How Do I Choose the Best Forklift Motor?

Jordan Weagly

When attempting to choose the best forklift motor, it is important to consider the age, type and power best suited to the forklift. The best forklift motors also should be reliable, free of defects and easy to service. Matching the motor to the forklift engine and the rest of these factors can mean the difference between safe, effective operation and a dangerous, ineffective forklift.

Age, type, and power are all things to consider when buying a new forklift motor.
Age, type, and power are all things to consider when buying a new forklift motor.

Age is an important factor for motors, especially with forklifts, which must lift in addition to driving around. A new forklift motor might be the best option in many cases, though budgetary constraints may then become an issue. Otherwise, getting used a forklift motor and other used parts can be just as effective, especially if the motor has properly maintained. Certain types of motors might last longer than others at maximum efficiency.

Forklifts perform various jobs related to lifting, and motor type usually follows the function of a forklift. Generally, forklifts are powered by electricity or internal combustion. This difference will determine many aspects — including the class, size and power of a forklift — in addition to the motor requirements. The type of forklift engine also can determine whether the vehicle tires are pneumatic or solid, which may in turn require a certain motor configuration.

Motor type is an important factor in determining the capabilities of a forklift. For instance, forklift motors powered by a battery might work best for indoor environments, while an internal combustion forklift engine might work best outdoors. Underpowered engines will likely struggle to perform and can even create dangerous working conditions. A forklift motor should be able to power whatever load is necessary for a given forklift and also should be equivalent to the original motor as specified by the manufacturer.

Choosing the best forklift motor requires finding the manufacturers that make the most reliable models for a given job. Checking trade publications and user reviews can help in finding motors that seem to last the longest with the least problems. A forklift motor will often have a reputation or be considered standard to a certain industry or type of machine.

Manufacturer also can determine whether parts and service will be available if a forklift motor requires maintenance. A well-known manufacturer also might have the resources to design and create dependable motors while an obscure company might lack the resources or experience. Regardless of manufacturer, it is important to check the motor for defects before and after installation in a forklift.

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