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As much as we want to say forklifts are sexy, forklifts really are a business tool. Forklifts are designed to do a function and forklift hire is no different, instead of outlaying your capital and buying a forklift.
You have another option and that is to think about forklift hire and paying a fixed rate per day or week, instead of buying a forklift outright. That’s right you get to leave your hard earned capital in the bank.
Here are the 6 most common things you need to consider when hiring a forklift.
Length of Time of hire
If you are looking to hire a forklift, you need to be very clear on the length of time you will be hiring it for. If it is a short time (generally under 12 months) or a long time (over 12 months up to 7 years), can really change the price of forklift rental you will be paying.
It can also decide whether the forklift you will be hiring is a new forklift or if it has some years on it.
The Application You Will Be Working In
Always a big thing to look at when considering forklift hire. When talking to a forklift rental business, they will ask you about the application it will be working in.
- Is it clean ?
- Is it a dirty ?
- Is there hazards ?
If it’s a building site, you can expect to pay more than if the same forklift is working in a clean warehouse on concrete floors.
Can you Expect Service/Back-up
As in any industry there are pirates, you know what we are saying the types of service businesses, that once they have your money you never hear from them again.
When you call them because the forklift you are hiring has broken down, they take a week to turn up and repair the forklift.
Make sure you are dealing with a reputable forklift business, unfortunately there still are plenty of shady back yard businesses out there.
How Many Hows Per Week – Utilization
Forklift utilization is all about how many hours will it be doing. If you are only using it a few hours a week, then you can expect to pay less.
However, if you are wanting to operate it multiple shifts per day, 7 days per week. You can and should expect to pay a lot more.
How much will I have to pay
That really is affected by the above points, forklifts are an expensive outlay of capital, especially for a business that specializes in forklift hire. So you can expect to pay a rental fee that really is commensurate with the forklift you are hiring.
But as always you should shop it around for the best price you can get. After all its your money that you are parting with.
Does a forklift brand really matter ?
That’s a funny question, as long term people in the materials handling industry. We know the “reputable” brands from the “less then reputable” brands.
Considering the factors above, if you are looking to hire a forklift for a short time, its probably not that much of a issue.
If you are looking to hire a forklift of 5 years in your business. We always suggest getting a demonstration of the forklift on your site.
Forklift dealers will generally be keen to demonstrate their forklift on site and usually free of charge. Then it’s best to let your operators trial the forklift and give you feedback.
If you think about it like a car, do you prefer driving a Mazda or a Hyundai ? They both have plenty of features and benefits, but both cars will get you to where you want to go.
Always remember that a forklift is a tool to be used, and forklift hire is no different, you need to think about the above, and the requirements that you have for your business.
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With out a doubt Hyster forklifts are well known throughout Australia for being a tough and reliable forklift for the Australian market. Hyster have been making forklifts for over 80 years now, so you would expect them to get it right., with one on the biggest ranges of forklifts available in the market.
Hyster’s Parent company is NACCO Industries, which is a Cleveland Ohio (USA based public listed company, with the control and management of the Hyster brand being through NMHG, short for Nacco Materials Handling Group.
NMHG, sold out of their retail operations in Australia, in 2009, with the Hyster forklift retail operations being bought out by Adaptalift. The Hyster acquisition turned Adaptalift into one of the biggest forklift companies in Australia.
Founded in 1982 Adaptalift started as Forklift Engineering Australia, designing and manufacturing forklift attachments. Adaptalift has grown to become the largest Australian privately owned and operated forklift company, with a fleet of over 10,500 units nationwide.
Hyster forklifts, have a complete range of forklifts available, from powered pallet trucks to 50 tonne reach stackers, with a variety of fuel types including LPG, Battery Electric and Diesel.
Although the Hyster brand is American owned, and building forklifts throughout manufacturing factories across the world, They have recently made the decision to bring a Chinese made Forklift into the Australia Market. So the UTILEV is now supported by NACCO Materials Handling Group in Australia as the cheap alternative to a fully optioned Hyster branded forklift.
If you have looking for a decent quality used forklift, and are starting to look around, you will most likely find more Hyster forklifts than any other brand available, this is mainly due to the length of time that Hyster has been making forklifts.
With parts readily available, through the Adaptalift dealer network or After Market Parts Sellers like TVH. But talking to any dealer you will most likely get parts to suit your Hyster forklift.
If you are in the market looking to buy a new or used forklift, and if you haven’t made your choice yet to which forklift brand you want to choose then, you really should give the Hyster forklift some decent consideration.
There is more than a decent chance it will suit you environment and application very well. With the back up and support you need and can expect from a forklift manufacturer with over 80 years experience.
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We’ve already taken a took at how to store a forklift for a short period of time, But sometimes you might need to store your forklift for longer than 6 months. So we wanted to help give some instruction for Long Term Storage of your forklift.
6 Months – Long–Term Storage
If you are looking to store your forklift, make sure you do the following steps to prepare the forklift for storage for 6 months or longer:
- Make sure you complete all the short–term storage procedures.
- Wrap or cover all exterior lights, radiator grille, and air vents with a moisture barrier cover. Use tape to hold the covers in position.
- Make sure you remove the batteries from the forklift. Just make sure you store the batteries in an approved space. Be sure to follow whatever your local regulations are. Batteries that are stored for long periods can become damaged so we recommend that you try to use the batteries elsewhere if you can .
- Also spray exterior surfaces and the frame with a preservative coating.
Following the above steps will help you preserve your forklift and help keep its value.
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When it comes to owning a forklift, a lot of owner’s forget to think about how to keep their forklift maintained. So we want to take a look at exactly is a forklift PM SERVICE.
A PM service, or a Preventative Maintenance service, is the maintenance schedule that the Original Equipment Manufacturer recommends for the forklift that they manufacture. Quite simply if you think in the terms of your car, you need to get it serviced as per the manufactures recommendation every 15 000 Klms (Or what ever it is), it is the same with your forklift.
One of the major differences is the way it is calculated, generally a forklift is fitted with a Hour Meter instead of a Speedo. Depending on the type of forklift and the recommendations, you can generally expect to be servicing a 2500 KG forklift every 250 hours or every 3 months.
Generally included in a 250 hour service is :
- Changing of engine oil
- Changing of Engine oil filter
- Checking – Drive belt
- Checking LPG system (If fitted)
- Checking Engine Idle Speed
How often should you service your Forklift
The quickest way to work out how often your forklift needs servicing. Is to take a note of the hour meter at the start of the week then again at the end of the week. After determining how much you use your forklift, you can then talk to a service agent about a Preventative Maintenance Service schedule.
Generally most forklift dealers will offer an annual fixed price service schedule for your forklift. Generally most forklift dealers will suggest how often you should have a basic service performed (oil and filter change, battery check, fluids topped off as well as a host of other items).
Generally we suggest talking to a forklift dealer that can set up your service automatically and come out to service your forklift on an agreed regular basis.
Why do Preventative Maintenance Servicing
By servicing your forklift before you have trouble, you can catch many things (a worn belt, for example) that can be taken care of before it becomes a problem and your forklift stops running.
Just remember a Forklift PM service is less expensive than a service call and it will generally only take between one hour to two hours.
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Its been the last 8 or 9 years or so in Australia that we’ve seen a explosion of Chinese made forklifts on the market. We’ve taken a look at the Chinese made Forklifts before, and the guiding principle here as with anything is, you get what you pay for, weather you are looking at buying second hand or new
We wanted to take a look at a few things you might want to consider when buying a second hand forklift or buying a Chinese forklifts.
Its really important to compare apples with apple when you looking at purchasing a new Chinese forklift model or a refurbished second hand model. So make sure you know what you need the forklift for so consider lift height, fuel type e.t.c when looking at your purchase.
As an Example
A new 2.5T Chinese made forklift, with a 3000mm mast, petrol, will retail for about $17 999 at the bottom end and up to $23 000 at the top end of the Chinese product market, and will generally come with a minimum 12 month warranty, (Ask first about what warranty to expect).
A refurbished Hyster H2.5TX model (which is approximately 5 years old) with a 4000mm mast will retail for about $15 000 and you could generally expect a 90 day warranty with it.
There are a few things you need to consider when making the choice
Chinese manufacturing is light years ahead of where it was 5 years ago, with most if not all major brands bringing out a Chinese equivalent (Yes think Toyota, Linde, Hyster). With a lots of smaller forklift companies now running Chinese forklifts in their rental fleet. So are they reliable well in the right application, well yes they can go the distance.
Depreciation is the true hidden cost of a forklift. Buy a good condition second hand brand name forklift such as a Hyster, you will still get a decent resale figure when you go to sell it down the track. Meaning that generally they will hold their value.
A new Chinese unit, whilst is cheap, will quickly loose its value at the end of 5 years, you could loose up to 70 % of its value from new.
Backup and Spare parts
There seem to be a never ending number of different forklift companies importing Chinese brands of forklifts to Australia over the years, a lot of that have gone out of business, or have stopped selling Chinese forklifts.
These companies are normally around for 2 to 3 years or until their warranty issues become too much and the Chinese manufacturing company moves on to another importer, you see alot of these companies selling on Ebay.
A forklift is a business tool, and should be viewed as such. You need to make sure you are buying for the right reasons, and knowing what application you are wanting to use to you forklift in. New Chinese or refurbished second hand, its still an investment, just make sure you look for the obvious things, you need .
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To operate a forklift in Australia, you need to have a Forklift licence, many people just forget the second they have their forklift licence, what their supposed to check before they start operation of a forklift. Keep in mind that it is the businesses responsibility to make sure the the right procedures are followed.
Before you start the forklift, its important to ensure that it is in safe working order, ready to be used and capable of completing the task required of it. A business smart practice is to develop and implement a system of work that nominates the person who will ensure the safety checking occurs, e.g. a manager or supervisor.
Make sure your operators know to report any damage to your employer, supervisor, manager or employee safety representative immediately.
If any damage or problems are noticed that are needing immediate repairs isolate the forklift so it cannot be used.
Make sure you get your operators to complete a checklist as part of your pre-operational routine (example below). This is an important part of any effective maintenance program, if you are using a new or different forklift. This checklist will help you become familiar with the machine.
Pre-operation Forklift Checklist
Forklift operators should do the following before starting :
- Tyres : Check all for wear or damage, and pressure (if applicable)
- Fluids: Check all for wear or damage, fuel and coolant
- Seating: Check the condition and adjustment
- Warning devices: Check lights, horns, reversing beeper, and flashing light
- Capacity: Check for signs of wear to the lift chains and guides
- Hydraulic cylinders and hoses: Check for any leaks
- Tynes: Check for excessive wear, damage, cracks or repairs
- Seatbelt: Make sure it is in good working order (if fitted)
- Guarding: Check that all guards are in place
- Controls: Check that all pedals and controls operate correctly
- Brake: Check that all (including parking brake) operate correctly
This list is far from exhaustive, and can be added to at any time, and developed for specific pieces of equipment or the particular environment that you are operating your forklift in. If you are stuck for ideas you can always contact your local dealer.
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All forklifts have a rating, which is the maximum weight that they are designed to lift safely, often referred as SAFE WORKING LOAD (SWL) or WORKING LOAD LIMIT (WLL). Depending on the type of forklift depends on how they are actually calculated.
The rated capacity for counterbalanced trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that a truck is designed to transport and stack, operating on a hard level surface, with the mast vertical, with maximum lift height and at load-centre distances.
Reach and straddle trucks
The rated capacity of reach and straddle trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that a truck is designed to transport and stack, operating on a hard level surface with the mast vertical, with maximum lift height and at load-centre distances.
Four-direction trucks, single-side-loading trucks, order-picking high-lift trucks and turret type high-lift trucks
The rated capacity of four-direction trucks, single-side-loading trucks, order-picking high-lift trucks, and turret type high-lift trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that a truck is designed to transport and stack, operating on a hard level surface, with any lateral leveling mechanism leveled, with maximum lift height and at a specified load-centre distance as specified in AS 2359.3.
Low-lift platform trucks and pallet trucks
The rated capacity of low-lift platform trucks and pallet trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that the truck is designed to transport, operating on a hard level surface.
Rough terrain lift trucks
The rated capacity of rough terrain lift trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that the truck is designed to support and stack, operating on rough terrain, with the mast vertical, with maximum lift height and at load-centre distances as follows:
(a) For rated capacity supported by forks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 mm or 600 mm.
(b) For rated capacity supported by attachments . . . . . . . . . . . the specified distance.
Remember, whenever you add an attachment to a forklift, (ie. Work cage, slippers, e.t.c), you must get the Forklift re rated by the Original Equipment Manufacturer.
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The Best Option – for the Spark Free Areas
The stainless-steel-cladded forklift forks are the best option for areas that must be kept spark free. These areas include explosive environments where paint, chemicals and explosives are handled.
These forks are also a great choice for food preparation areas for hygiene purposes and when you need to avoid risk of spark generation due to rubbing between similar metal materials (i.e. between fork steel and the load steel) or rusty and light metals (i.e. between rusty fork and an aluminium or magnesium load).
Bolzoni Auramo cladded forks are covered under all the relevant Australian Standards with AISI 304 L stainless steel as indicated by UNI EN 1127-1 regulation (6.4.4 paragraph) and are manufactured to be used in Category 2 and 3 of European Directive 94/9/CE.
The forks are also equipped with a certificate, that testifies the execution by the rule book of the cladding and the quality of the material.
The Production Process
- Before starting with the coating all the edges are eliminated from the outer perimeter of the forks and the painting is removed from the tip and back side. These are the areas where the coating is anchored.
- The stainless steel plates to be applied on the forks are prepared; the standard thickness is 2 mm but even a special 3 mm thick plate on request can be used. The plates are bended according to the fork’s geometry and they are then applied on the surface, so that the load surface is perfectly smooth and bald, without obtruding elements and without being influenced by welding processes, that could compromise the features and properties of the material.
- A reinforcement stainless steel plate is realized to be welded under the heel of the fork.
- The plates and the heel reinforcement are then welded on the forks with TIG welding; the standard plate covers the forks till 20 cm height of the back side (possible full back side coating on request).
- All the surfaces are perfectly polished, in order to grant a smooth contact with the load.
- An accurate check is moved forward to ensure the total lack of breaking areas in the coating.
Bolzoni Auramo Stainless Steel Cladded Forks Advantages
- The geometric and chemical properties of the original forks are kept completely unaltered.
- Excellent resistance to corrosion thanks to the quality of the material and thanks to the fact that all the loading surfaces are not interested and influenced by welding processes.
- The internal surface of the fork (the surface under the coating) is protected by the painting, which has not been undermined by the temperature raising.
- The reinforcement plate applied on the lower part of the fork’s heel grants a sensible reduction of the coating wear in this critical area; when worn out it’s possible to replace just the heel reinforcement plate.
- The perfect load surface finishing avoids the risk of scraping and the detaching of coating parts.
- The certification testifies the quality of the material and all the specific production processes.
- Special 3 mm stainless steel plate thickness (instead of 2 mm);
- Back height fully coated and covered (instead of standard 20 cm of the back height);
- Coating for food and beverage environment with AISI 316 L, the best quality of stainless steel.
If you are interested in a quote contact Bolzoni Auramo direct or talk to your local forklift dealer
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In warehouses, factories, shipping yards, freight terminals and other workplaces across Australia, forklifts are used to lift, stack and transfer loads.
While forklifts offer a practical materials handling solution for many businesses, each year they continue to be associated with workplace deaths and injuries. The human and financial cost of forklift-related incidents for employees, industry and the community is substantial, and in the most part completely avoidable, especially when employees and employers work together to improve health and safety at work.
A lot of new Forklift operators struggle when they first get their Forklift licence, to identify the risk and hazards around the area that they will be operating the forklift in.
Forklifts are manoeuvrable and they are designed to be compact, but when carrying loads they can become unstable under certain circumstances. Fully laden, a standard two tonne forklift can weigh approximately five tonnes in total. With lower stability, and greater manoeuvrability combined with uncontrolled traffic areas in workplaces you’ll understand why forklifts are involved in so many incidents.
Even at low speeds, forklifts can cause serious injuries and fatalities.
It’s not just the employee using the forklift who can be injured; pedestrians can be crushed against a wall or an object or another vehicle.
Don’t wait until there’s an injury or death at your workplace before developing a safe system of work to control risks. So here are some basic Hazards and some simple rectifications that you can use to negate the Hazard in your workplace, ensuring that your operators have a safe day operating forklifts in your business.
Danger to persons not aware of the forklift operating in area.
Overhead flashing light operates when ignition key is switched on.
Damage to person at rear of forklift when forklift is reversing.
Warning beeper and reverse light is activated when in reverse gear.
Lift/lower and tilt levers could be mistaken or confused
Decals or lever handles clearly shown operation.
forklift tips forward when lifting over rated capacity.
Load capacity plate fitted to forklift and should never be exceeded
Operator slipping while getting on and off forklifts.
Step has been fitted to allow safe mount and dismount from forklift.
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