Forklift trucks are our unsung heroes, playing a vital role in industry. They are the sturdy workhorses that ensure that goods are in the right place. If you’re looking to buy a forklift you need to decide whether to opt for a brand new one or a used model. We consider your options for you.
New Vehicles The Pros and Cons
Everyone loves a shiny new piece of kit, fresh from the showroom. Buying a new forklift does have its advantages. With a “fresh off the production line” model you will have few reliability issues or safety concerns if problems do arise, the warranty will cover repair or parts replacement. New forklifts offer you reassurance and peace of mind that they can get on with the job immediately, keeping turnover high and boosting your profits.
Set against this, of course, is the high initial outlay you will have to make to purchase a brand new machine as opposed to a used forklift from a company who specialize in used models, such as Trucks Direct. Because they are complex, heavy-duty working machines, they do not come cheap and will set you back upwards of 1,000 for even the most basic model.
A new model may be necessary if the following conditions apply to you and your company or organization: the forklift is used for more than one shift a day, it is used more than 5 hours per day, 5 days a week and if it is used as part of a heavy-duty workload environment.
The Used Forklift Truck Market
Used forklift trucks have many advantages over new vehicles, not least of which is the lower initial purchase cost. If budget constraints are a major consideration for your business, a used forklift may be your only viable option.
There are, however, other factors to consider too. Firstly, you should weigh the purchase price against the possible cost of any maintenance which your vehicle may require forklifts which are in frequent and heavy use will need downtime to maintain health and safety requirements. You should also consider the cost of spare parts in older machines and their availability if your truck is out of action, you’ll be losing money.
Questions to ask your used forklift dealer include whether the maintenance records and operating logs are up-to-date and if vehicle checks have been done by an approved mechanic. You should also ensure a physical check is made of the machine, perhaps by a qualified driver. Points to look out for are:
- Does the mast function correctly when both loaded and unloaded?
- Is the operation smooth or is there evidence of binding and/or slippage?
- Are there any leaks?
- Are the tyres in good condition?
Even though your specific circumstances and financial position will determine your final decision, it’s generally agreed that a carefully-maintained used forklift is a great option for most businesses.
Mary writes regularly on industry transportation for a range of warehousing and distribution websites and blogs. Her current focus is on the used forklift truck market and what expectations buyers have in terms of value-for-money when they make a purchase from companies such as Trucks Direct.