Which CESAB forklift is best for my project?

When it comes to choosing the right forklift technology for your site, project, or for future use, it can be confusing to figure out exactly which model and type is the ideal solution for your requirements. CESAB supplies a full range of forklifts of all shapes and sizes, all of which are industry standard, making it the perfect brand of choice for your business – but which model is the right on for you? Read on to find out more about the types of project that CESAB supplies can help you with, and which situations they would be best for.

Short-term, low-weight transportation

When you’re in need of a new forklift to help with day-to-day, short-term transportation of goods and items, for example within a warehouse or indoor environment, then depending on your weight requirements, opting for a hand pallet truck might be the best way to get around. This is especially applicable when working in environments that require transport only over a short distance, or for items that may be unwieldy to carry but would be easy to transport by utilising a simple hand pallet truck system.

For items weighing under 2-3 tons, the CE low-lifting models in the CESAB range might be the best choice for your project, especially when it comes to moving objects across any flat ground and inside buildings or warehouses. For example, moving goods from storage into a vehicle with a tail lift might just require a simple hand pallet truck, though features such as brakes, quick lifting and more can be added to aid in that process. CE-H models even include a motor to make transportation quick and easy for when you need to get items from A to B as fast as possible.

Stacker trucks are a more mechanical extension of this design, with models like the S100 and S200 combining the practicality of a powered truck with the bonus of a small scale and easy to use functionality. For low-intensity use, much like the CE models, this series can provide the tool you need to transport lighter, but often bulky, items from place to place without worry.

Compact and quick

Whether you’re working in a close quarters environment where there are likely to be tight spaces and short turning spaces, then you need a forklift that’s equally as compact and practical, able to weave through cramped areas and still perform to a high quality. For construction and other internal projects, as well as the movement of heavier materials, then a reach truck might be the right fit for your next project.

Compact, productive and efficient, a reach truck is a step up from the standard hand pallet trucks, with the added advantage of greater manoeuvrability and the ability to squeeze through smaller space, and even lift loads over obstacles or blockages quickly and easily as required. The R100 and R200 are both equipped for optimal movement in small spaces.

For projects where space might still be on the short side but more lifting power is needed, or a forklift is required that can keep up with heavy demand, the R300 also offers the perfect balance between a more compact size and high levels of production, ideal for projects and sites that go through heavy use periods.

Heavy duty and hardwearing

For some projects, a smaller forklift just doesn’t fit into quite what you need – especially when it comes to lifting heavier weights, transporting more items or goods at once or simply moving faster and doing more. For many projects, it may be more practical to opt for a larger-scale forklift, especially in outdoor locations or larger facilities that require large distances to be travelled.

CESAB’s hardwearing, heavy duty electric trucks are the ideal solution for many, providing a high level of counterbalance for lifting from 1500-8500kg in weight in a single trip. For projects that require a large volume of items or materials to be moved, the B600 unit offers the enhanced productivity that can make your project run that bit more smoothly, while the cenTAURO 80 utilises a powerful motor to do more and go further.

Electric not the right fit for you? For intense outdoor project work, the CESAB engine truck range packs that extra punch, as internal combustion forklifts that are capable of going further and performing to a high level. Powered by diesel, these trucks can handle loads of 1500kg to 2500kg, with impressive lift height capabilities up to 6.1 metres. If you’re looking for something rugged and hardwearing, the M300 and Drago ranges might be the best fit.

Hire a CESAB forklift for your next project

Whatever your next project is, choosing CESAB for your lifting needs is the right choice for your business, offering productivity, efficiency and a range of different models to meet your exact project needs and requirements. Contact us today to find out more about our CESAB forklifts available for hire.

Refurbishing a forklift

The process of refurbishing a forklift

Fork trucks have long proven themselves as invaluable tools in almost any industry. Refurbishing a forklift is often a great way to upgrade your equipment without having to fork out for a new one. An effective refurbishment will have your machine looking and operating like new.

A complete refurbishment is also a good way of saving on your ongoing forklift maintenance costs by bringing repairs and replacement parts right up to date. It also does no harm for workforce morale, with operators able to enjoy the benefits of a gleaming new truck.

Repairing a forklift is not refurbishing it. Repairs get the unit running again, while a refurb involves a thorough inspection, replacement of safety-critical, worn and defective parts, and a complete clean-up, including repainting the truck to restore it to an “as new” condition.

Refurbishing a truck will typically cost 30 to 40 per cent less than buying a replacement, but you should always ensure you have your reconditioning done by a professional company like Hitec, experienced in restoring forklifts.

There are often different levels of refurbishment, ranging from a service and paint refresh to a full cosmetic and mechanical overhaul, but the steps to complete any type of renovation are fairly standard.

Initial inspection

When we first receive a forklift to refurb, we’ll carefully inspect the truck’s condition. This is irrespective of the unit’s age and appearance, and will be carried out by a fully trained technician.

If the truck is really mucky and worn out, we might need to give it a thorough power-wash first before air drying the chassis, mast and forks and taking care to avoid damaging the vehicle’s electronic components.

The first inspection will include an assessment of the truck’s technical condition, checking the effectiveness of its hydraulic functions and assessing its cosmetic appearance, chassis and driving comfort. Sometimes, inspection will conclude that refurbishing the truck is either not possible or not cost-effective. There can be alternative uses found for a vehicle in this condition.

All safety-critical parts will be carefully examined to assess whether they provide an indication of a deeper problem, and all of these will always be replaced.

Brakes, tyres and batteries will also be checked to see if they need replacing, and a full report of the truck’s condition will be compiled. At this stage, spare parts will be ordered, and lead times established to build and confirm the refurbishment schedule.

Disassemble and clean

Next, the forklift’s parts and equipment will be carefully disassembled and cleaned thoroughly. Parts will be pressure-cleaned and disposed of if necessary in accordance with waste and environmental regulations. Grinding off rust and old paint will also be necessary at this stage.

This process enables a more detailed inspection of the chassis, carriage and mast. We will also check the engine, the brake mechanisms, the axles and wheels and all other major components. Batteries can sometimes be refurbished, but often it makes sense to replace them at this point.

Rebuild forklift

The rebuild process will typically involve dismantling the mast and examining, removing and replacing lift chains if required. Chains are often fully replaced as this can be a more cost-effective measure than carrying out further detailed testing and repair.

All bearings will be inspected and replaced if they no longer meet the manufacturer’s tolerances. Welds are tested for structural strength and sub-assemblies are inspected before being built back into the truck.

There’s often a whole raft of options at this stage. For example, you can opt to add in a new dash display or upgrade the seat. You can add the manufacturer’s original parts or choose a more economical option.

Painting & prepping

In readiness for a full paint refresh, the truck will first be sanded down, primed and polished. Steering systems, tilt cylinders, the battery and guards will typically be blasted with compressed air to ensure they’re clean and ready to restart work.

Painting is carried out to a professional standard and ensures the unit looks like new. Adding some company logos and decals can really finish the truck off to perfection.

Testing & inspection

The final stage is to fully inspect the refurbished forklift and test it with its fully rated load. A complete safety check will be carried out and a service conducted by a fully qualified technician. Our staff are experienced and highly trained and take personal pride in their workmanship.

Final checking means a safety certificate can be signed off before the truck is declared “ready to go”. We’ll conduct a checklist with you on collection to ensure you’re satisfied with the work that’s been completed, as well as ensuring you’re happy with the forklift’s functions and appearance.

At Hitec, we carry out forklift maintenance and refurbishment that will keep your trucks running for years to come.

What types of forklifts should I hire.

Which forklifts should I hire for my project?

A forklift can be a game-changing labour saving device when it comes to projects that require heavy lifting, and there are a huge number of options available suited to almost any situation, but what are they all for – and how should you choose which solution is right for you? Take a look at the guide below to find out.

Forklifts for Indoor use

Forklifts are a very popular choice in shops, warehouses and building projects, but if you’re working in a space that’s not designed for regular use by forklift trucks, a smaller solution may be better. Counterbalance Trucks require more room to manoeuvre, so a Pallet Truck might be a better option if you’re short of space, and you want to get the most lifting power out of a compact vehicle. Pallet Trucks are suitable for a wide variety of applications such as supermarket aisles and even domestic houses, and can assist with heavy lifting without the bulk of a larger machine.

They may be smaller, but that doesn’t mean they’re less versatile. You can hire many different kinds of Pallet Truck with options that can help you whatever your needs, from basic hand operated models to power-assisted versions that can manage heavier loads. Pallet Trucks are great for moving heavy objects around, but they aren’t designed for lifting – so if your project requires it, you may be better off hiring a Stacker.

Stackers are a great option for projects with space constraints: Like Pallet Trucks they are designed to be compact in order to work in warehouse aisles and other small spaces, with a focus on lifting heavy objects to height in order to stack them in piles or on shelves. Available in power assisted models with a range of different weight classes, and as a self-propelled vehicle, there are a wide variety of options for hire that depend on the size of the objects you are moving and the conditions of the site.

If you are working in a small building, it might pay to sacrifice mobility for size and choose a hand Pallet Truck or a smaller Stacker, so that you can fit your forklift anywhere you need to go. Conversely, if you are working across a larger space, a self-propelled or power-assisted model will make it much easier to cover long distances with less effort. Whatever your choice, it’s important that you consider your available space and the size and weight of loads to be carried when you’re choosing which forklift to hire.

Forklifts for Outdoor use

It’s also common to see forklifts in outdoor sites, from building sites to yards and storage areas, and there are plenty of options to help you do your job. However, to get the most for your money when you hire, it’s important to consider your options. First, consider the amount of space you’ve got. If your outdoor location has plenty of room to move, you should consider a Counterbalance Forklift, which tends to have more power and a higher top speed than hand-operated alternatives.

You should also consider how much weight you’ll need to carry. Three wheeled Counterbalance Forklift trucks are more manoeuvrable in tight spaces and with lighter weights, but if your main concern is power then you should probably opt for a four wheeled model that is designed for larger loads. Four wheels can also be an advantage on difficult terrain, if you’re working on a building site or on grass, while a three wheeled model might struggle.

If you’ve got more complex requirements, it’s a good idea to check if there’s a forklift for hire that has special features that can make your life easier. If you’re trying to get the maximum lifting performance out of your forklift, it might be a good idea to hire a hydrostatic model – which uses hydraulics to boost the amount that the forks are able to lift. If you’re more concerned about the weight that the forklift is able to carry, you might want to consider a model with a torque converter instead, which boosts the power available to the engine so that it can move heavier loads around. There are also compact models of Counterbalance forklift, which allow you to gain the maximum performance in the minimum space.

A final consideration is the fuel your forklift uses. The most common type of engine in a Counterbalance Forklift is petrol, but electric models are also available for hire. There may be restrictions on operating combustion engines indoors, or environmental and noise concerns on site, which make electric models preferable. They are also more economical, and cost less to run, which can save you money across the length of your hire. As well as protecting your environmental credentials, going electric eliminates the need to keep and store fuel for your vehicles, which can be an added danger and expense on site.

forklift driver training

Forklift Training Practice Test

If you are looking to become a forklift driver, the first step to becoming certified is to pass the forklift training test. The forklift test is designed to ensure that a candidate is knowledgeable and skilled enough to use the machine safely. To assist in the preparation of the test we have compiled this forklift practice test, which includes 10 questions taken directly from the official test paper.

Questions
1. Name 4 main safety checks you would make before loading or unloading a flat bed or curtainsider lorry.

2. Name 2 effects that ground conditions can have on a lift truck.

3. In relation to a truck’s capacity, which 3 items of information must be printed on a truck’s rating plate?

4. Who is responsible for checking that the lift truck is in good working order before use?
A. The management
B. The maintenance department
C. The operator
D. The insurer

5. From the list below select the last thing the operator should do before moving off?
A. Put their seat belt on
B. Engage drive
C. Look around
D. Sound the horn

6. What position should a lift truck’s mast be in to comply with the manufacturer’s stated lifting capacity?
A. Slightly tilted backwards with the truck on level ground
B. It doesn’t matter as the mast angle does not affect the rated capacity
C. Slightly tilted forwards with the truck on level ground
D. Vertical with the truck on level ground

7. When driving an unladen lift truck how should the forks be set?
A. With full back tilt
B. As low as practicable and tilted forward to prevent damage
C. As low as practicable and tilted back
D. As low as possible and parallel to the ground

8. When parking a lift truck how should the forks be positioned?
A. The tips not more than 100-150mm high with the heels touching the floor
B. The heels not more than 100-150mm high with the tips touching the ground
C. The heels as low as possible with the tips touching the ground
D. The heels touching the ground with the tips within 100mm of the ground

9. Before starting to load a rigid flatbed lorry or trailer from ground level, the lift truck operator must check that:
A. The lorry driver has checked the load
B. The lorry’s tyre pressures are correct for the weight of the load
C. The destination of the lorry
D. The lorry driver is aware that loading is to take place, the lorry engine is turned off, the lorry parking brake(s) are applied, and the lorry wheels chocked (if necessary).

10. When the load centre is increased:
A. The load carrying capacity is not affected
B. The load carrying capacity is increased
C. The load carrying capacity is not affected if it is a live load
D. The load carrying capacity is reduced

Answers

1.

A. The lorry brakes or wheels should be chocked, to ensure the vehicle is stable and stationary.
B. Check the lorry bed condition, width, height, level and ensure the curtains out of the way, to allow for safe unloading.
C. Locate the lorry driver and find out what is required, to ensure the area is clear and task is understood correctly.
D. Position a support stand on an unsupported semi-trailer to ensure stability.

2.
There are a variety of effects upon ground conditions which can have a negative impact of a lift truck, answers can be taken from:
A. Lift truck instability
B. Loss of adhesion or braking
C. Damage or loss of the load
D. Damage to the forklift truck

3.
A capacity plate will provide information on what the truck can lift, to a specific height. The correct answers are:
A. Lifting capacity in kilograms
B. Load centre in millimetres
C. Stacking height in millimetres

4.

The correct answer is C. It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that forklift is in good working order before using it, this will involve carrying out a pre-shift check and also an operational check.

5.

The correct answer is C. The situation within the area could have changed before the driver prepared the forklift, so the driver should check for any changes to the immediate area before moving.

6.

The correct answer is D. Both the rated capacity and manufacturers stated lifting capacity apply when the mast is in a vertical position, as this maintains the centre of gravity and lifting capacity design.

7.

The correct answer is C. By ensuring the forks are moved as low as possible to the ground and tilted back, to reduce the risk upon any potential impacts.

8.

The correct answer is C. The heels should be kept as low as possible with the tips touching the ground. This will protect any pedestrians from a potential trip hazard as a foot could become caught in a gap below the tips.

9.

The correct answer is D. The operator must ensure the lorry driver is ready and aware that loading is due to begin, so that they know to remain in a safe position. The operator should also double check that the engine is off, parking brake(s) applied, and the wheels chocked where necessary, to improve stability and the risk of movement.

10.

The correct answer is D. By increasing the load centre the capacity of the forklift is reduced, and the forklift could become unbalanced.

 

Hitec employs only the very best forklift instructors who are experts in their field. Get in touch with one of the team if you’d like to find out more about our training programmes.

8 forklift ‘fails’ from around the Internet

Forklifts are driven and controlled by licensed professionals who know the ins and outs of the job. But sometimes, things can go wrong. You can know all there is about forklifts and have all the skills and experience, but once you knock that lower pallet, gravity won’t be on your side. Human error, forgetfulness, and inexperience can all add to these mishaps, which will almost always result in something coming crashing down.

Most hapless forklift drivers won’t see it coming, but once they’ve failed, then all there’s left to do is laugh. Blowing a fuse, knocking a water pipe, getting the forks stuck, or bringing down a wall of beer are just some of the funniest forklift fails around. Here at Hitec we offer expert forklift training so you never have to feature in one of these videos!

 

Here are eight of the best forklift fails from around the Internet:

1) When working in a warehouse packed tight with pallets of stock, it’s easy to get comfortable in your forklift with everything going on in front of you. Except, it’s vital you don’t forget what’s behind you if you have something on the forks. This almost always means that if you lose control, you have no idea where you’ll end up until you’ve hit something. Unfortunately, this unlucky forklift driver learned that the hard way when hundreds of boxes fell on top of him and his colleague. They might need those forklifts to begin tidying up again.

 

2)Forklifts can lift around 1,814kg at a 24 inch load centre. Most professional forklift drivers know how much they can lift and carry to a certain location. They’re able to lift most items, so it’ll come as no surprise that lifting a man weighing around 90 kg is nothing to them. A man getting wrapped in cling film to a large item of stock is the subject of this forklift video.

 

3)Getting through those tight spaces should be no problem for an expert forklift driver. You have to maintain a steady speed and check all around to make sure there are no obstacles in the way. But for this unlucky driver, he doesn’t check his left-hand side and clips the wall, which then tears off the electrical box. It blows a fuse and all the lights go out. It looks like he’ll have to finish his job in the dark.

 

 

4)What happens if you don’t lower the forks? This unfortunate employee was using a forklift to bring down some laminated particle board. When an item is too high on a shelf, you might need a different forklift or you might just need to call for help. But instead of calling for help to make sure the board was level on the forks, he pulls back slightly, bringing the whole thing down. The particle board falls from the pallet, breaking into pieces.

 

5) This is why you should always lower the forks on your forklift. In this instance, the unlucky driver was hard at work, bringing a pallet of stock to a higher level in the warehouse. He maintains a steady speed the whole time and everything goes smoothly. After he’s deposited the pallet, he begins to reverse. But, because he doesn’t lower his forks, he knocks into a water pipe and goes straight through it. This causes it to split in half, and water goes everywhere.

 

6)You have to be an experienced forklift driver to understand the weight distribution at the front of the forks, and what will happen if you reverse and turn too quickly. This time, the hapless employee didn’t remember this number one rule of forklift driving. He takes a pallet, which must have been heavy, and as he reverses he goes too fast, causing the stock he was carrying to follow the force of its own weight, and it comes down with a crash.

 

7) Forklifts and beer never go well together. And they still don’t in this video. When this person was using the forklift to pull the pallet full of beer cases, it seems he didn’t take into account the other cases of beer below. He doesn’t lift it entirely and knocks into the row of beer cases below. The result is a river of exploding beer cans as the beer comes crashing down in a foamy mess.

 

8) What happens if you get the forks stuck in a pallet too high to fix? In this case, the driver gets them stuck and the only way to solve the problem is to bring the stock crashing to the ground, so that it looks like it’s raining boxes. The unlucky driver has lost complete control over the pallet and no matter what he does, boxes are going to fall down. Fortunately, the forklift’s roof stops anything from hitting him, so he just has to sit and wait for everything to fall off the shelf.

 

 

Could self-driving forklift trucks be the future?

Forklift trucks are at the very heart of the warehouse industry. They can be seen from taking the product from the delivery truck, transferring it into storage, to then placing it back onto the delivery truck. However, the forklift truck as we know it today is slowly changing. The introduction of new mechanical innovations, robots and automation will soon play a huge role in the development of self-driving stackers, forklifts and pallet trucks. Below we explore how automated forklifts work, the pros and cons of using this type of technology in your warehouse, and how close we are to using them in the everyday warehouse business.

 

self driving forklifts

How do they work?

Self-driving forklifts are constructed from advanced computer technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI). These combined technologies allow the forklift to track, monitor and to then echo the behaviour of warehouse workers who operate forklifts. They learn how to move and operate. What happens is the automated forklifts will work in exactly the same way as a forklift that is operated by a human. These trucks will be able to lift, stack and move items, just in the same way as a standard forklift.

Automated forklift trucks are able to predict movement and work out the best path for movement in order to navigate the warehouse interior. Each forklift is personalised and will be programmed with data that has been collected over a period of time. This enables it to do a specific job, all without human assistance.

 

What are the potential advantages?

So, what are the advantages of self-driving pallet trucks and forklifts? Well, there are many advantages that range from increased safety and productivity.

Reduces staff members

These type of forklifts will dramatically reduce the number of skilled workers that are needed to operate the forklifts. This in itself is a double-edged sword. In terms of an advantage, this can help save money as your business may only need one worker to operate a fleet of automated forklifts. Workers will still be needed to carry out any packing duties.

Reduces risks

The working environment will instantly become safer, due to the fact that there are fewer workers. Forklift operators will no longer have to sit in the forklift and take precautions to protect their neck and back. There is also no longer the need to bend down and lift heavy pallets, as the self-driving pallet truck will do this for you. This results in safer working practices, and reduction in injury.

Errors are dramatically reduced

Human error is inevitable when operating any type of forklift. Even with the highest level of training, mistakes will happen. This risk is dramatically reduced with the introduction of the automated forklift. This type of forklift truck will be fully programmed to know where it needs to be, what it needs to lift, move and then store items. Unlike a human operator, it won’t get tired, helping to reduce errors.

 

What are the disadvantages?

Although self-driving forklifts have many unique advantages, there are also a number of disadvantages that need to be carefully considered.

Reduction in productivity

It takes time to get used to this type of technology, in terms of training and safety issues. Although in the long-term this could increase productivity, in the short-term there will be a reduction in productivity while training takes place.

Increased cost

This type of technology does come at a high cost. If you are on a tight budget, are a new company or are only a small set up, then it is probably not in your best interests to use this type of technology.

All technology can go wrong

As with all technology, there will be problems, and this can prove to be expensive. You need to have a contract in place with the supplier who can provide spare parts and any maintenance, which can also be costly. While repair work is being carried out, this can also lead to delays which can incur additional costs.

 

How close are they from being a reality?

We are slowly moving towards a world where automated forklifts will be at the heart of the warehouse industry. However, we are still a long way off from being able to use this type of technology. Forklifts, as we know them today, really will stand the test of time, and even with the introduction of automated forklifts, we will still need to use them in our warehouses.

The forklift is here to stay

Finally, even when the automated forklift is here to stay, the traditional forklift truck will still be used by smaller companies.

Sadly, we are still a long way from using automated forklifts in the warehouse and construction environments. To explore our range of forklifts, pallet trucks and stackers, then please do browse the Hitec Forklift Trucks website and get in touch with us today.

electric forklifts save money

How electric forklifts can save you money long-term

There are as many different types of forklift as there are uses for them, and the right choice for your business is going to depend on a multitude of varying factors including space, the size and weight of loads to be carried, how intensively they are to be used, and of course your budget.

One of the differences between varying types of forklift is the type of motive power which they use. Many traditional forklifts use gas or petrol; however, electric battery power is taking over as the leading fuel for forklifts.

Electric forklifts offer businesses a number of ways to save money, as well as a range of other advantages over more traditional models.

 

how electric forklifts save you money

 

 

Fuel costs

Just as with electric cars, electric forklift trucks give a virtually 100% reduction in your fuel bill. Traditional models require refuelling with petrol or diesel, attracting a significant expense week-in, week-out. Electric models, conversely, can be charged up overnight from your existing electricity supply, costing only a few pence per day.

One expense which exists with electric forklifts that doesn’t apply with gas-powered models is that of the battery, which must be purchased at the same time as the forklift itself, and can be expected to last 5-7 years. However, even taking this into account you can expect a significant saving in fuel costs over the lifetime of an electric forklift truck.

Maintenance and servicing

Unlike internal combustion engines, the power trains of electric forklifts do not require oil changes or fluid top-ups since they have neither oil nor other fluids within them. Indeed, with only two moving parts, electric motors are a great deal more reliable and require only occasional servicing or maintenance. Such reduced servicing and maintenance requirements bring apparent cost savings by themselves, but will also save you time and money in staff hours, and also increase the efficiency of your business by reducing the amount of time your forklifts are out of use.

Fuel storage

Propane and diesel fuels are unpleasant, dangerous substances which are complicated and costly to store safely. Switching to electric forklifts allows you to do away with the need to use these fuels altogether, and replace them with a simple electric charging station, as close to 100% safe as it is possible to achieve.

Additionally, switching to electric removes the requirement to comply with health and safety legislation, tax and revenue conditions, and other compliance issues surrounding fossil fuels, saving you significant amounts of staff time and removing what is a risk to your business from any non-compliance.

Going Green

Electric forklift trucks have a much-reduced carbon footprint in comparison to more traditional models powered by internal combustion engines.

Considering the fuel itself, burning gas or diesel in a traditional forklift truck produces a high level of carbon dioxide and is hugely inefficient. By comparison, a high percentage of the electricity supply generated in the UK today comes from renewable sources such as wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric sources. Even allowing for the level of carbon emissions at the source of the electricity generation, the ecological footprint of powering your forklift is drastically reduced.

Additionally, by having effectively only two moving parts in the motor, electric forklift trucks have a far longer lifespan than their traditionally powered counterparts. Because this allows you to replace your forklifts less often, the environmental impact of construction and shipping is minimised, as the consumption of materials such as metal and plastic used in manufacturing is reduced.

All combined, this means that electric forklift trucks have a far lower environmental impact.

Longer life before replacement

As already mentioned, electric forklift trucks have a longer working life. In addition to saving you money through not having to replace the forklift as soon, this also saves valuable time in training staff on new models, procurement of replacement forklifts, and potentially adapting your premises and procedures to cope with the changes that new vehicles would bring.

A thriving second-hand market

The longevity of electric forklift trucks also means that there is a thriving second-hand market. Because electric models are so easily maintained, these used electric forklift trucks are often in as-new condition and can make a highly cost-effective option if you find that you are on a tight budget.

Hi-Tec Lift Trucks offer a wide range of electric forklift models, suitable for all applications, and in any environment. These range from lightweight models for simple applications through to heavyweight, industrial electric forklifts which can cope with intensive workloads and challenging environments. Taking the time to consult with a reputable forklift dealer who can help you to understand the options available, and offer you a demonstration of the latest technology, will ensure that you get only the best electric forklift for your needs.

 

How to hire forklifts in Bedford

Owning the newest, shiniest model of forklift can be tempting for any company that has the funds to do so. But when looking at the specific needs of your business it may be that it’s better for you to hire forklifts instead, in order to save on operational costs and keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

Hiring a forklift in Bedford can be the best option for certain times in the year but also for specific jobs, as well as to supplement a stretched fleet of forklifts in a particularly busy period. For example, peak times in business can be eased by taking on several more machines temporarily on a flexible short-term lease. Hiring your forklift means far lower upfront costs and gives you the ability to budget for consistent monthly outgoings. The flexibility that it allows you is probably the biggest benefit to renting a forklift over buying and can be the perfect stop-gap for businesses growing rapidly or facing unpredictable climates.

 

forklift hire bedford

 

There are usually a range of options for getting forklifts without buying them outright, with it being possible to lease purchase – that is, to make increment payments for the ideal finance package – and to simply take on a forklift through a contract rental, suited to your timescale and needs.

These are just some of the key things to know when considering a forklift rental:

1. Weight capacity

How much weight do you need your forklift to be able to lift and carry? It’s important that you check it’s up to specification for all of the tasks that you need it for.

2. Height that it can lift to

It’s important that the forklift you hire is able to reach certain heights, depending on the conditions of your warehouse. Make sure to double check that it can also move your required weight loads to those heights.

3. Work environment

Indoors or outdoors? Warehouse or yard? The environment helps you to make choices about tyres and the forklift itself, as well as accounting for turning radius and aisle width.

4. Cost of the hire

Make sure that you choose a forklift fit for your requirements but which won’t do too much damage to your bottom line. Be prepared to pay well for your hire, but remain mindful that you can’t let the costs creep up too high.

5. Length of the job you need it for

Do you need to hire the forklift for a day, a month – or even longer? The cost of hiring a forklift in Bedford per day is lowered when taken out for longer periods so it’s definitely worth getting a quote for varying times. Make sure to ask about overtime charges as well if you plan to use the equipment for any longer than 40 or so hours a week.

6. Carry out a thorough inspection of the forklift

Ensure that you take a careful examination of the forklift before you decide to hire and note down any damage. It’s common practice to charge extra for forklifts that are returned with any kind of damage on them.

7. Read the hiring contract

Check over all of the terms and conditions and give it a thorough read – you must know what you’re agreeing to.

8. Check the insurance provision

The dealer usually fully insures the forklift, but you and your company are still responsible for providing cover to the operator in case of injury or damage to property.

9. Look for a dealership with a professional, well-maintained fleet

Try to find a forklift provider in Bedford who has a clean and well-kept fleet that instils confidence; one who’s able to assure you that, should there be an issue, they are able to provide the expertise to correct it. When you have a piece of equipment for a specific job within a certain timescale, it’s important to feel confident that it will be able to carry out the entire task.

Hitec offers forklift hire services in Bedford with a fleet of over 400 machines to suit varying applications and accommodating customers who don’t wish to commit to a long-term investment. Hires can run for up to seven years which makes budgeting easy, with no hidden costs and consistent, unchanging rates that give complete peace of mind with an excellent piece of equipment.

How to Maintain a Forklift | Hitec Lift Trucks

When it comes to operating a forklift, your main priority is safety. The level of maintenance a forklift has will determine its performance and lifespan. Forklifts are reliable machines and operate in tough conditions, but regular forklift servicing is essential.

Maintaining your forklifts will ensure that they are working properly, performing safely and it also enables you to identify problems before they can impact on the productivity of your business.

What is forklift maintenance?

Maintenance is the process by which your actions help to preserve the condition of the item in question. Therefore, by conducting regular maintenance of the right kind on an item, you can help to increase its performance, efficiency and longevity. In this case, regular maintenance of your forklift will ensure that it continues operating at its optimal performance, which will also have the benefit of reduced reparation costs, as well as keeping the forklift in operational condition for longer, so you won’t have to replace your equipment as frequently. Ultimately, the correct maintenance of your forklifts, which only takes a small amount of effort each day, will save you a lot of money in the long run.

guide to forklift maintenance

 

How frequently should a forklift be inspected?

When considering the frequency of maintenance, it’s important to consider the age, condition and value of the forklift, as well as its service record, how susceptible it is to damage and the safety requirements of the machine. These factors will help you to determine the best course of action for your forklift, and it’s important for you to take the time to consider them.

Creating a maintenance schedule is a good way of ensuring that specific tasks are performed at certain points of a day, week or month. By adhering to this schedule, it means that a forklift will continue to be in good working order, and minimise disruption to performance.

Daily checks should be in operation, so that before forklifts are used each day, operators carry out simple maintenance checks. This could be a visual inspection, as well as a test to make sure the safety lights are functioning properly. The forks, chains and mast operation should be checked next, and the final check should be the fuel and engine oil levels.

 

What factors are involved in determining how often you should undertake a forklift service?

Manufacturers will provide recommended service intervals. A forklift functions in a similar way to other vehicles, but with an added element in the form of a hydraulic system. Similar to cars and vans, manufacturers will recommend guidelines specific to the forklift so that essential components of the machine can be serviced and maintained.

When it comes to thinking about servicing, it’s important to identify the number of hours that a forklift operates. This will be different, depending on the industry. This comes down to how much a forklift is being used, and by factoring this in, you should be confident that you can find a forklift service to match your requirements.

The condition, age and value of a forklift are important factors when deciding on the best course of action and schedule for maintenance. Over time, forklifts will be exposed to wear and tear, so this is something worth considering when thinking about your schedule. Forklifts are often important assets for a business, and like any asset it’s important to treat them properly so that they continue to work properly and safely.

Depending on how and where your forklifts are used will have an impact on how often you need to undertake a forklift service. Different environments and applications will have an impact, so it’s essential that you consider this when thinking about how you should maintain your forklifts.

 

 

What are the top tips for maintaining forklifts?

Keep forklifts clean – This is an important tip, because a clean forklift makes it easier to spot any defective areas on the machine. Using water to do this will help to see any defective parts of your forklift.

Qualified personnel – It’s important that when you get a forklift inspected, you use somebody who is trained and qualified to inspect, maintain and repair them. This will help to ensure that you receive the very best service.

Maintain procedures – When a forklift gets damaged, or becomes unsafe, it’s important to have a procedure in place to deal with this so that problems are identified and passed to the appropriate team.

Work to a schedule – It’s important that you create a schedule, and stick to it when it comes to maintaining your forklifts. This enables you to deal with issues that arise, in the most appropriate way, minimising disruption to your working practices.

What steps should be taken during the daily maintenance of a forklift?

 

Along with the top tips above, there are a number of daily maintenance checks and processes you need to undertake to ensure the longevity of your forklift trucks.

1. Ensure all moving parts are well lubricated

The vast majority of the moving joints on a forklift should be greased to ensure smooth action and prevent the wearing caused by friction. All moving parts should be checked every day to ensure that they are greased sufficiently, and regular additional grease should be applied on a weekly basis. In addition, you should check that all ball bearings are sufficiently mobile, and replace any that appear to be sticking or catching in their housings.

2. Fluid levels need to be checked too

Fuel isn’t the only liquid that your forklift requires, but motor oil, coolant, and hydraulic fluid levels need to be checked on a daily basis too. Not only does checking these levels prevent them from unexpectedly running low, damaging the performance of your forklift, but it also allows for the quick detection, and thus resolution, of leaks.

3. Confirm that all dashboard gauges are working

All of the gauges and lights on the panel of the dashboard are key indicators of the overall health of your machine. Attention should be paid to these indicators to ensure that everything is functioning within acceptable parameters. If anything looks wrong, then check it immediately. Equally, these gauges will tell you when the gauge system itself isn’t working, so get this fixed immediately if there are any problems!

4. Inspect your tires

Another often forgotten aspect of daily forklift maintenance is the daily checking of tires. If the tire uses air, then the pressure should be checked to ensure that the correct pressure is maintained, which will also highlight if you have sustained a puncture during the day. Equally, if your forklift uses solid rubber tires, then these should be checked for gashes or impacts. While many people will ignore the health of their tires, it is essential that your tires remain in good health, as an unbalanced ride could lead to goods becoming damaged.

5. Operational capacities

Finally, you must ensure that the operational capacities of your truck are all functioning normally. This means that the breaks and parking brake, horn, steering, and safety lights should all be checked – often, it is more sensible to check these first thing before using the vehicle, rather than once you have finished your daily operations, to ensure that no faults have developed while the vehicle was not in use. Furthermore, you should also test the mast capacities of the truck. By checking that the forklift is fully mobile and operational, you know that the vehicle is safe for use that day.

 

Does anything else need to be done?

In addition to this daily maintenance, there are also a couple of aspects of your forklift that should be checked on a more infrequent basis.

Four times a year, or every 600 hours, depending upon the frequency of use:

1. Full inspection of pedal give, and ease of response.
2. A thorough cleaning of the external parts of the engine radiator.
3. On diesel trucks, there should be a complete draining and replacement of the water separator.
4. A thorough cleaning of the air filter element.

Twice a year, or every 1200 hours, depending upon the frequency of use:

1. A full inspection of the break booster operation, along with pressure testing of the break fluids within the system.
2. Ensuring the engine bolt heads and manifold nuts are sufficiently torqued.
3. A complete bleeding and change of all engine liquids, including coolant, break fluid and others.

It is important to remember that these are just recommended guidelines, and you should refer and defer to any specific instructions given by the manufacturer of your forklift. If there are any signs of trouble, or you are unsure that your forklift is safe to operate, then cease use immediately and ensure that it is turned off. It should not be used again until a qualified inspector has deemed it safe to use.

At Hitec, we offer a professional and dedicated service to suit your individual needs. We have professionally trained mechanics that will undertake maintenance for all types of forklifts. Get in touch with us today and discuss your needs with us. We offer the best possible service for the maintenance of your forklifts.

Which Forklift is right for me? The Ultimate Guide 2018

If you are looking to invest in a new forklift truck, you need to make sure you choose the right truck for your needs. There are many types of forklift on the market, each with its own unique set of capabilities. How can you be sure which is right for you? Hitec Lift Trucks has created this helpful guide for you, so you can make an informed decision when purchasing your next new or used forklift.

 

guide to buying forklifts 2018

 

Diesel power, electric – or both?

More forklifts than ever before are designed with electric power instead of the old diesel or gas engines. Electric and hybrid forklifts can be recharged at a charging station, and the battery offers hours of productivity between charges. Electric forklifts tend to need less maintenance and less frequent repairs. However, they can be expensive to buy and run – especially when you consider the downtime involved in charging each machine.

On the other hand, diesel engine forklifts can operate almost around the clock, with minimum downtime required to refill the fuel. They tend to be cheaper to buy, and in the short term they can be more cost-effective than their electric counterparts. Fossil fuel engines are less environmentally friendly, and they can lower the air quality of your workplace. You could also opt for the benefits of both. CESAB‘s forklift range includes hybrid forklifts that combine electric power with a gas or diesel engine.

 

guide to buying forklifts

 

What will your truck be used for?

Different types of work require different kinds of truck. If you attempt to lift goods or materials with the wrong equipment, you risk causing damage to the load, and to the truck – not to mention the risk of injury to the operator and those in the vicinity. It is always important to use a forklift truck of the right size and type, equipped with the right accessories, and weighted correctly for the task at hand.

We provide you with all the information you need when you purchase a new forklift: including the machine’s loading capacity. We consult with you on the applications your forklift truck will carry out, and advise you on the capabilities of your chosen model, so you can buy with confidence and know you have the right tools for the job.

For example, if you need a forklift for warehousing tasks like stock picking, you are likely to need a narrow truck that can slip comfortably between the aisles. It might also be useful to have a truck with telescopic reach, so items can be picked straight from the shelves without the need for manual loading and unloading.

On the other hand, a forklift used for agricultural and industrial purposes may be much wider, increasing the turning circle but also improving stability. Where items only need to be collected from floor level and moved, standard front forks are more suitable than a telescopic handler.

Some trucks can combine functions through changeable accessories and variable counterbalance weights. A forklift is typically used for lifting goods, but it might also be called into action for lifting people. As long as the right access platform and truck size are used, forklifts can be extremely useful for short-term work carried out at height, such as maintenance and repairs.

 

Three wheels or four?

Many forklifts have three wheels – two at the front, and another at the back. However, some have four wheels. There are advantages and disadvantages to each kind, so make sure you go with the correct option. Trucks with three wheels can turn and reverse quickly, but they also have a higher risk of tipping. Trucks with four wheels are more capable on rough terrain and can handle slopes more safely. They also offer less chance of tipping when they lift. However, they tend to be larger and have less manoeuvrability.

 

2018 guide to buying forklift trucks

 

Buy new and used forklifts today

Hitec Lift Trucks is a Wellingborough based company offering new and used forklifts for sale and for hire, along with a range of forklift care and maintenance services. We are an official supplier of CESAB forklift trucks and accessories, with an extensive range of trucks available for almost any commercial, industrial or agricultural application. For more information on our range of forklifts for sale, and to discuss the best forklift for your needs, please contact us today through our website – or call 01933 228 127.