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.


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.

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.

Guide to buying second-hand forklifts

Buying used forklifts is a great way for companies to affordably get the equipment that they need for various material handling requirements. But, as always, buying second-hand comes with risks that can potentially lead to unforeseen and unwanted costs in the longer run.

These tips will help guide you around the potential risks and pitfalls when buying used:

1. Ensure that the truck is suited to the application

Forklifts can vary hugely according to how exactly they are kitted out and depending on the model. Knowing what you need is vital so it’s important to consider what you’ll need it for. Will your forklift be used daily? Will you use it indoors or outdoors? What specific tasks will it perform? How heavy will the loads you use it for be?

A reputable dealer might ensure that the truck they provide is appropriate for your needs, sometimes even providing a site inspection and an expert opinion in consideration of the application that you’ll need the forklift for. This is vital to get right, as the safety of the forklift driver is your responsibility and the wrong equipment could lead to an incident.


second hand forklift trucks


2. Inspect the forklift for damage

Being able to identify rust, damage, or any cracks, repair welding and fluid leaks is an important part of ensuring the forklift is in the condition that you expect it to be in.

3. Have a test drive

Buying pre-owned forklifts is far more serious than purchasing a used car. They’re complex pieces of equipment which are covered by strict legislation and it’s seriously necessary to make sure that it works before you part with any cash. Either test it yourself, or get an operator to drive it, and ensure that all of the forklift’s functions work exactly as they should.

Many problems aren’t immediately obvious on a warm engine so you should ensure that the engine starts from cold, while your test should be conducted on a clean floor so that you can spot any tell-tale leaks from the hydraulics or transmission. It’s always best to be careful and thorough to give any potential problems the chance to present themselves.


forklift truck test drive

4. Check the warranty

A decent warranty is an important part of buying a used forklift. You should be aware of how long your warranty lasts for, what it covers, and, most significantly, what it doesn’t cover. If the forklift is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, then you should contact them to make sure that the warranty can be transferred to you – some can, while others are void after resale.

5. Make sure that the forklift is not a rogue import

There are increasing numbers of dodgy imported forklifts on the market and it’s important to avoid them. They’re far more difficult to source parts for and even harder to sell, and if an accident occurs on these forklifts then your insurance could even be invalidated.

Check the forklift for a genuine CE mark, and ensure that the operator manual and all labels are in the right language.

6. Buy from a reputable supplier

A way to be certain of the condition is to buy your second-hand forklifts from a trusted supplier, such as Hitec, who have been trading for decades. This ensures that the equipment is what it says it is and will carry no faults as a result of vigorous and honest testing. The reputation of such companies means that whatever monetary incentive there is to ‘cheat’ on these sales is gone and you can expect a high-quality piece of equipment that has been completely cleared for use.

7. Check the readings on the clock

While a car is often assessed on mileage, a second-hand forklift will tell a story through its operating hours. Experts say that a single hour of forklift use is equal to 30 miles on a car, so a reading of over 3000 hours means that it would be close to a comparative 100,000 miles for a car regarding wear and tear.

Clocks can, however, be fiddled by a dishonest dealer, so it’s good practice to check the clock reading against the forklift’s service history to ensure that they match up.

Why use an electric forklift?

When it comes to deciding what type of forklift is best for your business, there are many factors to consider. From your day-to-day needs and flexibility requirements, a lot of different things should be considered before you decide which type is the right fit for you. There is a variety of different elements that make electric forklifts different from their competitors, and here are just a few.


benefits of electric forklift trucks


Indoors or outdoors

If your forklift will be mostly used indoors, then it’s likely that an electric forklift will be the best choice for you. In comparison to diesel or petrol-powered models, an electric forklift produces none of the fumes or emissions that occur with engine-powered forklifts. Not only does this mean you’re far more likely to meet all health and safety regulations for your workplace, but it also keeps your staff healthy and happy.

An electric forklift is still a viable and more eco-friendly choice for outdoor use, but engine-powered forklifts can also be used efficiently in wide open spaces without fear or causing harm to your staff through fumes. As such, these kinds of forklifts might be built with more rugged use in mind, especially on uneven surfaces.


cesab forklfits


Running costs

As with electric cars or generators, when it comes to powering an electric forklift, there’s a far reduced cost over its lifetime in comparison to similar engine-powered machines. Combined with the simplicity of an electric machine, which causes electric forklifts to have far cheaper repair costs, this type of forklift is ideal for a business where heavy and prolonged use is likely, making the most of the cost of electricity.

Of course, as with all battery or charge-powered technology, unless you have a spare power source on the go, you’ll experience downtime when your machine needs to charge; cutting into work time if not used carefully. In comparison, a diesel or petrol-powered forklift can be ready to go with a quick top-up. For urgent work, where there isn’t time to charge an electric model, an engine-based forklift might be suitable but you’ll need to bear in mind the cost of fuel.

Learning curve

If you’re looking for a forklift that is easy to learn and drive, as well as quiet to run, then an electric forklift is the best choice for you. These types of forklifts equate to an automatic car in terms of reduction of handling and the learning curve required to become a competent driver or one of these machines. There’s little need for additional actions, methods or other tweaks to make electric forklifts run smoothly.

In comparison, an engine-powered forklift requires a slightly steeper learning curve, with the requirement to ‘rev’ for gradients, and no clutch pedal in sight. For teaching purposes, an electric forklift is ahead of the rest of the class, but when it comes to robustness and the ability to apply that learning to other machines, an engine-powered machine is slightly better.


use electric forklift trucks


All weathers

An electric forklift is often the ideal choice for use in enclosed warehouses and spaces, and can even turn and position better thanks to the easier to handle controls. When it comes to solid ground with no incline, an electric forklift can do everything that an engine-based forklift can, at the reduced cost and increased ease of use you’d expect. When it comes to the great outdoors, however, an electric forklift may run into an issue.

When performing site work or even just working in the open for extended periods, in all weather, an electric forklift can be reduced in effectiveness. In comparison, a more manual machine is capable of navigating less even ground, more diverse climates and weather without problems occurring. For towing duties or extended outdoor work, an engine-based forklift may be best.


Health and safety

Some of the most important words in any workplace with heavy machinery, health and safety are important when it comes to keeping your machines running well and your workforce safe. An electric forklift can contribute to this safety, both due to the lack of emissions and fumes, but also due to the more reliable nature of the fuel that the machine requires; a charger and battery will both be capable of being stored safely away even in a small amount of space.

In comparison, engine-based forklifts require physical fuelling, and as such, that diesel or petrol needs somewhere to live. Highly flammable liquids stored in any facility can be a significant health and safety risk, without mentioning the high levels of emissions and the traditional steering method which is more challenging to master.

In conclusion, the forklift you need depends entirely on the needs of your workforce, from where the machine will be required to the budget you have to fuel it. Both electric and engine-powered forklifts have their benefits – you just need to know which is the best fit for your business. At Hitec, we stock a range of electric forklifts as well as engine-powered forklifts. We also offer training to ensure you and your business stay health and safety compliant. Contact us to find out more.

Guide to hiring a forklift in Peterborough

Hiring a forklift is a great idea if your business requires flexibility. Whether you need a forklift truck for seasonal work, to cover the temporary breakdown of an existing unit, or as a long-term solution, you’ll always find great deals on forklift hire in Peterborough at Hitec.

Of course, you might not be familiar with how many units you need, how long you need to hire a forklift for or what type of model will be best suited to your requirements – so we’ve produced this handy guide to hiring a forklift in Peterborough to help provide you with the information you need.


forklift hire in peterborough hitec



What type of forklift is right for my business?

The type of forklift you’ll need will vary depending on your company type. If you’re going to be mainly operating your forklift indoors, an electric warehouse model is undoubtedly your best option. Smaller warehouse units are great for fulfilment centres which require products to be moved on a regular basis, whereas counterbalance forklifts are built to carry larger loads, making them suitable for builder’s merchants, garden centres and other businesses where moving heavy pallets is a necessity.

Electric forklift trucks are cheaper to operate in comparison to diesel-powered forklifts and will typically need to be recharged at the end of a shift. Before committing to a rental, it’s important to discuss with the Hitec sales team how long you will require a battery to last.

What to consider when hiring a forklift

Answers to the following questions typically help us to better inform you on the ideal forklift for the job:

• Will the forklift be used indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both?
• Are there any height restrictions on the premises?
• Will the ground conditions affect tyre choice?
• What is the maximum weight load of the materials I will be moving?


forklift hire in peterborough hitec



Costs and features

When you hire a forklift from Hitec, there are no hidden costs, making it much easier for you to budget. Each of our trucks can be hired for up to seven years on a long-term rental agreement, or for as little as a single day for a one-off operation. This provides you with the flexibility to get the equipment you need at a fixed rate.

With over 4,000 trucks to choose from, we’re able to offer you a unit that matches your requirements completely. For example, if you require a forklift that will be used for heavy-duty outdoor lifting, a counterbalance truck with thick tyres might be the best option. For lighter, indoor use, a smaller warehouse unit with the ability to collect shrink-wrapped pallets from a variety of heights might be more suitable. The best way to determine the right forklift for the job is to contact us directly with a list of your requirements.

How many forklifts does my business need?

It’s worth bearing in mind that electric forklift trucks need time to recharge. If your business operates on a 24-hour basis, like many supermarkets and fulfilment centres, it could be the case that you’ll need more than one forklift to cover the overlap in charging – even in a small warehouse. Larger businesses might need multiple forklifts and operators to ensure work is completed in a timely manner. At Hitec, we recognise that no two businesses in Peterborough are alike, and we strive to deliver the right tools for the job at the best price.

Do my forklift operators need to be trained?

Under UK law, all forklift operators must hold the relevant qualifications, and it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure all staff are competently trained. If you need to get your staff up to scratch with the latest certificates, Hitec can offer an affordable training solution to ensure safety in your workplace.


forklift hire in peterborough


Why hiring from Hitec is a great idea

As one of the UK’s premier suppliers of forklift trucks, we understand precisely what companies need from their equipment. We won’t give you the hard sell – just good, honest, impartial advice on the best tools for the job. For further information on hiring a forklift in Peterborough, or to discuss the requirements of your business, simply contact us and a member of our friendly and experienced team will be happy to go over the details with you.

Why forklift training is important

When it comes to driving a forklift truck, training isn’t just important from a safety perspective, it’s a legal requirement. As health and safety regulations are updated on an almost annual basis, it is imperative that you and your employees keep up with the obligation to be competently trained on how to operate a forklift truck in accordance with the current regulations. If your drivers are without a current certificate, your company is breaking the law.


forklift training at the workplace hitec lift trucks


Basic forklift training

Drivers who are trained in basic forklift operation can expect to learn about the practicalities of how to use a truck, with a focus on inspection procedures, refuelling/recharging, manoeuvring and controlling a unit. This provides drivers with the bare minimum of information required to safely operate a forklift – but in many instances, employers will expect more from their employees to help boost productivity and ensure compliance with internal risk assessments.


Context is everything

When undergoing forklift training, a driver should be taught how to use their skills in a context specific to their workplace. No two warehouses are the same, so it’s important that employees understand the layout of their environment, and how best to navigate that environment.

For example, smaller, more compact warehouses may require a lot more reversing and tricky manoeuvring in comparison to wider spaces. Outdoor environments may have inclines and obstacles to navigate around. The best way to equip your drivers with the skills and knowledge they require is to arrange for on-the-job training at your premises, which can be arranged with Hitec. This can involve drawing up a list of hazards specific to your working environment and ensuring that all employees are familiar with what to look out for during the working day.


forklift training hitec lift trucks


Vehicle-specific forklift training

It should never be taken for granted that a driver who has passed a forklift test will be familiar with all types of forklift. Different truck models will invariably have different control layouts, and in a busy working environment, the split-second decision to press a button or flip a switch could mean catastrophe without vehicle-specific training. As a rule, it’s good practice to ensure your drivers are fully trained on all forklift trucks they may be operating over the course of a working week. This helps to avoid malpractice, ensures stock remains undamaged and protects your business against any potential litigation, should an accident occur.

Don’t rush your forklift training

While your employees might be eager to get out onto the shop floor, it’s important to ensure they are 100% competent and 100% ready to engage with the live workplace environment. The best way to do this is to introduce them incrementally to a working situation, as overseen by a qualified forklift driving instructor. While this might seem over-the-top, remember that the health and safety of your employees is paramount, and nothing can be left to chance. This happens on the road after learner drivers pass their test all the time – after all, it’s not uncommon to see green L-plates on a vehicle. After passing their basic training, your employees should ideally be supervised until they display the competence and confidence required to successfully put in a shift unaided.

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Forklift training for increased productivity

While safety is the number one concern when it comes to forklift training, learning new skills can help your workforce to become more productive. With the ability to perform complex moves, you can expect your drivers to get more done over the course of a shift. In addition to this, understanding how to operate a forklift more economically can help to save your company more money on fuel/electricity costs, and will ultimately result in less downtime and maintenance of your units.

How forklift training from Hitec could improve the capability of your business

With high-quality forklift training from expert instructors, you can expect all-round improvements from your warehousing team. Whether you’d like to give your team a refresher course, implement more site-specific training or simply bring your business in line with current health and safety legislation, you can expect unbeatable results with Hitec.

For more information on forklift training, or to book your team in for a course, simply contact a member of our friendly and experienced team today – we’re ready and waiting to deliver first-class training at your convenience.

CESAB Forklift Trucks: a guide to the 2018 range

Founded in 1942, CESAB has been at the cutting-edge of forklift technology for over six decades. By offering a huge range of high-quality products, CESAB is a company that can be relied on to provide the right tools for the job, regardless of your business type. When you choose a CESAB unit, you can expect high-quality workmanship, increased flexibility, a reduction in the environmental impact of your operation, and enhanced productivity.

With the launch of the 2018 range, CESAB have done the impossible – improving on what are regarded by many as the best-quality forklifts and lifting accessories in the industry. In this article, we’ll look at some of the latest models, and the features they bring to the table.

Hand pallet trucks

For quick and easy low-intensity lifting, look no further than a CESAB hand pallet truck to enhance transportation capabilities in your warehouse, supermarket or store. CESAB CE low-lifting models can handle load capacities between 2 and 3 tons and can be configured to meet your requirements – from quick-lift versions to low-fork models and units with handbrakes, you’ll be certain to find what you need. For businesses which require high-lifting, CE-H models are available complete with an electric lift motor. These units are perfect for use as height-adjustable working tables, too.


cesab hand pallet trucks at hitec


Reach trucks

CESAB’s range of reach trucks are designed to provide maximum productivity, exceptional handling, reliability and safety. These units are compact, practical and easy to operate, which means you can expect your team to be more productive. There are three types of CESAB reach truck: the R100, for easy movement and materials handling; the R200, for maximum handling in confined spaces, and the R300; a high-intensity model designed to cope with heavy demand.


cesab reach trucks at hitec


Powered stacker trucks

For low-intensity applications, the CESAB range of powered stacker trucks offers reliability and safety across a variety of industries, including warehouses, retail premises and industrial sites. The S100 and S200 models are ideal for supermarkets, and are easy to operate, even in confined spaces. Those who require something extra might want to opt for an S300, which combines heavy-duty performance with accessibility.


powered stacker trucks hitec


Three-wheel electric trucks

When your business requires a compact design to quickly and efficiently manoeuvre around enclosed spaces, a CESAB three-wheel forklift truck is just the ticket. The B200 combines a minimal footprint with rear-wheel drive for impeccable handling, while the B300 goes even further and combines powerful motors with a sleek aesthetic, optimal stability and enhanced performance.


three wheel electric trucks CESAB at hitec


Four-wheel electric trucks

CESAB offers five series of electric counterbalanced forklift trucks capable of lifting loads from 1500kg up to 8500kg. For compact and powerful performance, look no further than the CESAB B400 forklift. This model offers incredible performance and manoeuvrability and packs a powerful 48V motor. Businesses with more heavy-duty applications might want to step things up a little with a B600 unit to enhance productivity and facilitate larger loads. For the ultimate in lifting, the cenTAURO 80 model comes highly recommended, combining first-class manoeuvring with powerful AC motor control technology.


4 wheel electric truck CESAB hitec forklift trucks



Engine trucks

When you need a durable, reliable forklift that can deal with the rigours of heavy-duty work, you need a CESAB engine truck. These internal combustion forklifts are available with Torque converters or Hydrostatic drive trains and are capable of coping with load capacities from 1500kg to 2500kg, with lift height capabilities of up to 6.1 metres. Thousands of hours of research, development and testing have gone into the creation of the new M300 and Drago ranges. These high-performance, counterbalanced trucks are available as diesel or LPG-powered variants, and have been optimised to be quiet, ergonomic and easy to manoeuvre.


CESAB engine trucks at hitec forklift trucks

Purchase or hire a CESAB forklift today

All these models and more are available at Hitec – if you see something you think fits your requirements, why not get in touch to discuss the needs of your business with a member of our team? After a brief chat, we’ll be able to offer you a fantastic deal on the CESAB forklift your company deserves.

With incredible options to hire, lease-purchase or outright buy, our flexibility when it comes to financing your forklift is almost as impressive as the flexibility of the latest CESAB range of lifting equipment – simply contact us to find out how our forklifts can benefit your business.