What To Look For When Buying A Forklift Truck

Forklift in a warehouse

Are you in the market for a forklift truck, but don’t know what to look for? Buying a forklift truck is a big financial commitment that should not be taken lightly and with so many makes and models available, it can be difficult to find the right vehicle for your application. 

Forklift Brand

When it comes to purchasing a forklift, business owners need to understand the differences between various brands – after all, not all forklifts are created equal. With the right choice of forklift, businesses can save time and money and be sure that they are getting a reliable, effective machine; with the wrong choice, they may suffer from downtime, malfunction and mechanical issues.

There are many forklift brands to choose from, below are a couple of widely recognised forklift brands in New Zealand.


Mitsubishi Forklifts have a vast range of models, combined with their performance guarantee, ease of maintenance and support, making them a great choice for business owners when it comes to forklifts for sale.

Mitsubishi’s range of models offers a wide variety of options for businesses, from small warehouse forklifts to large heavy-duty machines. Their features include racking, multiple tie-down points, ergonomic controls, and various safety features such as reversing alarms, anti-rollback systems, and pedestrian alert systems. This makes them suitable for a wide range of applications, from warehouses to workshops. 

Regarding performance, Mitsubishi forklifts are designed to handle the toughest tasks. They are efficient, reliable and come with a powerful performance guarantee so that business owners can be sure they are getting a high-performance machine. Additionally, they are designed to be easy to maintain and repair so that they won’t slow down your operations.

Finally, Mitsubishi forklifts come with great support. There is a strong network of trained professionals nationwide who are on call to help with any forklift-related issues and a number of online resources and videos that business owners can reference for help with troubleshooting or maintenance. This makes Mitsubishi forklifts the perfect choice for businesses that want a reliable, high-performing machine.


Toyota forklifts are designed with superior performance and reliability in mind. Toyota utilises its advanced manufacturing and development processes to ensure that its forklifts are designed to handle any job. The engines are made for optimal fuel efficiency, which can help reduce your operating costs. These engines also provide plenty of torque and horsepower for tough outdoor jobs, as well as indoor transport.

When it comes to safety features, Toyota forklifts are among the best. The lift system is equipped with several redundant safety features such as load sensors, audible alarms and automatic speed brakes. Each lift is also subjected to rigorous testing and inspection before shipping. In addition, Toyota offers an extensive parts and service network so you can be sure that any repairs or service required will be completed quickly and correctly. 

When it comes to customer service and support, Toyota is unsurpassed. They offer excellent customer service and technical support that can help you with any concerns or issues you may have. Additionally, they have a wide selection of spare parts, accessories and customization options to match your unique needs. 


Crown’s range of counterbalanced and four-way forklifts are designed to provide you with reliable performance in even the toughest of conditions. Their renowned design ensures that materials are handled safely, even with challenging terrains, tight spaces and difficult loads. 

It’s a winning combination of robust engineering, advanced technology and crystal-clear ergonomics that makes Crown a leader in the industry. Their heavy-duty models feature intuitive fingertip controls, making them easy to use, while their advanced lift/lower control ensures that loads are kept level and stable. 

Their range of forklifts is designed with a stable wheelbase that can prevent loads from tipping, while their range of safety features, including pallet security and travel speed monitors with LCD alerts, are designed to protect both the operator and others in the area.

Crown has well over seventy years of experience in the forklift industry and they continue to innovate to meet their customers’ needs. Crown believes in going above and beyond to ensure that their customers get the best possible products, parts and services. Plus, their global network of dealers and service providers makes sure that you’re never left stuck for help.

Forklift Power Type

For material handling operations, choosing the right type of forklift is critical. Not all forklifts are created equal, and the power types your business needs will depend on the type of materials and environment in which it will be used. One of the most important decisions to make is choosing between diesel, LPG (Liquid Propane Gas), or electric forklifts.

Diesel Forklifts

Diesel forklifts are a highly powerful, robust, and reliable type of forklift, especially suitable for outdoor operations.  They typically have a capacity of up to 15,000 lbs and are great for lifting heavier loads. Diesel forklifts are very economical in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance costs, but they tend to be louder and require more space for operation. 

LPG Forklifts

LPG forklifts, meanwhile, are a great option for indoor and outdoor materials handling operations. This type of forklift runs on liquid propane gas, which is not only economical but also offers lower emissions than diesel models for improved environmental friendliness. LPG forklifts can typically handle loads of up to 8,000 lbs. and are quite light and easy to manoeuvre. 

Electric Forklifts

Electric forklifts are the most cost effective and environmentally friendly option when it comes to power types. They are also extremely low-maintenance and very quiet in operation, making them ideal for indoor use. The main downside with electric forklifts is that they have a shorter range, the battery needs to be recharged more frequently, and they are less powerful than their diesel and LPG counterparts.

What surface will I operate on?

When it comes to choosing a forklift, you should consider the type of surface on which you intend to operate it. Forklifts can be divided into two main categories: sealed and unsealed surfaces. Knowing which type of surface your operation will require is essential to ensure the longevity and safe operation of your machine.

The surface type you choose should be based on several factors, including the environment you’re working in, the size and weight of the materials you’re handling, and the space available for your forklift. Sealed surfaces are ideal for operations in areas with limited space, such as warehouses with narrow aisles or congested areas. Such surfaces typically feature a smooth surface which can reduce the chances of tripping and the risk of equipment damage.

On the other hand, unsealed, rough surfaces are often preferred for outdoor operations, such as construction sites, for faster and more efficient operation. Unsealed surfaces feature loose gravel and dirt, which provide better gripping power and traction for the tires of your forklift. However, these surfaces can pose a greater risk of equipment damage or slip-and-fall accidents due to the irregular terrain and should be avoided in areas that feature pedestrian traffic.

Forklift Load Capacity

When you are buying a new forklift, you will want to review a variety of different features and specs that come with it. This includes things such as the size of the machine, the type of engine, the height and lift capacity, as well as the overall load capacity. 

Forklift load capacity is determined by the weight of the item being lifted and the size of the attachment being used to lift the item. The weight capacity of a forklift will depend on the type of forklift you have purchased and the type of load being lifted. 

For example, if your forklift is designed to support a mast, then the load capacity specification should include the minimum and maximum weight of the item being lifted. In addition, the load capacity will also be affected by the height of the forklift’s mast, the width of the forks, and any other attachments. 

It is important to note that forklift load capacity can also be affected by the environment in which the machine is being used. If your forklift is being used outdoors, then it is important to consider wind speed and gusts, as these can affect the amount of weight the machine is able to safely lift. 


The purchase and rental costs of a forklift should be understood before diving in and purchasing one. Your choice will ultimately depend on your individual business and operational needs. Here are a few factors to consider when estimating the cost of a forklift.

New vs. Used Forklifts

The most obvious cost factor to consider when buying a forklift is to decide between getting a new vs. used model. New forklifts come with manufacturer warranties and other assurances that can help you with maintenance costs down the road. However, buying used provides upfront cost savings. Consider the pros and cons and choose the model that best fits your business needs.

Cost of Operation

Purchasing a forklift requires more than just the initial cost of buying it. You might also want to consider the cost of operation. This includes the cost of gas and oil, as well as the cost of installation. You will also want to factor in the cost of regular maintenance like filters and brake pads, batteries, and other spare parts.


Ultimately, when purchasing a forklift truck you want to ensure you are making a wise investment. Do your research and understand what type of truck is best for your needs. Consider the cost of the truck, how often it needs to be used, and its fuel efficiency. 

Research the dealer to ensure quality delivery and strong service and maintenance. Be sure to also check for safety features and operator training. With enough research and consideration, you can be confident you are making the right decision when making your purchase.

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