Find Reliable, Low Cost Forklifts

Where Do You Need Forklifts?

Takes 60 Seconds

100,000+ Customers

The Best Companies

100% Free

Your Complete Forklift Buyers Guide

It is usually the job of the owner or equipment manager of a company to determine whether it is more financially feasible to rent or buy a brand new piece of equipment, such as a forklift. In many cases, a lot of owners and equipment managers simply default to buying a brand new piece of equipment, without giving any concern to the financial feasibility of such an investment. It is far more prudent to do some research into the topic to see whether it would be better to buy or rent a forklift. If buying is the only option, then there are ways to mitigate the financial impact it could have on the company as a whole. Here we take a look at some of the more pertinent topics associated with purchasing or renting a forklift.

Choosing Between a New and Used Forklift

Sometimes, there is no option but to buy a forklift. When this is the only option presented to you, then you have to consider that buying can be categorized into brand new forklifts and used forklifts. Now, when we consider brand new forklifts, it is prudent to estimate the kind of benefits you're going to get against the cost of maintenance and repairs. Far too often, purchasers simply look at the use that they can get out of a forklift instead of the maintenance costs, writing them off as small liabilities. In the case of a brand new piece of equipment, maintenance costs might rival that of purchase if the unit is not of a respectable brand, or if it requires a constant amount of maintenance throughout its lifetime. On the other hand, a used forklift could save your company thousands in purchasing costs, but maintenance costs could eat into the profits that would be saved from buying a brand new model (which would have much less in terms of maintenance fees). On average, a used forklift could range from $1,000 to upwards of $16,000, with yearly maintenance costs varying between $450 and $2,600 per year. Considering that a brand new forklift would cost between $20,000 to $35,000 with an average maintenance cost of less than $500 per year, you can see that depending on the usage that the forklift would go through, it would impact the decision as to whether a brand new or a used forklift would be a better business investment.

Steps in Buying a Used Forklift

Buying a used forklift can be a headache, and in some cases, if you're not careful you can find yourself intimidated and end up making the wrong decision. Here are four tips to keep in mind when looking to purchase a used forklift.

  • Determine the type of forklift that you need: This hinges on what type of fuel the forklift uses, and what sort of load it is expected to carry. Although some forklifts can carry industrial strength loading, others are only suited for smaller applications and trying to use them for larger, more complex jobs only leads to shortening their working lifespan drastically. Another factor that would affect the viability of the purchase is whether the forklift is going to be used indoors, outdoors or both. Hardier forklifts are better at external jobs whereas indoor-only forklifts tend to have a hard time dealing with more rugged environments.
  • Contact Local Forklift Dealers: This is a double edged sword. When buying a used forklift, it can be a good idea to take a look at local dealers' prices, but more importantly their reputations. Lower prices when it comes to used industrial equipment might end up burning you more than helping you. Alternatively, look at other businesses that use forklifts and that have trustworthy owners to see if you can buy one from them for a fraction of the original cost. Personal interaction would benefit you here.
  • Physically Inspect the Equipment Before Purchase: This point should be obvious, since the usability of the equipment depends on its current state and the price should reflect any defects that the equipment currently has.
  • Complete the Purchase and Arrange for Transfer: handing over of cash and formal transfer of the equipment is the final step. Ensure that the original equipment that you have purchased is the one delivered to you and that all the parts that were working on your original inspection are working on delivery.

Why a Used Forklift May Be a Good Investment

A forklift is a unique and irreplaceable piece of hardware. Where there may be a few other pieces of equipment that can fill in to do other duties, a forklift is usually the only type of equipment that can do the things it is designed to do. This simple reason makes it indispensable for any business requiring its usage. It's because of this unique situation that buying a forklift could affect a company's financial situation massively, as brand new forklift costs can run into the tens of thousands. Alternatively, buying a used forklift might be the way to go. Benefits from buying a used forklift include:

  • Obtaining a piece of equipment at the same standard as a new one, but at a significantly reduced price.
  • Less costs to service the equipment and lower maintenance costs once the used equipment has previously been kept in a good condition.
  • A wide range of possible options for fuel which directly affects the maintenance costs of the unit.
  • The possibility of affording a much larger fleet of vehicles for a fraction of the overall cost.

Buying vs Renting Forklifts

There are times when renting is a better option to buying. This may occur when a company only uses a piece of equipment such as a forklift sparingly and without an everyday need for the equipment. In such cases, renting is by far a better solution to the problem, since renting a forklift hourly comes up to a much lower long term cost than buying and maintaining a forklift. Some owners opt for buying a forklift to keep for business use but also allow for it to be rented to other businesses in the short term to offset maintenance costs. This is also a viable alternative.

Leasing Forklifts

There are a lot of new options for forklifts on the market today and as the field becomes more saturated, affordability becomes a major issue. Many companies are now offering forklift leasing. These options include paying a down payment of up to 30% on the equipment and monthly rental thereafter until the equipment is completely paid off, to simply taking the equipment out on monthly installments without a down payment (but installments in this case are markedly higher). The upside is that it allows smaller companies to afford a brand new piece of equipment; however the overall cost is usually much more.