If you work in an industry that requires materials handling, you know how central forklifts are to your operation. You need equipment that is dependable, versatile, and within your budget.

If you are in the market for new forklifts, you may feel overwhelmed by the choices that new designs and innovations present. The right price and combination of features depend on your unique business requirements. You want to be able to meet those without spending too much.

Fortunately, there are only a few main categories to consider when purchasing a new forklift. Keep reading to find out what they are so that you can make the right choice for your business.

Power Capacity

These are two broad categories of forklift engines: electric or internal combustion (IC). There are advantages to each.

Electric forklifts run off of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The absence of fuel tanks makes them more compact and maneuverable. They are also quieter and will save on energy costs.

Electric forklifts are more environmentally friendly as well. If your industry handles food products, avoiding emissions can be a huge advantage.

The advantage of a gas- or diesel-fueled forklift is simple: they can provide much more power relative to the size of the machine. You can expect some to carry up to 10 times that of their eclectic counterparts. Also, these engines can last for a very long time.

Reach vs Counterbalance Forklifts

Counterbalance forklifts are designed to handle heavy materials. The dense mass at the back of the machine acts as a counterweight to the load on its carriage.

Even though counterbalance forklifts can handle more weight, there are limitations. For instance, they need a flat, stable surface on which to operate.

If you need a machine that can reach greater heights (albeit with lighter loads), then a reach forklift may be the best choice for you. These have the added advantage of speed and maneuverability. They are the go-to choice for operations that have narrow aisles or tight angles.


It’s not always the best practice to find the all-out lowest price for a forklift. You pay for what you get–that is especially true for new forklifts.

Name brands, for instance, may cost more upfront. But they will pay dividends down the road in overall durability and lack of needed repairs.

They can pay for themselves by avoiding downtime due to breakdowns. With names brand, it also will be easier to find replacement parts, even years down the road.

Also, consider warranties (or lack thereof) that come with each new forklift. Regardless of the reputation of the brand, things break down from time to time. Ensure that you are covered for repairs and replacement parts.

Try Before You Buy a Forklift

One great way to make sure a forklift is a good fit is to try it out before you buy it. Find a reputable dealer that allows forklift rentals. This will allow you to determine if the specifications on paper match up with the real-world demands of your warehouse or stockyard.

Find New Forklifts Near You

Now that you have an idea of what to look for in features and capabilities, you can buy forklifts for your business with confidence. Seek out a retailer that can further help you decide on the best choice for your business and budget.

At Superior Industrial Products, we pride ourselves on helping you select the right material handling equipment for your business. We serve small operations to huge retailers and every forklift buyer in between. Check out our used and new forklifts online, or reach out to us today for a free consultation.