

At the same time, electric forklifts are almost silent when compared to combustion forklifts. This benefit leads to reduced noise levels and a safer work environment since back-up beeps and warning horns are more audible.

Space Savings

Electric forklifts are generally more compact than their combustion counterparts. A smaller footprint makes them ideal for narrow-aisle applications and operating in tight spaces.

Improved Visibility

Since electric forklifts don’t require rear-mounted tanks, operators have improved levels of visibility when looking to see what’s behind the lift.

Chances are, you’re looking to take advantage of all these benefits by going electric. By prioritizing which benefits matter most to your business, you’ll be able to formulate a clearer picture of the ideal lift for your needs.

Should You Buy, Rent, or Lease an Electric Forklift?

After clarifying the benefits most important to you, the next question on your mind should be whether to buy, rent, or lease an electric lift.

Buying a New Electric Forklift

If you already know exactly what you need in a forklift and plan to run it for more than four hours a day over the course of several years, buying a new forklift is generally the best value. When you factor in maintenance and repair costs, purchasing a new lift maximizes your investment in the long run. If you ever plan to resell it, you can even recoup some of the initial cost in resale value to put toward a new lift.

Buying a Used Electric Forklift

If your forklift needs don’t match the rule above, you may be better off buying a used electric forklift. For example, if you only plan on operating the electric lift for a few hours several times a week, chances are a used lift will meet your needs while minimizing upfront costs.

Leasing an Electric Forklift

If you plan to put a lot of wear and tear on a forklift, leasing a lift may be a better option. You can negotiate a shorter lease that lets you reinvest in a newer forklift over a shorter timespan than by purchasing one. Your team will also have access to the latest models and features on a regular basis. Plus, leasing generally offers lower monthly payment when compared to buying or renting, so you can minimize overhead expenses.

Renting an Electric Forklift

We generally recommend renting an electric forklift only if you plan to use it on a short-term basis, or if you want to try out a variety of lifts before making a purchase. Renting is also a smart move for businesses with fleets that fluctuate up and down based on seasonal demands. Since you aren’t locked into a long-term commitment, you can scale your fleet quickly and even swap out a lift for a different one as your needs change.

Brennan is Here for All Your Forklift Needs

Now that you have a clearer idea of what you’re looking for in a forklift, Brennan is here to help you find the ideal lift for your business. We offer lifts from Taylor-Dunn, Hyundai, and Cascade. Whether you’re interested in buying, renting, or leasing a new or used forklift, we can work with you to make it happen while saving you money and time. 

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