FORKLIFTS ARE NOT CARS! CONSIDERATIONS BETWEEN BUYING NEW OR USED FORKLIFTS
ISN’T USED ALWAYS CHEAPER?
The initial capital outlay for a used lift may be lower however, you’re likely to actually pay more for each hour of operation with a used unit. Used forklifts with 4000-5000 hours will often sell for 70% of new truck replacement. Many import forklift models don’t get the expected 10000-12000 hours before major breakdown anymore. Also, with so many dealerships making MOST of their sales margins on used trucks, can you REALLY trust those hour meters?
WHY IS THE COST FOR THE REMAINING LIFESPAN OF USED FORKLIFTS SO HIGH?
What drives this increased cost is the very high demand for used units. While lots of businesses that have forklifts use them heavily (more than several hours per day) an even greater number of businesses only occasionally use their forklift, sometimes as little as one hour per week. No matter how little time per week a forklift is needed, almost every warehouse or business that handles physical materials of any size must have an operational forklift onsite. This creates a vast demand for used equipment that will almost certainly outstrip the supply of equipment that becomes available from lease returns or regular business activity turnover. This high demand in turn drives up used truck prices. This is known in economic terms as “demand-pull inflation”. Consider examples of this “more demand than supply” in your own industry and consider what net effect that would have.
WHAT COLOUR IS YOUR FORKLIFT?
Since there is no vanity associated with your warehouse or forklift equipment it should be treated like production equipment with a service life similar to other business investments that are kept in the long term. Put simply, while there may be changes to your business over time, it is likely you will always require an available and reliable forklift to meet your business’s needs. Incorporating a new forklift into your business means years of reliable uninterrupted service while retaining a high market value.
WHAT’S LEFT ON THE LOT?
Used forklifts are always in high demand and so are usually in very low supply. When considering used trucks don’t forget to factor two major issues into your decision - compatibility and availability. Unlike a car, you’ll want to make sure any forklifts you add to your business will be compatible with your existing fleet and its accessories/attachments. As well, the limited availability of used units means you’ll likely have a far smaller selection when some become ready to buy - don’t forget to consider the availability of replacement parts and required attachments for these used units as well. If you do decide to buy used, make sure you continue to look out for other suitable equipment so that you are not left with unexpected downtime when you can least handle it! The more specialized the gear you need, the harder to find and the more expensive it will be in an “on-demand” situation.
YOUR FORKLIFT ISN’T A CAR - IT’S A LONG-TERM EQUIPMENT INVESTMENT
People are very familiar with the automotive market and will often mistakenly apply lessons learned from buying personal vehicles when deciding on a forklift solution for their business. Ignore the wheels - take a step back and consider your forklift like any other piece of essential equipment for your business. An investment in new equipment now could mean far lower cost per operable hour over the life of the forklift, improved compatibility with your existing equipment, and better cost-efficiency with reduced downtime and repairs.