If you don't have the proper tools and supplies available, operating a warehouse can be tricky. Sure, you can have your employees move pallets of inventory by hand. However, you should consider investing in a forklift. Not only will using a forklift increase productivity, your employees will appreciate being able to get their work done without doing a lot of strenuous lifting. Unfortunately, you can't just purchase any forklift. Before you buy a forklift for your warehouse, you need to take these things into consideration.
Type of Motor
Forklifts either have an electric motor or a combustion motor. However, when you're purchasing a forklift for a warehouse, you need to purchase one that runs on electricity. Using a forklift with a combustion motor in an enclosed space isn't safe. The fumes from the motor can create a toxic work environment for your employees.
Number of Tires
You might be surprised to discover that not all forklifts have four tires. You can actually purchase either three- or four-wheel models. Four-wheel forklifts are more stable than three-wheel forklifts, so you can lift heavier pallets with a four-wheel model. In fact, four-wheel forklifts can hold between 3,000 and 30,000 pounds -- although most hold between 3,000 and 8,000 pounds -- while three-wheel models typically have a weight capacity between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds.
If you have a large warehouse, you might need a four-wheel model. However, if your warehouse has a lot of tight spaces, a three-wheel model might be a better choice. Three-wheel forklifts are easy to maneuver and have a tighter turning radius than four-wheel models.
Ideally, purchasing a forklift should increase production. However, to maximize production levels, you need to take your employees' tasks into consideration. If you're purchasing a forklift for employees who will be moving pallets of inventory on and off of trucks, a traditional-style forklift is a good option. However, if you're purchasing a forklift for your order pickers to use, you might want to consider purchasing either a stand-up or man-up forklift. Stand-up forklifts are operated while standing, making it easy for your employees to hop on and off as needed. Man-up forklifts are designed to lift your employee with the forklift, making it easy to select a specific pallet or crate from a high shelf.
Ultimately, purchasing a forklift for your warehouse employees should make their jobs easier. For more information, contact Independent Lift Truck Of Alaska or a similar company.