The Ultimate Guide to Buying Your First Forklift


Purchasing your first forklift is a monumental step for any business in the logistics, construction, or manufacturing sectors. A forklift can significantly improve your operational efficiency, but the buying process can be daunting. This guide aims to demystify the process, providing you with the essential information you need to make a well-informed decision.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding Your Needs
  2. New vs. Used Forklifts
  3. Types of Forklifts
  4. Key Features to Consider
  5. Cost Factors
  6. Financing Options
  7. Where to Buy
  8. Conclusion

Understanding Your Needs

Assess Your Work Environment

Before diving into the various models and features, take a step back and evaluate your work environment. Are you operating indoors or outdoors? What types of materials will you be lifting? What are their average weight and dimensions? These factors will significantly influence the type of forklift that will best suit your needs.

Determine Frequency of Use

The frequency with which you’ll use the forklift is another critical factor. If your operations require constant lifting and moving, investing in a high-quality, new forklift may be more cost-effective in the long run.

New vs. Used Forklifts

Advantages of New Forklifts

New forklifts come with the latest technology, full manufacturer warranties, and the option to customise features to suit your specific needs. They are generally more reliable and may offer better fuel efficiency.

Advantages of Used Forklifts

Used forklifts are ideal for businesses on a budget. They offer lower upfront costs, quicker delivery times, and are generally sufficient for operations that don’t require constant use of the forklift.

Types of Forklifts

Electric Forklifts

Electric forklifts are best suited for indoor operations. They are quieter and emit no fumes, making them environmentally friendly and ideal for confined spaces.

Diesel Forklifts

Diesel forklifts are powerful machines designed for heavy lifting, primarily outdoors. They are more rugged and can handle rough terrains but do emit fumes.

LPG Forklifts

LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) forklifts offer a middle-ground solution. They are versatile enough for both indoor and outdoor use and offer decent power without the fumes associated with diesel models.

Key Features to Consider

Load Capacity

The load capacity is one of the most critical features to consider. Overloading a forklift can lead to severe accidents and damage to the machine. Always opt for a model that can handle more than your average load to ensure safety.

Lift Height

Your operations may require lifting materials to various heights. Make sure the forklift you choose can reach these heights comfortably.


If your workspace is tight or filled with obstacles, a forklift with a smaller turning radius will be invaluable. This feature allows for easier navigation in confined spaces.

Cost Factors

Initial Purchase Price

The upfront cost is often the most apparent factor, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. New forklifts will generally be more expensive but may offer long-term benefits like lower maintenance costs.


Regular maintenance is essential for the longevity of your forklift. Factor in these costs when making your decision.


Different types of forklifts have varying fuel costs. Electric forklifts may have higher upfront costs but can be cheaper to run in the long term.

Financing Options

Outright Purchase

If you have the capital, an outright purchase is straightforward but requires a significant upfront investment.


Leasing offers the flexibility of lower monthly or yearly payments, with the option to purchase the forklift at the end of the lease term.

Hire Purchase

With a hire purchase agreement, you can pay in instalments and own the forklift outright at the end of the term, offering a balance between leasing and outright purchase.

Where to Buy

Allied Forklifts in Malaga, Western Australia, is your go-to destination for a wide range of new and used forklifts. Our team of experts can guide you through the entire buying process, ensuring you choose the forklift that best suits your operational needs.


Purchasing your first forklift is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. By understanding your needs, weighing the pros and cons of new vs. used options, and evaluating essential features, you can make an informed choice. Consult with experts and explore financing options to make the process smoother and more manageable.

For more information or to explore our range of forklifts, visit Allied Forklifts in Malaga, Western Australia, or contact us today.