How Many Forklifts Do I Need For My Warehouse?


November 15, 2021

Deciding how many forklifts you need for your warehouse depends on several factors. The inventory you store, your company procedures and the time required for moving pallets all impact the number of lifts your business needs.

Consider Your Products

The overall productivity of your warehouse depends largely on the stock you move and the equipment’s abilities. Smaller electric trucks for indoor use are ideal for lighter inventory, while high-capacity forklifts can handle over 20,000 pounds. Higher capacity can also translate into more goods moved in a single lift and possibly reduce the need for an additional truck.

Assess Your Processes

Some logistics professionals prefer to take advantage of multiple trucks and truck types when deciding how many forklifts they should have. They may dedicate one to dock work and another to inside tasks. Others may use burden carriers and trailers for many ground transport jobs and reserve lift trucks for larger pallet moves. Identifying any processes requiring the use of forklifts can help you determine where an additional truck would improve production.

Calculate Your Productivity

Remember that forklift operators are not always moving goods during their workday. They spend time off the lift, too, performing tasks like preparing shipments and updating inventory logs. Review your driver productivity records to determine how many pallets per day your drivers average and how long each lift takes.

Multiply the average number of pallets per day by the average time it takes to move them. The result is the total number of minutes your operators spend lifting in the day. From there, divide the number by 60 for an hourly total. Then, divide the hourly total by the number of forklift operators you have to determine how many trucks you need.

If you plan to use separate trucks for some operations, multiply the result above by the number of dedicated processes for an accurate total. For example, if you want one lift for the dock and another for indoors, multiply the answer by two.

Trust YIT for Your Forklift Needs

We are proud to be a family-owned operation offering industry knowledge for over 45 years. YIT serves the London, Woodbridge and Burlington areas of Ontario and the greater Montreal, Quebec, metropolitan area. If you’re looking for forklifts for sale, our experts are ready to help. We can provide new forklifts, pre-loved inventory, parts and service, or training

Join the YIT family today — contact a team member to learn more or schedule an appointment.

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