How Much Does a Forklift Cost?

Forklift Inventory helps you find forklifts for sale in your area.

You're in the market for a forklift, but you've got questions. What does a new forklift cost? Is it better to buy used forklifts or new equipment? Where can you find a reliable used forklift for sale at a competitive price?

How Much Does a Forklift Cost?

Buying a forklift is a lot like buying a car or a house: There is an almost unending list of variables that affect the price. A new lift truck is, of course, going to cost more than a similar used vehicle, and the price for either new or used will depend on the specific model and features you choose.

Lift Capacity

One of the main cost considerations of a forklift is how much weight you're able to lift with it. The higher the lift capacity, the more costly the truck. So if you're looking for a basic warehouse vehicle that can lift 3,000 pounds, the forklift cost will be a lot less than if you purchase a large rough terrain forklift with a telescoping boom that can move 15,000 pounds.

Features and Mast

If you need a forklift outfitted for specialized use, you will need to add in the cost of attachments, and you may need to budget for additions to the standard hydraulics. Most lift trucks come equipped to move the forks up and down and manage a side shifter.

If you need a push-pull slip sheet clamp or fork positioners on your forklift, you will probably want to factor in the cost not only of the attachments themselves but also some additional hydraulics.

A basic single-channel mast is going to be less expensive than if you need a double or triple-channel mast to reach higher racking. Niceties such as a heated cab also add to the forklift cost.

Fuel Type

Forklifts have several options for power:

  • Electric
  • Diesel
  • Liquid propane gas

Electric trucks are the most expensive to purchase, but they are ideal for indoor use and have lower overall maintenance costs. Diesel-powered trucks are in the middle price range, and LPG-powered vehicles are the least expensive to purchase but can be more expensive to operate and maintain.

Are New Or Used Forklifts the Better Business Investment?

The best investment for your business depends on your budget and individual situation. There are advantages and disadvantages to both new and used forklifts.

Used equipment has a lower up-front price, but generally costs more to maintain. Older equipment will not have all the latest features and may have some issues due to previous use that you will have to contend with. If you've ever purchased a used car, none of this will come as a surprise.

You may not be aware, however, that there is a drawback to buying new equipment besides the forklift cost. There are often significant wait times between when you order your new forklift and when you can expect to take delivery of it.

This wait in normal times can be several months, and in times when shipping and supply chains are experiencing delays in general, the window can be even longer. You can often have used equipment delivered and ready to use in a matter of days or weeks.

New Equipment

New equipment is available with all the latest innovations and will give you years of service with the least amount of maintenance and minimal downtime. If the purchase price isn't an issue and you can afford to potentially for delivery, then new equipment is a great option.

There is some immediate depreciation on new forklifts, but these trucks retain their value over time, if well-maintained. New forklifts are reliable, and you can outfit yours to your exact specifications.

Used Forklifts

Used lift trucks can also be an excellent investment. You may be able to find a forklift for sale that already has the specific features you want and attachments already fitted on the lift truck. You may be able to find a used forklift for sale in your local area, saving on delivery costs and wait time.

Age, Hours, and Wear

Forklift cost on used equipment drops noticeably as vehicles get older and are less compatible with current models and parts. Similarly, the price will be lower if lift trucks have seen hard use or if they have extremely high hours on them.

Hours on a forklift are like miles on a car; a lot of hours doesn't mean that the vehicle is necessarily worn out but may indicate that the useful life of the forklift is nearing its end. Consider hours along with the overall condition of the truck.

Pay attention to excessive wear and rust, and ensure that parts are available. If at all possible, request the forklift's previous service records. If you find a forklift with a price that seems too good to be true, look closely and proceed with caution. Even older models are valuable if they are operable, and the forklift cost will usually reflect that value.

Timing and Maintenance

With fast delivery times, you can put used forklifts to work on your job site right away. That means you won't have to wait as long to begin to see a return on your investment.

On the downside, you should expect to spend some money on maintenance and lose a little productivity while your machine during servicing and repair periods. Costs vary, but generally, forklifts cost two to three times as much to maintain after the first 5,000 hours of use than they do for the first 5,000 hours.

How Do I Compare Prices on Forklifts?

When you want exact pricing, you need to look at specific vehicles. Once you have a rough idea of what style of truck you need, which features you want, and how much weight you'll need to lift, you'll be able to find a forklift for sale that matches your specs.

The forklift cost will reflect the list of features that are important to you. Compare pricing on new and used forklifts at Forklift Inventory. You'll find forklifts for sale in every size, style, and type right in your local area.

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