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Your Go-To Guide For Buying A Forklift in Singapore

guide for buying forklift

From the basic necessities to optional features, here's ALL you need to know about purchasing and owning a forklift in Singapore.

man holding the seat and steering wheel of forklift

The Basics: What you should look for in a forklift

1. Tonnage/Capacity

The load size of your goods determines the forklift tonnage you need.

Here's a rule of thumb: a suitable forklift should have a gross weight of at least 1 ton more than the stated lifting capacity. So, for example, a 2.5-tonnage forklift should have a gross weight of around 3.5 tons.

2. Fuel Type

Many factors determine the type of fuel that powers your forklift. The main two types are:

Diesel – Affordable, low maintenance, and emits smoke.

Electric – Costs more but has cleaner emissions.

Forklifts also come in gasoline, LPG, and hybrid models, but these are less common.

Most forklifts in Singapore use diesel for general applications. However, some industries, such as those operating in the food sector, require non-diesel forklifts.

3. Lifting Height, Mast, and Overall Height

Before buying your forklift, two good questions to ask are:

• How high do you need to lift goods?

• Will the machine be operating in an area with a height restriction?

You'll need a machine with a low overall height when working in a space with height restrictions. For example, in Singapore, container loading and unloading is a common job for forklifts. So when you need your forklift to access the inside of the container, you'll definitely need a machine with a low mast!

A lower mast is achieved by adding extra stages to the mast extension. A basic model forklift only has 2-stages. Adding additional stages to the mast will entail a higher cost but lower mast height; therefore, a 3-stage (low-mast) forklift is more expensive than a 2-stage machine.

Forklifts with low masts are usually 2.2 meters tall, small enough to fit inside a container that's 2.3 meters in height.

Opting for a high mast model can save you money on your initial purchase if the overall height is not an issue. However, if you plan on reselling your forklift, buyers typically prefer low mast models, at least in the Singapore market.

Lastly, your machine's lifting capacity is also important to consider. Lift capacity decreases the higher your forklift lifts. For example, if you need to raise 2 tons of goods to a height of 4.5 meters, you'll need a forklift with a 2.5-tonnage capacity instead of a 2-tonnage forklift.

tools in the box

Optional Parts & Features: What you should consider

Factor these features based on the types of jobs you want your forklift to do and the location of your operations.

1. Fork length

This depends on the base dimensions of your goods and pallets.

Fork lengths usually come at around 1,220 millimetres in length here in Singapore, so ensure the fork is long enough to reach the loaded good's centre of gravity.

2. Attachments & accessories

Entry-level forklifts will have lifting and tilting as primary functions. The most common attachment is the side shifter which is an additional valve that allows your fork to move side-to-side.

Most forklifts in Singapore will feature a side shifter. Buying a machine that doesn't have one may save you a few hundred dollars; however, the resale market prefers forklifts with a side shifter.

3. Tyres

In Singapore, almost all forklifts use a solid tyre because It's puncture-proof and safer but also costs more than a pneumatic tyre.

On the other hand, pneumatic tyres offer more steering comfort and are more affordable than solid tyres but are more prone to punctures.

men checking parts of forklift

Necessary considerations: These will determine which forklift you'll choose.

1. Price

Price is what drives the majority of your purchasing decisions. Some brands may offer very low prices but poor value with their products. When purchasing a forklift, always check if the machine's price tag matches its value – an example would be checking if its resale value is high or if the seller offers flexible payment options suited to your needs. At Scantruck, we believe in providing value to all of our customers!

2. After-sales support

Beyond your purchase lies additional maintenance costs and servicing. You better make sure that whoever sells you your forklift has a good record of after-sales support.

Always ask your forklift seller what they include in their after-sales support (or if they even have one).

Scantruck is the sole distributor of Komatsu forklifts – a 100% reliable Japanese brand – in Singapore and West Malaysia.

We'll provide you with ALL the information you need to make an informed decision. Invest in or rent a forklift from us, and we'll provide you with the types of forklifts suited for your needs.

We also offer flexible payment options and excellent after-sales support for 100% customer satisfaction.

Request a FREE quote on our Komatsu forklift today at 6305 6600.

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