Should I Purchase New or Used Forklifts?

Should I Purchase New or Used Forklifts?

The question often asked: should I purchase a new or used forklift for my operation? Making a well thought out purchasing decision for your material handling needs has major benefits giving you longer life at a lower operating cost.

Know your operation before you shop for a Forklift (New or Used):

  1. How many hours a day/week/month/year do I operate?
  2. How many shifts do I operate? How many hours per shift?
  3. What is your top shelf Height?
  4. What is your heaviest load weight?
  5. What are your load dimensions: length, width, height?
  6. Aisle Dimensions (Load to Load) or clear aisle dimension?
  7. Type of floors and condition of floors, ramp dimensions (determine grade), dock equipment type, door heights and any other clearances?
  8. Preference of electric, LP Gas, Diesel. (Some of the above will help determine what will work in your operation)

Once you have collected your operation data, you are ready to meet with Forklift Professionals.

Hour Rule of Thumb:

  1. If (.5 to 2) hours a day of operation, you are probably safe with a used Forklift.
  2. If you run more than 2.5 hours a day you should be leaning towards a new Forklift. (This will have some variables depending on how long you need it in operation)

Things to consider when looking at used Forklifts:

  • How many hours are on the proposed forklift?
  • Ask what kind of operation did it come out of? (If harsh application, you need to look closer at the unit condition)
  • Who will be servicing your forklifts? Is your current service personnel trained to work on the replacement forklift whether new or used?
  • Is a maintenance history available so you can verify the accuracy of the hour meter reading?
  • Visually look the unit over.  A condition report is helpful.
  • What is the reputation of the dealership?  Ask for some references of customers they have purchased used trucks from them.
  • Call the customers and ask some questions about their experience with the purchase? How has their maintenance been? Do they have a good supply of Forklift Parts on their service trucks and in stock?

These are just a few items to help you begin your search for material handling equipment also what you might consider when you are trying to determine if you should purchase new or used forklifts. Take time to look close at the machine once you have some proposals.

In a future article we will give you items that you should take a closer look at when you see the forklift. Helping you verify there is not any excessively worn out components or more important it is in the condition they have told you.

Electric Used Forklifts have an additional component you need to investigate; the Industrial Battery. This is a costly part of the equipment and if the battery fails shortly after your purchase, depending on the type of Forklift it can cost you $3,000.00 to $7,000.00 replace. We will discuss more in future articles.

Take the time to investigate your operation, know it and then shop for the equipment, it will help you identify the right Forklift for your operation, helping you have a good long life at a lower cost of operation.

Forklifts are a money saving tool for your operation. Make the right decision and buy from the right company, buy new or used based on your needs, investigate and make a safe purchase with a reputable dealer.