AML Blog - The Scan

Choosing the Right Forklift Computer: A Buyer’s Guide

In today’s fast-paced industrial environments, selecting the right forklift computer is essential for maximizing efficiency and streamlining operations. As you navigate the world of vehicle mount computers and their applications in material handling, this guide offers insights to help you make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways:

  • What’s a Forklift Computer?: Forklift computers, or vehicle mount computers, are rugged devices designed for industrial use. They play a key role in real-time data capture, inventory management, and improving operational efficiency by streamlining processes and reducing manual data entry errors.
  • Technological Advancements: Modern forklift computers feature high-resolution, glove-friendly touchscreens, advanced connectivity options like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and improved battery life. Their design focuses on durability to withstand harsh industrial conditions, including extreme temperatures, vibrations, and impacts.
  • Key Features: When choosing a forklift computer, consider durability in tough environments, longevity and ease of maintenance, diverse connectivity options, user-friendly interfaces, and customizable software to meet specific operational needs. These features ensure the device improves warehouse efficiency and productivity.

What is a Forklift Computer?

Firebird Forklift Computer

A forklift computer, commonly known as a vehicle mount computer, is a specialized, rugged device engineered to be affixed to forklifts and other industrial vehicles. These devices are built to handle the harsh conditions of industrial settings, including extreme temperatures, vibrations, and potential impacts.

Forklift computers serve as the central hub for managing critical data in real-time. They are key in operations such as:

  • Real-Time Data Capture: These computers enable forklift operators to scan barcodes, record inventory levels, and update warehouse management systems on the fly, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing the likelihood of errors.
  • Inventory Management: With integrated applications, these devices assist in tracking stock levels, location of goods, and monitoring inventory movement, thus streamlining the entire process of inventory management.
  • Operational Efficiency: By providing instant access to information like shipment schedules, loading and unloading instructions, and real-time communication with warehouse managers, these computers significantly boost operational efficiency.

Advancements in Forklift Computers

Firebird forklift computer

The evolution of forklift computers shows significant technological strides, leading to enhanced functionalities that are pivotal in modern industrial settings. The current generation of forklift computers brings a lot of advanced features.

High-resolution, glove-friendly touchscreen displays are now standard, offering ease of operation in various lighting conditions and simplifying user interaction. This feature is needed in environments where operators may be wearing protective gear.

Connectivity has taken a leap forward recently. Modern forklift computers incorporate Wi-Fi capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity, and, in some cases, cellular network connectivity. This wide range of connectivity options provides seamless communication across extensive warehouse spaces, providing real-time data transmission and receipt.

Battery technology in these computers has also seen significant improvements. The latest models boast long-lasting battery life, a critical feature for operations that run through extended shifts. This ensures that the devices remain operational throughout the workday without the need for frequent charging, which minimizes downtime.

The design and build of these computers are specifically tailored to withstand the challenges of industrial environments. They are constructed to be dust and water-resistant and can endure significant drops and impacts. This rugged design is essential for devices that are used in scenarios where they are exposed to rough handling and extreme environmental conditions.

Forklift Mounted Computers Features to Look For

forklift kiosk portrait mode

Durability in Harsh Environments

A high-quality forklift computer must excel in durability. It should be capable of withstanding the intense conditions often found in warehouses, such as constant vibration, shock from accidental drops, and extreme temperature fluctuations. Look for computers that have a solid build, are tested for ruggedness, and come with certifications for industrial use.

Longevity and Maintenance

The longevity of the device is also something to think about. A good forklift computer should have a lifespan that justifies its investment. This includes not only the hardware’s durability but also the ease of maintenance and availability of parts and service. A device that can be easily serviced and maintained will ensure minimal downtime and extend its useful life.

Broad Range of Connectivity

In today’s age of interconnected devices, a forklift computer must offer a variety of connectivity options. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are essential for wireless communication within the warehouse. They allow for real-time data exchange between the forklift computer and the central warehouse management system.

USB and Other Ports

The inclusion of USB ports and other connectivity ports is also important. These ports enable the computer to connect with various peripherals, such as barcode scanners, printers, or additional displays, further enhancing its functionality.

User-Friendly Interface

Firebird VMU for forklift

The user interface of the forklift computer should be intuitive and easy to navigate. Forklift operators often need to access information quickly; thus, a complicated interface can hinder their efficiency. Look for devices with clear, readable displays and touchscreens that are responsive even when the operator is wearing gloves.

Customizable Software

Software that can be customized to suit the specific needs of your operations can significantly improve efficiency. The ability to tailor the software interface to display only the most relevant information for each task helps reduce distractions and streamline workflow.


With the right forklift computer, your warehouse operations can achieve new heights of efficiency and accuracy. The ideal solution varies depending on your specific needs, but the key is in choosing a device that offers reliable performance is suited to your industrial environment, and improves the productivity of your forklift operators.

Ready to Download Choosing the Right Forklift Computer: A Buyer’s Guide
Please press “Accept” to download your copy of the Choosing the Right Forklift Computer: A Buyer’s Guide. The software download should begin immediately.

If you are having difficulties with receiving your software download file, please contact us directly. Or call 800-648-4452