FAQs

OUR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

1. How often do I need to have my forklift serviced?

2. Why should I buy a used forklift versus a new one?

3. Why should I purchase an electric forklift versus a LPG forklift?

4. What exactly is PM service?

5. How often does my forklift need to have new tires?

6. Do you carry electric pallet jacks?

7. Do you have used pallet jacks?

8. What kind of training do I have to have to operate a forklift?

9. When should I replace my forklift tires?

10. Can I put holes in my forks for towing?

11. When do my forks not meet OSHA requirements?

12. When do my fork extensions need to be reinforced?

13. Can I safely use pallets on my forklift to elevate my employees?

14. How can I load / unload a container when I don’t have a dock?

15. Is my order picker only limited to using pallets?

16. On occasion my forks are to short, Do I need to buy new forks?

 

1. How often do I need to have my electric or propane gas forklift serviced?

It depends on how often you are using it and under what circumstances (for example, a forklift that is used 24 hours per day, 7 days per week will needs service more often than one used only 2 days per week). In general, however, we recommend a lube service at least every 1000 hours or every four months – whichever comes first.

 

2. Why should I buy a used forklift versus a new one?

Forklifts depreciate just like cars do. The moment it is taken off the lot, the forklift immediately goes down in value. However, many companies prefer purchasing new because of the warranties. With First Class’s Better Than New program, we insure that you will receive a fine working machine that carries a longer warranty than a new forklift. You get the best of both worlds. And, if for some reason you really prefer a brand new forklift, we can offer new, as well.

 

3. Why should I purchase an electric forklift versus a LPG (liquid propane gas) forklift?

If your business is involved in working in cold (cold storage or freezers, for example), you must use an electric forklift. An LPG forklift emits gas fumes and heat that will actually raise the level of the temperature in the area in which it is being operated. If, however, you are using your forklift outside where it could possibly rain or snow, LPG is strongly recommended as an electric forklift can short out if it gets wet. In general, an electric forklift is quieter and does not emit fumes, but requires recharging time (which could be substantial, depending on how much it has been used and the voltage of electricity available), while an LPG requires that you get the tank refilled (we recommend that you always have a full spare tank on the premises).

 

4. What exactly is PM service?

PM, or Preventative Maintenance, is a program First Class Forklift offers. After determining how much you use your forklift, we suggest how often you should have basic service performed (oil and filter change, battery check, fluids topped off as well as a host of other items). We set up your service automatically and come out to service your forklift on a regular basis. By servicing your forklift before you have trouble, we can catch many things (a worn belt, for example) that can be taken care of before it becomes a problem and your forklift stops running. PM service is less expensive than a service call and it only takes us about an hour.

 

5. How often does my forklift need to have new tires?

It depends on how often you use it, how heavy your loads are and whether you only run it on smooth surfaces such as concrete or outside on gravel or uneven surfaces. As a general rule, when there is less than one inch from the lettering on the tires to the top of the tires, it is time to change the tires. Remember than changing tires can actually reduce fatigue on the transmission of your forklift as well as operator fatigue. After a tire is worn 40%, the forklift and the driver are absorbing over 84% of the shock if it’s being run over a rough surface. The transmission has to work much harder to turn the tires the same amount of rotation, which can result in a breakdown. Changing tires is an expensive way to keep your forklift and operator in good condition.

 

6. Do you carry electric pallet jacks?

Yes, contact us for pricing.

 

7. Do you have used pallet jacks?

From time to time we do have inventory of used pallet jacks. Contact us for pricing and availability.

 

8. What kind of training do I have to have to operate a forklift?

You are required to have a standard state driver’s license as well as on the job operator training to drive a forklift. In addition, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) also requires that each forklift operator undergo Forklift Safety training. This training insures that each operator can drive a forklift in a safe manner that will not endanger co-workers or company property. OSHA will conduct surprise inspections from time to time and fines can range up to $7000.00 for non-compliance. For more information, refer to OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov. First Class Forklift offers Forklift Operator Safety training at either our location or yours. Please refer to our Training page or call us for more information.

 

9. When should I replace my forklift tires?

Some of the common replies to this question are:

  • When the tire is worn into the sidewall lettering.
  • When the tire is worn to the sidewall center bar.
  • When I can see sparks from the base band.

The truth is there is no clear-cut answer to this question. When replacing a tire you need to consider the ramifications of waiting too long to replace a tire. Each application is different and so each may have a different point where the disadvantages over come any of the benefits of continuing to use a worn tire.

The worn out point cannot be determined by the location of the sidewall lettering or center bar, alone. Since each tire manufacture uses different size lettering and the sidewall height differs based on the size of the tire (for example a 21X7X15 has a shorter sidewall than a 14X41/2X8, but it is a much bigger tire) this should be used more as a guide than the determining factor. Even the outside diameter of the tire varies from manufacture to manufacture especially those tires built to metric standards.

For these reasons we recommend press on tires be replaced when 30 – 40 % of the usable rubber is gone. Based on the recommended 30 – 40% wear point a 21X7 should be replaced when then OD is between 19 and 19.5 inches. This is one reason metric size tires are considered worn out well before full standard size tires, they start out closer to the recommended worn out point.

The benefits of replacing your tires between the 30 to 40 % range is less impact transferred into the vehicle, driver and load. The rubber in the tires is the only “shock absorber” that a forklift has. The less rubber there is the greater the transferred impact. Also as a tire wears, its diameter, and therefore its circumference, is reduced. The tire will turn more to cover a given distance thereby increasing fuel consumption while reducing speed.

Simply put, long term expenses incurred from continuing to use tires beyond their recommended wear point will far exceed any short-term expenses saved.

 

10. Can I put holes in my forks for towing?

No, according to OSHA standards it is not acceptable to put holes in your forks.

 

11. When do my forks not meet OSHA requirements?

When 10% of the fork heel is worn.

 

12. When do my fork extensions need to be reinforced?

No, according to OSHA standards it is not acceptable to put holes in your forks.

 

13. Can I safely use pallets on my forklift to elevate my employees?

No – OSHA requires a safety man basket to elevate employees at all times.

 

14. How can I load / unload a container when I don’t have a dock?

Use a Mobile Yard Ramp. A Mobile Yard Ramp is a safe and efficient way to load and unload a container from ground level.

 

15. Is my order picker only limited to using pallets?

No – There are many order picker platform designs that will help you with your daily production.

 

16. On occasion many forks are too short, Do I need to buy new forks?

No – Not necessarily! Fork extensions are a quick and inexpensive answer to a fork length problem.

First Class Forklift

Address: 9701 Honeywell Rd, Houston, TX 77074

Phone: (832) 740-4887

E-mail: firstclassforklift@gmail.com

News & Events

© Copyright 2017. First Class Forklift. All rights reserved.