Top 10 questions to ask when selecting a hooklift
Whether you operate only one truck or oversee an entire fleet, operate in building and construction or waste and recycling, it is important to choose wisely to get the best performance for your hooklift investment.
Here are some of the most important things to consider when choosing a hooklift.
1. Do I need sliding or tilting movement for my hooklift, or a combination?
The various movements offer different benefits depending on your application and situation. For example, a combination that offers low angles for body change and transferring the body to/from a drawbar trailer can be helpful in low headroom applications.
2. How often during the day do I need to lower, tip, change bodies, etc.?
Some applications, such as waste and recycling, involve many body changes during daily routines. Others require frequent tipping and lowering, such as using your truck as a dumper for transporting soil or gravel. The faster your hooklift can perform these functions, the more you can do in less time — directly translating to higher profits. Check for increased speed and sequence options in your hooklift choices.
3. Will I need to carry taller demountable bodies?
Taller demountable bodies, of course, mean you can carry more payload per trip. To accommodate their height and the added weight, you need a hooklift with lower installation height and lighter weight.
4. Is my work done within the same conditions every day, or do I at times encounter situations that need more power or reach?
For routine and repetitive work, there is no reason to pay extra for power reserves you do not need. However, in applications where loads vary or you sometimes need a power boost close to the body or during an extra-long reach, a built-in power reserve means you can complete jobs others cannot.
5. What type of controls work best for my work situation, safety and budget?
Hooklifts are available with different types of control systems — from tried-and-true pneumatic controls to state-of-the-art PLC (Programmable Logic Controls). Yet smart control is not just about technology. It is also about thinking ahead. Today, you may need only in-cab and outside controls. Tomorrow, you may need radio control. So make sure your hooklift offers flexibility for easy retrofitting.
6. Do I work in locations where noise pollution can be a problem?
When your work takes you to or through city, suburban or other zones with strict noise regulations, it is important to ensure your hooklift can accommodate them with short cycle times, low engine RPMs and less friction.
7. What safety standards do I need to follow or set?
Safety can never be underestimated. Look for hooklifts with critical safety elements in place — such as automatic latches, safety interlocks and stabilizers — as well as smart functions to alert you before trouble happens.
8. How important is it for my business to save on fuel consumption?
Fuel consumption is a huge drain on your budget, not to mention on our environment. A variety of factors impact reducing fuel consumption (and emissions) including the weight of the frame and components, higher payload per trip, regenerative systems, energy-efficient hydraulics and more.
9. What help is available for service and to ensure my hooklift complies with inspection protocols?
You do not make money with a hooklift that spends more time in service than in operation. Look for options that take care of routine hooklift services and inspections — from planning to follow-up. This gives you the highest probability of avoiding unnecessary and unexpected downtime so you can produce as planned.
10. Do I plan to upgrade or change my hooklift in the future?
Resale value is an important consideration for many hooklift owners. If you plan to upgrade or change your hooklift in the future, take an extra close look at the durability and ease of care, as well as the long-term service and warranty support available.