Agriculture is one of the largest and most important industries across the Midwest -- especially in Indiana. From large corporate farms to small family-owned operations, all farms are after basically the same thing: better yields and better productivity. While material handling equipment probably won’t help with yields, the right forklift for your farm can have a huge impact on your day to day operations.
So what are the benefits of a forklift for your Indiana farm, and what kind should you use?
The best tools on a farm are usually the most versatile ones, and that’s why forklifts can be such a useful addition to your farm fleet. These are some of the most common and productive uses for forklifts and material handling equipment on farms like yours.
The most obvious and typical use of forklifts on a farm is the same as a factory or supply chain warehouse: lifting and moving pallets, bins, and other heavy loads. Animal feed, seed, fertilizer, and many other farm supplies are typically racked on pallets, making a farm forklift a natural tool for loading and dispersing materials.
In particular, forklifts are great for moving hay bales. Though the forklift may require a particular clamp to handle hay bales, using a lift can allow you to move more bales in a shorter amount of time – not to mention avoiding the strain and bodily wear of lifting hay bales into a truck bed. Building materials for fencing, building sheds or barns, or any other purpose are also a natural fit for forklifts.
Because of their immense torque, a forklift can be a great way to tow other equipment on a farm. Whether it’s a tractor, thresher, or another common piece of machinery, a forklift can be a helping hand if one needs something to be towed around the farm. By using proper towing hookups and following the manufacturer’s specifications, you can easily double the utility of a forklift on your farm.
Storage space can sometimes be a premium on a farm. But adding a forklift to your lineup of farm equipment can allow some more effective space utilization than before. Installing some cost-effective shelving or a mezzanine in a large barn can increase your storage space for seed, feed, and other supplies several times over. Whether it’s pallets, bins, or loose supplies, vertical storage and a forklift can improve your farming operation’s utility, efficiency, and the use of real estate.
Because every farm is unique, we can’t specifically suggest which forklift would work best for you. Instead, we would like you to be aware of some qualities in the forklifts you look at when comparing your options.
Forklifts can use a variety of fuels like diesel, propane, or electric. Each forklift fuel type can work on your farm, and there isn’t a clear advantage on which one would work better. Rather, think about the availability and price of different fuel sources near your farm. That said, be aware of the exhaust from gas and diesel forklifts, and how it might affect different parts of the farm.
Outdoor forklifts should use pneumatic tires over cushion tires, and some more heavy-duty tires may be recommended based on the landscape of your farm.
Forklifts should never be over-encumbered, so be sure any forklifts you rent or buy has enough capacity to lift any possible loads you may put on it.
Some forklifts may perform better in adverse conditions than others, so be sure to check out manufacturers’ info, reviews, and safety warnings about operating lift trucks in adverse weather.
If you’re in the market for a forklift on your farm, or need advice on any other material handling equipment, reach out to the experts at Tynan Equipment Company. Call us today at 317-597-4003 for recommendations, advice, or to speak to one of our many experts.
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