How to choose the perfect forklift for your business needs

How to choose the perfect forklift for your business needs

In the world of material handling, the role of a forklift is unparalleled. These versatile machines are the backbone of many industries, effortlessly moving heavy goods, stacking items, and ensuring operational efficiency. A poorly chosen forklift can seriously impede your business operations, affect productivity, and may even pose safety risks.

Conversely, the right forklift not only boosts efficiency but also enhances safety, optimises space utilisation, and reduces operational costs. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the various factors, like load weight, lift height, and operating environment, before choosing a forklift that fits your specific business needs.

One name synonymous with high-quality, durable, and efficient forklifts is Hyworth Forklifts. With a deep understanding of the diverse needs of businesses, Hyworth has emerged as a leading provider of innovative material handling solutions. Our extensive forklift range caters to a variety of industries and applications, and we are committed to delivering not just forklifts, but comprehensive solutions that add value to your operations.

Moreover, we at Hyworth understand that every business is unique. We don’t just sell forklifts, we create partnerships, take time to understand your requirements, and ensure you get the perfect forklift for your needs. This ethos is encapsulated in our innovative ‘Find a Perfect Match Forklift Tool‘. This is just the start. Read on to discover more about our forklift range, their applications, and how Hyworth can help you find the perfect match.

Understanding your business needs

Choosing a forklift that will serve as a pivotal asset for your business is not a task to be taken lightly. This decision requires a deep understanding of your unique material handling needs. It’s not just about recognising a need for a forklift; it’s about understanding the specific elements that will determine the most suitable forklift for your operations. This entails a comprehensive evaluation of your business needs, warehouse layout, and logistical demands.

Assessing your material handling needs

A multitude of factors must be considered when selecting a forklift. One of the most fundamental considerations is the nature of the loads you handle. Different types of goods necessitate different types of forklifts. It’s not just the type of goods but also their weight, dimensions, and packaging that need to be considered. The variances in these factors may dictate the necessity for different types of forklifts.

Understanding the average weight and dimensions of your loads is crucial in this selection process. This information doesn’t only inform the lifting capacity required but also the dimensions of the forklift itself. Moreover, it influences the choice of forklift mast and potential attachments necessary to handle your loads safely and efficiently.

Lift Height and Overhead Clearance

Equally important is the consideration of lift height requirements and overhead clearance. Comprehending the maximum height to which loads need to be lifted in your operation is a key determinant in the type of mast you’ll require. This insight, in conjunction with an understanding of any overhead clearance constraints, informs the height and type of mast your forklift should possess.

The duration and frequency of forklift use also weigh heavily in this decision. Whether your forklift operations are continual throughout the day, or limited to a few hours, can determine the type of forklift needed. Intense, prolonged use may necessitate a robust diesel model, while intermittent or less demanding use could benefit from a quieter, more energy-efficient electric model.

Finally, the dimensions of your workspace, particularly the aisle width, play a significant role in the choice of forklift. Narrow aisles require more compact forklifts, such as reach trucks, whereas wider aisles can accommodate larger, counterbalance forklifts.

Comprehensive Evaluation for Optimal Selection

Through this comprehensive evaluation of your material handling needs, you can ensure the selection of a forklift that enhances your operational efficiency, safety, and productivity. It’s a process that requires careful consideration and expertise, but one that yields invaluable benefits for your business.

At Hyworth Forklifts, we pride ourselves on our dedication to understanding each customer’s unique material handling requirements. We take the time to consult with you, evaluate your operation and its specific needs before recommending a forklift.

Our mission is to match you with a forklift that will add significant value to your business operations. We believe that the perfect forklift is not just about lifting and moving loads. It’s about enhancing your productivity, ensuring the safety of your operators, optimising your space, and ultimately, improving your bottom line. Our extensive range of forklifts and our committed team of experts are at your service to make this possible.

Forklift types and their ideal applications

As the backbone of many industries, forklifts are integral in the operations of warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and more. Understanding the diversity in forklift types and their ideal applications is a key step in improving productivity and ensuring operational safety. This section will focus on Counterbalance Forklifts, Pallet Movers, Walk-Behind Forklifts, and Reach Trucks, offering an in-depth look at each to help identify which could be the best fit for your business needs.

Counterbalance forklift

Counterbalance forklifts, named due to their unique design, where the weight of the load is counterbalanced by the forklift’s weight, are one of the most common types. This counterbalancing allows these forklifts to lift heavy loads without toppling. As they do not have extending arms, this type of forklift can move directly to the load.

Features and benefits of electric counterbalance forklift

Electric Counterbalance Forklifts are highly efficient and versatile machines that offer numerous advantages. As they are battery-operated, they emit zero emissions, making them environmentally friendly and suitable for indoor use. Electric models are quiet, reducing noise pollution, a beneficial feature for operators and overall warehouse operations.

Furthermore, they have fewer moving parts, translating into lower maintenance costs and downtime. Their electric battery not only powers the forklift but also adds to the counterbalance, providing improved stability during operations. These models are excellent for businesses prioritising ecological responsibility, cost-efficiency, and operator comfort.

Features and benefits of LPG/Gas counterbalance forklift

Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) or Gas Counterbalance Forklifts are potent machines known for their high performance. They offer an excellent solution for operations that require robust, continuous lifting and transporting tasks. Unlike their electric counterparts, LPG/Gas forklifts have faster refuelling times, ensuring less downtime and thus enhancing productivity.

These forklifts operate efficiently on various terrains, including uneven outdoor conditions. Their higher load capacities make them suited to handling heavier loads, fitting perfectly into rugged applications like outdoor warehousing.

Pallet movers and walk-behind forklift

When it comes to ground-level transportation and minor lifting tasks, pallet movers, also known as pallet jacks, are the go-to machines. Easy to use and manoeuvre, these handy pieces of equipment play a crucial role in many industries, such as retail, manufacturing, and warehousing. Their ease of operation makes them perfect for quick tasks like loading or unloading lorries, or moving goods to and from storage areas.

Pallet movers are incredibly versatile and capable of carrying different types of materials with varying weights. Furthermore, they are compact, allowing for easy storage and taking up minimal space when not in use. This feature is particularly useful in businesses where space comes at a premium.

Similarly, walk-behind forklifts, with their compact design and high manoeuvrability, bring efficiency to operations with space constraints. Their smaller size and ease of operation make them an optimal choice for narrow aisles and tight corners. Whether used in retail environments or smaller warehouses, these machines increase space efficiency and safety.

Walk-behind forklifts offer lower operating costs, excellent visibility, and reduced operator fatigue due to their ergonomic design and easy-to-use controls. They ensure precision and agility, making them a reliable and economical choice for businesses.

Reach trucks

When it comes to efficient storage and retrieval in narrow aisles, Reach Trucks stand apart. These innovative machines are designed to maximise vertical storage space while operating smoothly in restricted areas. Their name is a direct reference to their unique ability to ‘reach’ out beyond their stabilising legs and into the racking to pick or place loads.

Reach Trucks are designed with telescopic forks that can extend to retrieve pallets, effectively utilising vertical space, a critical benefit in industries where maximising storage area is a priority. They are equipped with a tilting cabin, providing the operator with a better view of the racking, which significantly improves precision and safety.

These machines are also equipped with advanced safety features, including overhead guards and anti-slip surfaces, ensuring the operator’s safety during lifting tasks. Their compact size, combined with high lift capabilities, makes Reach Trucks an indispensable tool in modern warehouses.

Moreover, the ergonomic design of Reach Trucks focuses on the comfort of the operator. With intuitive controls, adjustable seats, and clear line of sight, these trucks reduce operator fatigue, contributing to increased productivity and efficiency.

Whether your business revolves around retail, warehousing, or distribution, understanding these forklift types and their ideal applications can significantly streamline your operations, promote safety, and optimise efficiency. Remember, the right forklift can add serious value to your business.

Why you should consider Hyworth’s reach trucks

Hyworth’s Reach Trucks set a high standard in the forklift industry. With a focus on operator comfort, these machines feature a spacious operator compartment and intuitive control layout, reducing fatigue and boosting productivity.

They offer a superior lift height, making them excellent for operations with high racking systems. Their design allows them to operate efficiently in narrow aisles, optimising warehouse space.

With the added advantage of smooth, responsive controls, operators can move loads with precision, reducing the risk of product damage. Hyworth’s commitment to quality and performance makes their reach trucks a standout choice for businesses prioritising safety, efficiency, and operational effectiveness.

Choosing forklift according to your operating environment

One of the critical aspects to consider when purchasing a forklift is your operating environment. It influences the choice of your forklift in terms of power source, tyres, size, and even certain features.

Indoor use

Selecting the appropriate forklift for indoor operations requires careful consideration of several factors. Emission levels, noise production, manoeuvrability, and the size of the machine are all critical elements that can significantly affect operations within enclosed spaces such as warehouses, factories, or retail environments.

Unlike their fuel-powered counterparts, electric forklifts produce zero emissions, making them an environmentally friendly and health-conscious choice for indoor use. They run quietly, reducing noise pollution within the workspace and contributing to a more comfortable and less stressful environment for employees.

The compact design of most electric forklifts allows them to move seamlessly in narrow aisles and congested spaces, a common characteristic of many indoor facilities. Their smaller size also minimises the risk of damage to goods, infrastructure, or other equipment within the operating area.

Ideal Hyworth Forklifts for indoor use

Hyworth offers an extensive range of electric forklifts designed for efficient indoor use. The electric counterbalance forklift, for instance, is well-suited for indoor operations due to its zero-emission output, low noise level, and excellent manoeuvrability. 

Whether you’re operating in a warehouse, factory, or retail store, Hyworth has an indoor-friendly forklift solution that will meet your specific requirements, delivering productivity, safety, and environmental sustainability.

Outdoor use

When it comes to outdoor operations, the factors for choosing a forklift can vary significantly from those indoors. The nature of the terrain, the need for power and durability, and the weather conditions are all key considerations when selecting a forklift for outdoor use.

Rough or uneven terrain calls for a forklift that can handle these conditions without compromising safety or performance. Also, weather exposure means the forklift needs to have robust construction and the capacity to operate under various climatic conditions. As outdoor operations often involve heavier loads and longer transport distances, a forklift with ample power and load capacity is a must.

While electric forklifts are an excellent choice for indoor environments, LPG/gas and diesel forklifts are often better suited for outdoor use. These fuel-powered forklifts are more powerful, making them ideal for lifting heavy loads and navigating challenging terrains. Furthermore, these forklifts are typically larger and more durable, capable of withstanding the wear and tear of outdoor use.

Ideal Hyworth Forklifts for outdoor use

Hyworth offers a variety of durable, powerful, and reliable forklifts ideal for outdoor operations. The LPG/gas counterbalance forklifts are perfect for outdoor environments. They are designed to efficiently tackle heavy-duty tasks, rough terrains, and long operating hours.

For businesses with outdoor operations, the versatility of Hyworth’s forklifts makes them an excellent investment. Whether you need to move goods across a large outdoor yard, load or unload heavy goods, or handle challenging terrains, Hyworth’s range of outdoor-friendly forklifts is tailored to meet these demands while ensuring operator safety and comfort.

Understanding capacity and load centre

The capacity and load centre of a forklift are fundamental considerations in ensuring safe and efficient operation. The rated capacity of a forklift refers to the maximum weight it can safely lift and transport. It’s crucial to adhere to this limit to prevent accidents or damage to the forklift.

The load centre, on the other hand, is the distance from the face of the forks to the load’s centre of gravity. Standard forklifts have a load centre of 500mm. However, as the load size or shape changes, it can shift the centre of gravity, affecting the forklift’s lifting capacity.

Ignoring these parameters can lead to instability, unsafe operating conditions, and potential damage to goods. Understanding and respecting the forklift’s capacity and load centre ensures optimal performance, safety, and extends the lifespan of the equipment. Hyworth ensures that all these key parameters are well-explained and matched to customer requirements for their specific applications.

Considerations for mast and tyres

Understanding mast types

The mast, an integral part of the forklift, is what allows the forklift to lift or lower loads. There are several types of masts available, and the choice depends on your business needs.

A two-stage mast, often known as a duplex, offers excellent visibility and is ideal for outdoor use or where height isn’t an issue. For operations requiring high lifting, such as racking in warehouses, a three-stage mast, also called a triplex, is recommended. A triplex mast has two sections allowing it to extend far higher than a duplex mast.

Tyre choices

The type of tyre on a forklift significantly impacts its performance, safety, and suitability for specific applications. Cushion tyres, made of smooth solid rubber fitted around a metal band, are best suited for indoor use or smooth concrete surfaces. They are not ideal for rough terrains as they provide little traction and shock absorption.

On the other hand, pneumatic tyres, similar to car or truck tyres, are air-filled and provide excellent traction. They are great for outdoor use or uneven surfaces. For heavy-duty applications or harsh terrains, solid rubber tyres, also called super-elastic or puncture-proof tyres, are ideal. They offer the cushioning effect of pneumatic tyres but are puncture-resistant.

The selection of mast type and tyre will depend on your operating environment and requirements. Hyworth’s extensive range ensures that there’s a perfect match for your specific business needs.

The ‘find your perfect match forklift tool’ explained

With an ever-evolving material handling landscape, selecting the right forklift can be a daunting task. To address this challenge, Hyworth has developed an innovative solution: the ‘Find a Perfect Match Forklift Tool‘. This web-based platform simplifies the process of finding the right forklift by offering personalised recommendations based on specific business needs. Let’s explore how this tool works and review a few case studies.

  1. The tool is straightforward to use. Start by visiting this link and navigating to the ‘Find a Perfect Match Forklift Tool’.
  1. The tool will guide you through a series of questions to understand your unique requirements. These include questions about your business type, load weight, lift height, work environment, and more.
  1. After answering the questions, the tool analyses your responses and instantly suggests the most suitable Hyworth forklift models for your needs.
  1. Additionally, the tool also provides detailed information about the recommended models, their features, and how they can benefit your operations.

This tool can radically streamline your forklift selection process. It removes the guesswork and provides expert guidance from our specialists, making it easier than ever to identify the right forklift for your specific business needs.

Case study 1 – PetO’s

PetO, a prominent pet accessory retailer in NSW, sought to modernise their material handling equipment across their 13 stores. The company needed a compact, versatile, and easy-to-use machine to cater to their varied staff skill levels and ensure efficient inventory movement.

Using the ‘Find a Perfect Match Forklift Tool’, PetO was recommended the Hyworth Lithium Electric Pallet Jack. This compact, versatile, and easy-to-use machine perfectly aligned with PetO’s needs. Post-installation, PetO has reported enhanced productivity and satisfaction with the forklift’s performance.

Case study 2 – Melitta

Melitta, an internationally renowned coffee brand, faced a unique challenge. With a rapidly expanding warehouse and plans for relocation, the company needed a versatile forklift solution that could adapt to their changing needs.

Melitta utilised the ‘Find a Perfect Match Forklift Tool’, resulting in the recommendation of the Hyworth 1.4 T Walkie Reach Forklift with a 5500mm lift height. Perfect for their tight warehouse area and tall racking, the machine was also versatile enough to accommodate future relocation and expansion.

After-sales support from Hyworth Forklifts

At Hyworth Forklifts, customer satisfaction doesn’t end at the point of sale. Our commitment to our customers extends well beyond that, offering comprehensive after-sales support that is second to none. We understand that our forklifts play an integral role in your business operations, and therefore, we strive to provide timely and effective support whenever required.

Our team of expert technicians is always ready to assist, providing maintenance, repair, parts replacement, and advice to ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your forklifts. With Hyworth, you’re not just buying a forklift; you’re investing in a partnership for success.


In conclusion, selecting the right forklift is pivotal for the efficiency and success of your business operations. It involves a comprehensive understanding of your business needs, operating environment, load requirements, and safety considerations. Hyworth Forklifts, with its wide range of top-quality models, is committed to providing solutions tailored to your unique needs.

Our commitment extends beyond sales with unmatched after-sales support and operator training, ensuring your forklift continues to add value to your business. With Hyworth, you don’t just get a forklift; you get a reliable partner committed to driving your business forward.

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