How To Select The Right Forklift or Telehandler
Not all forklifts or telehandlers are made equal. When choosing forklifts, there are several factors to consider, including the type and size of the loads you will be lifting, the terrain and conditions in which the forklift will be used, and many times the critical factor is your budget. A rough terrain forklift is a type of vehicle that is specifically designed to navigate on surfaces other than pavement or concrete. These vehicles are typically used in construction or agricultural settings, where the ground may be unstable or covered in debris. Most forklifts are equipped to navigate the most challenging of terrain types. This means that top-grade models come with powerful transmissions capable of handling quick shifts in direction, so the lift can easily maneuver over uneven ground. Off-road forklifts also have large, custom tires to provide excellent traction on loose or rocky soil, and usually a four-wheel drive to ensure the lift can get to wherever it needs to go.
Clarity Among Lifts
It’s important to decide which of the two major types of all-terrain forklifts is best suited to your needs. These types include the traditional telehandler and the straight mast forklift. Let’s take a closer look at these and their differences:
The standard telehandler, or telescopic handler, is a capable and rugged vehicle. They can lift their rated weight capacity up to 18 feet and high-reach telehandlers can do them one better by lifting their rated weight capacity to a height of up to 56 feet. The load capacities of these lifts typically range from 5,000-12,000 pounds—which means you can lift just about anything. Telescopic handlers also come equipped with all-wheel steering and other steering features, so the vehicle can maneuver with ease in the work area.
Straight Mast Forklift
The straight mast variant is a small rough terrain forklift that looks more like the typical warehouse-type forklift. They come with all-terrain pneumatic tires and two-wheel or four-wheel drive systems. The straight mast forklift is usually loaded on the back of a flatbed truck for the loading or unloading of building materials at construction and job sites with a variety of terrain types.
Key Elements of All Forklifts
A forklift’s forks are its points of contact with the world. They’re the feature that will suffer the most wear and damage, and they’ll indicate how the lift was used and whether it was cared for.
Pay special attention to the forks, looking for cracks, twisting, and other evidence of heavy damage. Rough terrain forklifts are often used on construction sites and other areas where there’s going to be a lot of abuse. So, make sure the forks are in good working order.
Go ahead and kick the tires. Make sure they’re not worn down, with missing or eroded treads.
Inspect the forklift’s mast or arm for structural integrity. Check out the lift chains or rollers to see their condition and look for welding repairs if they exist.
Start up the forklift and take it out for a test drive. See how the machine operates and test it out with a load if possible. See if the mast lifts and lowers smoothly, and check for leaks of hydraulic fluid from the hoses.
Here are some steps to help you choose the best all-terrain forklift for your needs:
Determine Your Specific Needs
Consider the type and size of the loads you will be lifting, the terrain and conditions in which the forklift will be used, and any other requirements or constraints, such as the need for specific attachments or features.
Consider the ground surface: When it comes to rough terrain, you will need to consider the ground surface, the incline of the area, and the weight of your load. In addition, you must choose a rough terrain forklift that has four drive wheels for increased stability when carrying a load.
Research different models and manufacturers: Look for rough terrain forklifts that meet your specific needs and compare different models and manufacturers to see which ones offer the features, capabilities, and performance you require. AUSA is a popular brand because of its variety of models and selection from straight mast and basic telehandlers.
Choose the right type: Rough terrain forklifts come in three main types: vertical mast, variable reach, and truck or trailer-mounted forklift. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your specific needs.
Consider the forklift’s capabilities: Make sure the all-terrain forklifts you choose have the lifting capacity, reach, and stability you need to handle the loads and conditions you will be working in.
Consider maintenance checks: Operating a forklift in this class takes practice. Before operating one, operators must complete maintenance checks.
Recognize the overall cost: All-terrain forklifts can be expensive, so make sure to consider the total cost of ownership, including the purchase price, maintenance, and any additional costs or fees, when making your decision.
The off-road forklift also has large, custom tires to provide excellent traction on loose or rocky soil, and usually a four-wheel drive to ensure the lift can get to wherever it needs to go.
Finding the Right Dealer
When looking for a rough terrain forklift for sale, finding a good dealer is probably your most important consideration. The right dealer will help you to find the right forklift for your needs, and they’ll support you after purchase with servicing and maintenance agreements. This is particularly important since all terrain forklifts—by their very nature—take a serious beating throughout their lifetime and will certainly need to be maintained frequently.
Forklifts are equipped to navigate the most challenging of terrain types. This means that top-grade models come with powerful transmissions capable of handling quick shifts in direction, so the lift can easily maneuver over the roughest ground. Buying an all-terrain forklift is a big deal. It’s a major investment, and with proper lifetime maintenance, it’ll be with you for a long time.