Buying – New vs Used Forklifts -What’s Best for your Company
The obvious reason to purchase used over new is the price. A used forklift can save you as much as 50% of the cost of a new forklift but it will vary depending on the age and condition of that lift truck. If you are only using the lift truck two or three hours a day then it may not make economic sense to invest more for a new forklift. If the lift truck is to be used four or more hours a day then it is recommended to purchase a new or nearly new machine.
Smaller companies just starting may want to opt for a less expensive used unit. Also a used specialty piece of equipment that is only utilized on an infrequent basis should be strongly considered over new. Renting this type of equipment is also a viable option but the downside is that it may not be available when you need it.
If leasing is a consideration of your purchase you should be aware that lease rates are normally higher for used forklifts than new forklifts. New truck leases can also be extended for longer terms than that of a used forklift purchase which also will reduce the payments. Residual amounts are also more flexible with new units but in both cases are heavily dependent on environmental and usage considerations. Many companies structure the lease to include maintenance to better budget the total cost for their business operation. Longer warranty programs provided by the new lift truck manufacturers also help reduce the chance of unexpected major repairs with new versus used lift trucks.
Lastly, used and nearly new units may be readily available whereas you may have to wait several weeks or months to take delivery of a new forklift, especially if it has specifically required options. As always, when purchasing a used unit, it is “buyer beware” so purchasing from a reputable dealer who will stand behind the units is strongly recommended.
Regularly scheduled forklift maintenance programs will significantly increase the life of either purchase and save you money in the long run.