At Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales we get our fair share of all types of equipment used in machine and fabrication shops including equipment used for material handling such as Overhead, Gantry and Jib Cranes and even Forklifts too. When offering this equipment, it's important for us to know as much as we can about not only the equipment specifics itself, but also what makes these very different units better suited for the needs and use of individual shops. What makes one forklift a better fit? What features do I really need and what do they do? Here we try to break down some forklift and material handling terminology for you to help you make the decision on the right lift truck for you

Pick Your Style - Forklifts are built in a wide variety of styles to accommodate specific needs. Just like a car, van or truck forklifts designers had a specific purpose in mind when they designed them. You will first need to determine what style of forklift will work best for your needs.The following styles are the most common to see:

  • All Terrain - Usually found on construction sites, ranches and other outdoor venues these are the 4X4’s of the lifting industry. While there are many styles of All-Terrain forklifts the general category is meant for outdoor use on paved and unpaved surfaces..

  • Cushion Tire - The most common style of forklift is the “Cushion Tire”. These are used both indoors and outdoors on generally paved surfaces only.

  • Narrow Aisle/Order Pickers/Swing Reach/Straddle Trucks - These material handling machines are designed specifically for warehouse operations including tight aisles between shelf racks while being able to reach tall racks lifting and lowering pallets and bundles of material.

  • Three Wheel & Piggyback Style - Great for a full featured ride-on forklift with a need to have extreme maneuverability these 3 wheeler designs are very capable.  Other variations of this design offer the “Piggy-Back” style which allows for easy transport on the backside of a truck flatbed. Often seen as Sod delivery and Landscape delivery lifts these medium duty all-terrain lifts are very capable.

  • Walk Behinds and Electric Pallet Jacks - Don't forget the handiness of the electric powered walk behind forklift models and electric pallet jacks. Although specifically for indoor use these can be very maneuverable units especially in confined spaces such as when loading/unloading Box Trailers.

How Heavy? - Capacity: That's an easy one. Simply put, the capacity is the full capacity of the truck. Consider that capacity greatly decreases with height and distance the weight is applied from the mast. Your forklift manufacturer will have a chart showing how much weight can be lifted in varying conditions.

How High? - Mast Height is an important feature when deciding on a forklift. Although there are low profile designs like “Truckers Masts” to fit into and out of a box truck, it should be noted that they rarely have the capability to reach high enough to overhead lift a load off of a flatbed truck if needed.

What’s Driving You? -  How the forklift is powered can determine where it can be used and although it does not prevent the forklift from being used in other scenarios, it should be taken heavily into consideration. Common forklift power plants include: Electric/Battery, Diesel, Propane, LPG and Gasoline. While Electric, LPG and Propane Power plants are widely used inside warehouses they are not uncommon top join their heavier duty, outdoor cousins running on gasoline and diesel.

Add What Works: Here are some really nice accessories and attachments to consider adding to your forklift:

  • Side Shifter S/S - Allows for the operator to make that final minute adjustment from the comfort of the cab versus jumping in and out to adjust fork spacing.

  • Scissor Reach Attachment - Very helpful accessory for setting or lifting a pallet from a shelf.  This feature is widely found in warehouse operations.

  • Extended Forks - Perfect when picking up large loads such as machinery.

  • Manlift Platforms - Very helpful and safe for plant maintenance and operations.

  • Fork Extensions - Useful for picking up large wide loads on an occasional basis.

  • Telescoping Forklift Boom - Using your forklift with this crane-like attachment greatly increases simplicity when lifting equipment from an overhead position.

  • Lighting - Whether you use your forklift outside at night, or inside in dimly lit warehouses, trailers or other dark spaces, additional lighting can be an inexpensive way to make your truck safer and better suited for your needs.

At Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales , we have several forklifts available. We also have close relations with many forklift and forklift accessory sellers. If you would like to discuss how a we can help you with a forklift or other Material Handling needs just contact one of our experts at 813-444-4555 or via our Contact Page linked HERE.

Material Handling Options

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