Buying / Hiring A Forklift in Durban: Masslift's Guide to Choosing the Right Forklift

So, you’re on the hunt for a forklift for sale or to rent in and around Durban, South Africa? Whether you are looking to rent or buy a new or used forklift, this article is here to assist you in choosing the right type of forklift for your needs.

For an instant forklift, hire quote click here to contact us.

With many different types of forklifts, coming in different shapes and sizes {all with their own strengths and weaknesses} choosing the right forklift for your companies applications can be an overwhelming task. The best way to avoid the confusion {and possibly choosing the wrong forklift} is to consider your application's requirements.

If after reading this article, you are still unsure of which forklift is best for your company and its applications, we suggest heading over to our contact page so that one of our friendly staff at our Westmead, Durban branch can help you with any forklift-related needs you may have.

Before we get into the questions that you will need to ask yourself {in order to choose the right forklift} let’s have a look at the common types of forklifts that you will be dealing with. Below are brief descriptions of each forklift. For more information on the different types, have a look at our article of the 8 Different Types of Forklifts and What They Are Used For.

8 Types of forklifts available to Rent or Buy at Masslift’s Durban branch

8 types of forklifts

1. 4-Wheel Counterbalance

The most common forklift on the market. They are straight forward forklifts with dual forks in the front and used to lift heavy loads. All three fuel types being Electric, Diesel & LP Gas come in the 4-wheel option. Capacities vary from 1.4 - 25 Tons depending on the fuel type, with masts as high as 7m.

2. 3-Wheel Counterbalance

The same as a 4-wheel counterbalance forklift but the back wheels are closer together in the centre of the frame for improved turning ability. Used primarily where space constraints are a factor, like warehouses. Ideal for 3.2m - 3.5m aisles.

3. Reach Trucks

Built to lift loads to heights of up to 13m, these machines allow warehouses to use very high aisle setups and ultimately save space with narrow spacing between aisles {roughly 2.6m - 3.1m}. With Mitsubishi, you can choose between a Stand-On and Sit-On Reach Truck. The Reach Truck capacities vary from 0.9 Tons - 3.0 Tons with the 1.4 Ton and 2 Ton being the most common option. Like all warehousing equipment, Reach Trucks can only be used indoors and must work on clean, flat surfaces.

4. Power Pallet Trucks

An Electric version of the popular Pallet Jack, also known as a Pump Trucks. These machines help you manoeuvre pallets or other heavy goods quickly and easily within a warehouse and can only lift 100mm off the ground. They can lift loads between 1.6 - 3.6 Tons and are available in walk-behind and ride-on options.

5. Stackers

Stackers are like Power Pallet Trucks, but they have a mast, allowing them to lift pallets to a maximum height of 5.4m. They are also known for their ease of use and are cheaper than conventional forklifts. They are great to use in smaller warehouses where the aisle widths are approximately 2.4m - 2.6m. There are two types of Stackers offered depending on the pallet type used being, “Fork Over” and “Straddle Stackers”. A Fork-Over Stacker can only be used with an Open-Bottom {M-Shaped} pallet. Stackers can lift loads of up to 1.0 - 2.0 TOns.

6. Order Pickers

Order pickers are designed for “Hand Picking” rather than moving full pallets. They allow personnel to quickly and efficiently pick orders in a warehouse. The basic model will lift the platform to the second row of racking {1 - 2m}. High-level order pickers can elevate the worker to a picking height of 12.2m, allowing them to reach products stored in higher positions.

7. Rough Terrain

Rough Terrain Forklifts are built to operate in rough, uneven conditions such as gravel, sand and even muddy surfaces. The main difference between the conventional forklift and a Rough Terrain Forklift is that the latter has a suspension.

8. Articulated Forklifts

Articulated Forklifts allow for very narrow aisles {1.5 - 2m Wide}. This is because they do not have to Right Angle Stack as the mast can articulate into either side of the racking. Masslift offers the Combilift Aisle-Master, which has a maximum mast height of 12.1m.

15 Questions to answer before Renting or Buying your next forklift:

15 questions to ask before buying a forklift

Below are 15 of the most common questions that we have found {through dealing with thousands of customers} to be vital in choosing the best forklift for each application. Answering these questions will assist you in finding the best type of forklift for your company and its applications.

1- What is the maximum weight that you need to be lifted?

2- What is the maximum height that you will need to lift to?

3- What is the weight of your product at your maximum height?

4- What is your lowest overhead height restriction?

5- What aisle width will the forklift need to be working?

6- What type of product are you lifting?

7- What are the dimensions of the load that you will need to lift? Length {from Forkface to Forktips}, width and height?

8- What environment will the forklift be used in? {i.e. Will your forklift be used Indoors, Outdoors or in a Small/Compact Warehouse}

9- When and for how long will you need the forklift?

10- How many hours per month will the forklift be operating?

11- Will your forklift truck need attachments to pick up a specialised product?

12- What kind of Service and Maintenance plans are available?

13- Should you rent a forklift or purchase one?

14- If purchasing, should you be looking for a New or Used Forklift truck?

15- Should you be looking at an electric or an internal combustion forklift?

For a more detailed description on these questions, if you are looking to rent your next forklift we suggest having a look at our detailed article on the 8 Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Forklift. Alternatively, if you are considering buying your next forklift have a look at our Ultimate Forklift Buyers Guide.

How can we at Masslift’s Durban branch assist you in finding the right forklift for sale or for rent?

Durban Branch

Masslift Africa is the sole distributor of Mitsubishi forklifts in Southern Africa. Our Durban branch was formed approximately 20 years ago, and we situated perfectly against peak traffic flow at ~ 17 Suzuka Road, Westmead.

Durban is not just a branch, we consider ourselves as a Tightly-Knit family of passionate forklift lovers with Shaun Collins our CCOO {Coastal Chief Operating Officer} leading the branch. Understanding how each of our roles effects one another and our functionality, helps us work together to achieve Masslift’s vision. The different departments within the branch work hand-in-hand, and we recognise that it is through teamwork and communication that we can offer Service Excellence to our customers.

This in turn, offers our customers the ease of having their queries and enquiries resolved, without having to be referred from department to department. This forms a positive and more personalised relationship with our customers as we each understand the functions and needs of the business rather than only what our specific division can offer them.

As in any business, you are only as strong as your weakest link, so the advantage of working so close together, helps us motivate and empower each other to strive for Service Excellence.

Masslift Durban offers a competitive edge, based on our wide range of products all being backed by a culture of Service Excellence. We tailor make our offering based on the specific needs of each customer and have a wide range of options to suit both their operational and financial needs.

As a standard, we will do a thorough assessment of our customer's application and financial requirements, giving them peace of mind that they are choosing the right forklift.

We understand that minimising downtime is fundamental to our customer. Along with the most reliable forklift on the market, we offer a guaranteed 4-hour response time within 50kms of a service centre. In this regard, we are only forklift company who puts our money where our mouth is. We will refund you 50% of your month’s maintenance on your specific forklift if we not meet our guaranteed response time. We have dealers in Pietermaritzburg and Richards Bay. This extensive footprint allows us to offer almost the same service levels throughout the entire province.

  • We pride ourselves in our Short Term Rentals with some of our Durban Branch’s most popular machines being: 2.5 Ton, 3 Ton, 4.5 Ton, 5 Ton and 7 Ton Diesel Trucks 1.8 & 2.5 Ton Counterbalance Electric Forklifts
  • Reach Trucks and Stackers {Warehousing Equipment}

When it comes to the buying of New or Used forklifts, we offer a full range. The Durban branch’s most popular forklift is the 2.5 Ton Ninja. The Ninja comes standard with a 50% Buy-Back, as well as a 3 year/5000 hour powertrain warranty.

We are dedicated to bringing our clients the best in Service Excellence with our varied product offerings including New Forklifts for sale, Used Forklifts, Forklift Rentals, Servicing and Parts. We’re here to assist clients spanning across KwaZulu-Natal from Westmead to Pinetown, New Germany, Mobeni, Riverhouse Valley, Prospecton, Queensburgh, Briandene, Bayhead, Durban Ports, Pheonix, Mount Edgecombe, Ballito, Durban Central, Hammersdale, Camperdown, Cato Ridge, Embogentwini, Margate, Richards Bay, Pietermaritzburg, Zululand, Natal Midlands, Ladysmith, New Castle and more.

For assistance in buying or renting your next forklift in Durban click here so that one of our friendly staff at our Westmead, Durban branch can help you with any forklift-related needs you may have. Alternatively, you can contact us on 087 150 8573. And if you are still not convinced, the proof is always in the pudding. Why not contact us for references?

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