Forklifts 101

DWF has put together a list of recommendations that all customers should review and check off before purchasing a forklift from any dealer. We've provided general schematic examples of each point in the right hand column. After reading over the list, please visit our Product Inventory section. 



Size does matter. When selecting a forklift, make sure the mast height does not exceed the height of your facilities' lowest door clearance. Concurrently, be sure to take into consideration the reach/extension of the lift to be sure it meets with your needs.



Cushion Tires — Solid rubber compound press-on tire. Available with a tread design or smooth. Also available in a white non-marking rubber compound.

Solid Pnuematic Tires — For use on dirt and gravel surfaces, or for "soft yard" applications. Solid Pnuematic tires do not hold air, therefore, they are good for construction or job sites where there are a lot of sharp objects, othewise known as "flat hazards."

Pnuematic Tires — Pnuematic tires are also used on dirt and gravel surfaces and soft yards. They provide slightly better traction than Solid Pnuematic tires, but they are susceptable to flats because they hold air. They are also about half the cost of solid pnuematic tires.




A large counter weight is always a good thing to have because it allows you to lift more with your truck. However, be sure to check the load bearing limitations of your warehouse floor or dock and take that into consideration when selecting your forklift.



There are four fuel options to consider when purchasing a forklift.

Diesel — Provides the most torque and power for outdoor construction and job-site applications. Most diesel powered forklifts will be equipped with pneumatic tires.

L.P. Gas — For use outdoors and indoors. Most Cushion Tire forklifts are powered with L.P. Gas. Because L.P. Gas forklifts produce lower emissions, they can be used in some indoor applications.

Gasoline — Although gasoline is rarely used as fuel for forklifts, they are available and they can only be used for outdoor applications due to the high amount of emissions.

Electric — For use mainly indoors on a smooth, concrete surface. Electric forklifts can be used outdoors when conditions are dry. They are perfect for indoor warehouse applications because they do not produce exhaust and are quiet during operation.



Know your usage.

 42" forks are most commonly used for standard 48" pallets. Forks should be slightly shorter than the pallet being moved because forks that stick out through the other side of the pallet being carried can cause damage to other shelved products. Longer forks will decrease a forklifts overall turning radius, so choose the shortest forks possible for the job.



Hours are the equivalent of miles on an odometer. The more hours used equals more wear and tear on its engine, transmission, and all other moving parts. Some brands and types will give you a breakdown of the hours; e.g. key on hours, drive motor hours, and pump motor hours.