BUYING SMARTER - USED FORKLIFTS MAY NOT BE THE LOWEST COST
DOESN’T EVERYONE BUY USED?
The wider forklift market generally buys used, and even the largest organizations will sometimes buy used equipment to save money in initial costs. However, a closer look at the market reveals that often a new forklift may be more cost-effective over time, more productive, and with less downtime.
BUT WON’T I GET BETTER VALUE BUYING A USED FORKLIFT?
Not necessarily. Forklifts retain their value very differently than you might expect, exactly opposite to the familiar low cost/lower demand market for used cars. In contrast, demand for used forklifts tends to stay very high while the supply of quality used lifts is consistently low. This means used forklifts depreciate differently than cars - often a forklift with less than half its rated lifespan remaining will sell for greater than 70% of its initial cost. So when considered over a long period of usage, a used forklift with a lower initial cost can actually be less cost-efficient in the long run.
AREN’T USED FORKLIFTS LESS EXPENSIVE?
A used forklift may appear to cost less, however many often fail to consider the higher cost of downtime and repairs that comes with used equipment. Reliability and durability should also be a priority in your purchase decision along with the sticker price. Many small and medium-sized businesses rely on their forklift working every time they get on it and can not manage any kind of downtime at all. Since there are more and more forklifts and fewer technicians available to service them, downtimes can be lengthy while waiting for repair technician availability, parts, and the repairs themselves. Many businesses have to rent a replacement to prevent further interruption to their workflow.
If your forklift needs to work every time all the time, then buying a used machine, even a decent late-model one, is adding more risk than it might be worth in savings. Being forced to rent a machine once or twice a year for a few days and the cost of repairs will eat up your savings from an initial purchase pretty quickly. And that’s over and above the cost of downtime, lost productivity and hassle.
HOW DO I INVEST IN THE RIGHT SOLUTION?
The right lift solution for your business is about more than the initial cost of the forklift. Consider your daily processes and your reliance on your lift solution when deciding between new and used. How essential it is to have a functioning forklift at your business - is it a show-stopping point of failure if your forklift won’t lift unexpectedly? Would you be able to meet your customer’s expectations? How much would those delays in productivity cost? Next, ask yourself how long you expect to have this equipment in service. Most businesses will always need a forklift - in which case a longer-term, more cost-effective investment in a new lift will provide decades of dependable service while retaining a high resale value.
Not sure what is the right choice for your business? Reach out to us with some of your details - We would be happy to help assess your current and future needs and find the lift solution that’s right for your business.