Buying used forklifts has its upside and downside. A forklift is a critical part of any manufacturing and logistics operation so choosing the right forklift for the job has consequences for the entire business. As a vehicle, a lift truck has little emotional value (except maybe for the driver) so its advantages and disadvantages are related mostly to efficiency and costs.
Where used forklifts come from
Used forklifts are available in all kinds of brands, models and conditions. At the bottom of the ladder are used forklifts which can be classified as junk. Their only value may come from spare parts which may be cannibalized for forklift parts to use in other trucks. At the other end are slightly-used trucks which have been re-possessed because the owners couldn’t keep up with payments. In between are used forklifts in varying stages of use because they were replaced with newer models or were no longer needed. The exact condition of the used truck will determine its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of used forklifts
The most important advantage of used forklifts is their lower cost compared with brand-new ones. A used lift truck in good working condition can cost as much as 50% less than a brand-new one. Just like cars, top brands of used forklifts may cost more so choosing middle-level or lower-name brands may save you even more. Another advantage of used forklifts is their tested reliability. A used lift truck that has been properly maintained can be just as efficient as a new one. It has proven that it can do the job it was designed to do and any kinks in its brand-new state have been ironed out by the previous owner. Still another plus in favor of used forklifts is the ready availability of parts and service. Presumably, a used forklift is a model that has been around for some time. If it’s a popular brand, this means that aftermarket or reconditioned parts can be found in many supply stores or independent forklift repair shops. This can add to the savings realized from the lower purchase price.
Disadvantages of used forklifts
The main disadvantage of used forklifts is the frequency of repairs and maintenance. A used forklift is precisely that – it’s been used – so all it’s parts have gone through wear and tear in varying degrees. Unless a used truck is in a slightly-used condition, the expense incurred in downtime and repair may greatly reduce the savings from the original purchase price. Experts recommend that if a forklift is to be used more than 4 hours a day, it’s more economical in the long run to buy a new one.
A second disadvantage of used forklifts is in the limitation of choices when you’re looking for a specific type. Forklifts come in different types and the one you’re looking for may not be readily available. This could force you to compromise and settle for a used forklift that’s not ideally suited for the task you have in mind.
Be careful in analyzing your requirements, uses and budgets for a lift truck. If the shoe fits, used forklifts may be the right answer for your business.