Indoor and Outdoor Uses of Forklifts

Indoor and Outdoor Uses of Forklifts

Mar 23, 2017

The forklift is one of the most important pieces of heavy machinery used in commercial and industrial environments.  Many companies depend on their fleet of forklifts to move product and materials quickly and efficiently, both indoors and outdoors.  The more efficiently the job is done, the better it is for your bottom line.  This makes it very important to choose the right forklift for the specific job and setting.  This guide explains the most common indoor and outdoor uses of forklifts as well as some things to consider when buying a forklift for an indoor or outdoor job.

Indoor Forklift Uses

Forklifts are commonly found in many indoor commercial settings including warehouses, retail stores, and distribution and shipping centers.  These forklifts are needed to transport heavy materials, stack materials for storage, and load and unload trucks.  The basic design of a forklift is best suited for lifting and transporting materials on pallets but they can also transport stacked boxes, drums, and crates.  There are a wide variety of forklifts available that are suited for indoor use and certain features like the size, tires, turn radius, and lifting abilities can be chosen for your specific environment.

Outdoor Forklift Uses

indoor-outdoor-forklifts-chicago-ilForklifts are used in a wide variety of outdoor settings from docks, junkyards, and recycling centers to lumberyards and outdoor home and garden centers.  One industry that puts outdoor forklifts to good use is the construction industry.  Forklifts are used on construction sites to transport heavy building materials as well as dumpsters, portable toilets, and other equipment needed at a jobsite.  Installing a hopper attachment gives a forklift the ability to transport and dump unwanted materials.  Typically, rough terrain forklifts that have a rugged design and high weight capacity are used in outdoor settings.

Electric vs Diesel Forklifts

Electric forklifts are becoming much more popular because they are less expensive to maintain, easy to operate, and much safer for the environment.  However, electric forklifts are not the best option for outdoor jobs.  These smaller, simpler forklifts are best suited for indoor uses and their lack of emissions makes them much safer inside than diesel powered forklifts.  Diesel forklifts are ideal for outdoor use because they have more speed and power and they can operate in tough weather conditions.  The major disadvantage of diesel forklifts is their emissions which makes them dangerous to use in some indoor environments.  It is important to take these differences into consideration when choosing a forklift for indoor or outdoor use.

Forklift Tires

Choosing the right tires for your forklift is extremely important for its safety and effectiveness.  Using the wrong tires for the application or terrain can be dangerous.  The following are the three most common types of forklift tires and their uses:

  • Pneumatic Tires: Pneumatic tires are heavy-duty rubber tires that are inflated with air. These tires have thick, tear resistant rubber with deep treads that can handle tough and uneven terrain.  Pneumatic tires are the best option for outdoor use.
  • Solid Rubber Tires: These tires are made of solid rubber around a metal band, they are not inflated with air. Solid rubber tires can be used for indoor applications but they can only be used for light outdoor work because they do not have the cushion of an inflated tire.
  • Polyurethane Tires: These tires are lightweight and have great traction to handle higher weight capacities. They can also provide balance by counteracting the weight of the forklift batteries.  However, polyurethane tires can only be used indoors.

If your company uses forklifts for indoor and outdoor applications, it is very important to make sure you use the right type of forklifts to best handle each application.  When acquiring a new forklift, you must also consider whether it will be used indoors or outdoors and get the best piece of equipment for the application.  RHI Lifts has a large selection of new and used forklifts for sale that are suited for both indoor and outdoor working environments.  Contact RHI Lifts to learn more about our forklift selection in the Chicago area.

Reasons to Consider Buying a Used Forklift in Chicago

Reasons to Consider Buying a Used Forklift in Chicago

Feb 24, 2017

Forklifts are such an integral part of the job for those who work in warehouses, factories, stockrooms, and other similar environments that it is difficult to imagine completing their jobs without one.  Many companies depend on their fleet of forklifts to complete projects and move product, and getting these jobs done more efficiently will ultimately increase profit margins.  Of course, it is much easier to complete jobs efficiently if you have a larger fleet of well-maintained forklifts.  If you are looking to add to your fleet, there are several benefits to buying a used forklift including reduced cost and high reliability.  The following are the main reasons to consider used forklifts for sale.

Lower Upfront Cost

rhi-lifts-used-forklifts-equipment-for-sale-chicago-ilThe reduced cost is always the first benefit that comes to mind when buying anything used, including forklifts.  Investing in a reliable, used forklift is a great way to help improve your bottom line and increase the profitability of your new equipment.  New forklifts often cost between $15,000 and $25,000 while you can find a quality used forklift for considerably less between $5,000 and $10,000.  Many second-hand forklifts available are very reliable and will perform just as well as a new forklift with a much smaller initial investment.

More Purchasing Power

Choosing to invest in used forklifts increases your purchasing power because you can buy two used forklifts for around the price of one new forklift.  This is a great, cost effective way to increase your fleet and maximize the profitability of your equipment.  You will get twice the production out of two used forklifts than you would out of one new one and for the same initial investment.

Tested in the Chicago Workplace

Used forklifts on the market have already proven their reliability by giving their original owners many productive years.  They have all been workplace tested so you can expect them to continue to be reliable and durable in your workplace.  If you find a used forklift that needs some maintenance, the cost to repair it will be low because forklift parts for older equipment are less expensive than parts for new forklifts. Our used forklifts & equipment will perform no matter what your Chicago business throws at it.

Familiarity in Operation

New forklifts are built with modern features that may make it difficult for even experienced forklift operators to adjust to.  If you buy a new forklift with a brand-new feature, it may take your forklift operators time or additional training to learn to use the equipment properly.  Buying a used, slightly older forklift that your operators are already familiar with will allow them to start using the equipment immediately without any additional training.  You will also be able to continue using your forklift accessories on a used forklift without having to upgrade them like you would with a new forklift.

If your company needs additional forklifts to improve productivity, consider purchasing used forklifts.  By buying used forklifts, you can increase your fleet for less money and get reliable forklifts that are inexpensive to maintain and won’t require additional training for your operators.  RHI Lifts, servicing Chicago, IL and surrounding areas, offers a large selection of used forklifts for sale from many major manufacturers including Toyota, Clark, Mitsubishi, Komatsu, and many others.  Give us a call at (847) 447-0700 to learn more about our selection of used forklifts.

Storage and Parking Lifts

Storage and Parking Lifts

Jan 12, 2017

Our storage and parking lifts are ideal for providing extra vehicle storage for car dealerships, auto repair facilities, and residential garages. We have parking lifts available that can handle 6,000 to 50,000 pounds.

Chicago Forklifts Storage

The Differences Between 3 Wheel Forklifts and 4 Wheel Forklifts

The Differences Between 3 Wheel Forklifts and 4 Wheel Forklifts

Jan 6, 2017

Just like any other type of vehicle, there are many models of forklifts that come in various designs and configurations to handle different types of jobs.  While the forklift types often differ by design and attachments, most models are available in 3 wheel and 4 wheel configurations.  It may not seem like there are major differences between the two options, especially when both configurations are available on the same forklift model, but there are some key differences that you must consider when making a forklift rental or purchase.  This guide explains the advantages and disadvantages to using 4 wheel and 3 wheel forklifts.


3 Wheel Forklifts


The main advantage of 3 wheel forklift models is the small turning radius.  This makes 3 wheel forklifts ideal for working in areas with limited space because they are much easier to handle in these scenarios than larger 4 wheel models.  The dual steer wheel configuration also makes it easy to handle 3 wheel forklifts as the steer wheel is generally mounted in the center under the counterweight.  Another advantage of 3 wheel forklifts is that they are usually more affordable than 4 wheel models.


The biggest disadvantage of 3 wheel forklifts is their limited weight capacity.  These forklifts generally cannot lift more than 5500 pounds because any more weight will make them unstable when they turn which is quite dangerous.  These forklifts are also not suited to handle rough terrain such as gravel, soil, uneven ground, or steep inclines.

4 Wheel Forklifts


The biggest advantage that 4 wheel forklifts have over 3 wheel models is that they can handle a much higher weight capacity.  Some 4 wheel models can handle up to 20,000 pounds and the single steer wheel configuration gives them stable turning when handling heavy loads.  These forklift models can also handle rough terrain and inclines much better than their 3 wheel counterparts.


The one major disadvantage of 4 wheel forklifts is their large turning radius which makes them very difficult to use in tight spaces.  These forklifts are also more expensive than 3 wheel forklift models because they are larger and can handle much bigger load capacities.

If you are looking for a forklift rental or to purchase a new forklift, you must consider your specific needs when choosing between 3 wheel and 4 wheel forklift models.  Jobs that must be done in tight spaces and require light loads are ideal for 3 wheel forklifts while 4 wheel models are suited for heavier loads and rough terrain.  RHI Lifts offers a range of forklifts for sale in the Chicago area and several of our new forklift models are available in 3 wheel and 4 wheel configurations.  Contact RHI Lifts or call us at (847) 923-0374 to talk to us about your options for a new forklift.

The Energy Efficiency of an Electric Forklift

The Energy Efficiency of an Electric Forklift

Jul 29, 2016

“Going green” has become a big priority in many areas of life, especially when it comes to energy usage.  Diesel fuel, gas, and other types of energy sources are slowly being phased out as more cost effective alternatives such as electricity and solar power are being applied to more uses.   This is certainly the case for forklifts as electric forklifts have become a popular alternative to traditional forklifts that run on gasoline.  When a major technology change such as this takes place, it is fair to ask, “is this new development really more effective and cost-efficient than what we already have?”  In the case of electric forklifts, the answer is yes.  These green forklifts will save money due to their efficiency and have a smaller impact on the environment than forklifts that run on gasoline powered combustion engines.

Electric Forklift Operation

The Energy Efficiency of an Electric ForkliftAs the name suggests, electric forklifts run exclusively on electricity and they are charged through a wall plug.  Switching to an electric forklift will instantly save your company money on fuel costs while cutting down on the level of dangerous emissions.  Electric forklifts are also easier and cheaper to maintain than traditional forklifts.  There are less forklift parts in an electric engine than a combustion engine which means there is less of a chance for malfunction.  The maintenance services for electric forklifts are also more affordable as they have increased in popularity.

Environmentally Friendly Features of Electric Forklifts

Electric forklifts use fewer parts than traditional forklifts and they can operate on renewable parts.  This means that forklift parts can be recycled which will save money on replacement parts and help keep your forklift in top shape.  This also eliminates the need to produce and purchase new forklift parts which not only saves money, but also the resources used to produce the parts.  These renewable parts are as reliable as new parts and they are augmented to work every day in demanding environments.

Why Consider an Electric Forklift?

Electric forklifts are cheaper and easier to operate and maintain than traditional forklifts, and they are environmentally friendly because they use renewable parts and electric energy.  Many of the parts that typically wear out on a traditional forklift such as spark plugs, belts, pistons, and catalytic converters are simply not needed on electric forklifts.  With the use of electricity over gas, renewable parts, and less parts to wear out or malfunction, electric forklifts are much cheaper to own and operate.  They are also just as efficient as traditional forklifts so you will not compromise your capability by switching to electric forklifts.

If you are looking for ways to cut production costs or switch to green energy alternatives, electric forklifts are an excellent option.  You can trust electric forklifts to perform all the same work as traditional forklifts for a lower cost of operation while cutting down on dangerous emissions.  You can learn more about electric forklifts and the options we have available for new forklifts by talking to one of our professionals at RHI Lifts.