Put a Fork in It, You’re Done
By Megan Wild
It doesn’t matter if you live just outside of the city or if you’re far out in the countryside. From meeting your composting and canning needs, cutting and gathering firewood, seeding, planting and harvesting, livestock care and equipment management, you hardly have any time for fun or frivolity. Plus the chicken coops, don’t forget the chickens.
Because of this extensive list of to-dos, it’s important farmers and homesteaders use the best and most reliable equipment possible. On any list by an expert, no matter the length or the purpose, one of the items under suggestion may include the forklift. While usually associated with heavy construction operations, this piece of equipment can be just as useful on dirt as on concrete.
Why Buy a Forklift for the Farm?
When you think of a farm or a ranch, the first thing that comes to mind are planted crops. Crops, dirt, a large red building with white doors, and a green landscape. That’s the universal picture of agriculture, and it rarely includes anything else, at least initially. Surprisingly enough, people don’t usually think of heavy machinery when they think of farming, but homesteads often possess a number of heavy pieces of equipment in addition to industrial-sized containers and items.
Make Basic Grunt Work Easier With a Forklift
Now you’re remembering tractors, aren’t you? Transporting heavy equipment and tools are one of the benefits of having a forklift close at hand on your farm. Work you can accomplish efficiently and effectively with the use of this particular machine includes:
• Lifting and carrying large or heavy farming tools, supplies or smaller-sized machinery
• Loading and unloading produce, bulk bags or animal feed
Alternative Use for Forklifts
This particular function of the forklift has long since been discovered in shipping ports, lumber and junkyards, open-air garden centers and even businesses that use external storage centers. Unlike their construction site counterparts, let’s call them alternative-use forklifts. They have special tires that distribute weight more evenly for the distinct terrain of farmland.
Off-Road Potential for Forklifts
You can’t just grab the first yellow vehicle from your local construction site and drive it to your homestead for use. You’ll crush any crops popping through the surface, ruin your soil and quite possibly get stuck in the mud. Rough terrain work requires the right model of forklift, one that’s adapted to the uneven and unstable nature of country landscapes. You even need the right kind of engine in order to ensure you don’t strain your equipment too heavily.
For alternative-use forklifts, the engine to beat will be diesel. Diesel engines already power a majority of farm equipment, partly because they are a greener option for agricultural use. Also, diesel engines combine efficiency, durability and performance for rough and uneven terrain use, a bonus when operating an alternative-use forklift.
Indoor Work for Forklifts
Anyone who has been to or worked at a home improvement store knows the usefulness of the forklift. Lifting and transporting pallets of items and heavy products or transporting stock materials — the forklift can do it all. If you need to work several levels higher than your legs and arms are capable of reaching, there’s a special type of platform forklift to meet that need. Thanks to the relative absence of harsh weather or uneven terrain, these particular forklifts help workers move and stack boxes and crates, and are modified with safety measures for worker safety.
Additional Uses for Forklifts on a Homestead
Other uses for your forklift, as you have undoubtedly seen the value of the machine while reading this article and have begun shopping online, include plowing snow, towing items and machines and various hay-related chores. You’re going to want to purchase the necessary add-on implements to the forklift in order to use it for these additional operations and make sure you keep your machine clean and well maintained to prevent rust or malfunction.
While purchasing or leasing a new forklift would be preferable, a used machine that’s well-kept and up-to-date can save you on shopping time and get you back to your farm work quickly.
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