6 Considerations Before Buying A New Electric Forklift Truck

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A large yellow forklift is parked outdoors, with palm trees and other equipment in the background.
A large yellow forklift is parked outdoors, with palm trees and other equipment in the background.

Here are 6 key considerations when investing in a new electric forklift truck, and how doing so can improve efficiency and safety in your material handling operations.

Upgrading a forklift can boost efficiency and productivity, but how can one know when it's time for a new one? To ensure smooth operations, consider these 6 key factors before investing in a brand-new electric-powered forklift truck.

  1. Cost of Ownership vs. Business Value

    In the first year of service, the maintenance cost per hour is typically low because the new forklift barely experiences wear and tear. However, as it ages, the maintenance cost, including fees for protection and repairs due to wear and tear, can increase significantly.

    For example, a business that owns an old forklift that has been used for over seven years. The forklift required $15,000 in repair and maintenance in the past year. Over this period, the forklift operated for 1,800 hours; the maintenance cost per hour can be calculated by dividing the total annual maintenance cost by the total operational hours, resulting in a maintenance cost of approximately $8.3 per operation hour ($15,000/ 1,800 hours).

    On the other hand, the maintenance cost for a new forklift is approximately $5,000 per year due to less wear and tear. The new forklift operates for the same 1,800 hours per year as the old one, resulting in a maintenance cost of approximately $2.78 per hour for the new forklift, showing how ageing equipment leads to higher costs and reduced returns of investment.

  2. Problematic Forklifts

    Recognising the need to retire "problem" forklifts is crucial. Significant increases in maintenance expenses, frequent work orders, and poor maintenance practices all signal the need for retirement. Forklifts neglected from maintenance will further raise repair costs and can shorten their lifespan.

  3. Assessing Maintenance Cost vs. Resale Value

    To decide when to retire a forklift, compare annual maintenance costs to resale value. If maintenance costs exceed the resale value, it is financially wise to retire the forklift. Research online and contact industry experts to find out the price of your forklift. Use Get Quotes on IndustrySearch to compare prices of newer model Electric Forklifts and connect with suppliers who can assist with valuation on your old one.

  4. Understanding The Forklift’s Lifespan

    If a forklift is used heavily across multiple jobs, replacing it with newer, more efficient one might be more cost-effective. Investing in new machinery can lead to long-term savings and improved operational efficiency.

  5. Safety and Operational Concerns During Material Handling

    Outdated safety features, frequent downtime, and regular mechanical failures are also signs that it may be time to retire a forklift for a safer work environment. Consider retiring a forklift if its safety features need renewal, if the downtime is too long, or if it has fatal mechanical failures.

  6. Technology Update Consideration

    Upgrading to a newer model with the latest technology can bring significant business benefits and an improved material handling process. These include increased productivity, improved security, and industry compliance. Increased productivity can save lots of cost in the long run.

In conclusion, when deciding whether to replace a forklift, consider maintenance costs, resale value, efficiency, and safety. By analysing these factors and remaining proactive in their maintenance work, companies can make informed decisions about forklift replacements. This ensures efficiency, reduces downtime and increases safety in the workplace, contributing to the overall working environment

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When should I replace my forklift?

Age, high maintenance costs, poor performance, safety issues, and outdated technology are signs that it may be time for a replacement. If your forklift is older, breaks down frequently, or lacks modern safety features, consider upgrading to a new forklift.

Why buy a new forklift?

There are many advantages to buying a new forklift compared to using old equipment. The new forklifts are more efficient and have advanced safety features and technology. Maintenance costs are generally lower, and resale value is higher than older models. This makes them an ideal investment to improve productivity and safety in your workplace.

What do you check on an electric forklift during maintenance?

Regular maintenance of electric forklifts is essential. The main things to check are the battery, charger, electrical system, hydraulic system, brakes, tyres and wheels, frame, and operator controls. By inspecting these things regularly, you can fix any issues quickly, prolong the life of your forklift and ensure safe operation.

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