Forklift Costs: What's Best for Your Budget?

A forklift for your business is no minor investment. With forklifts ranging from $15,000 - $25,000, replacing a forklift or adding another to your fleet is a hefty purchase.

It may seem impossible to get a forklift without accepting a hit to your company’s wallet.

Luckily there are ways to keep forklift costs within your budget and save yourself some money. If you don’t have much to spend, don’t despair. We’re about to talk you through your options. 

Determining Your Forklift Needs

Before you look at buying a forklift, it’s essential to answer a few questions that should determine your budget and what features you are looking for. Several factors determine the pricing of new and used forklifts alike.

These include the capacity, mast size, tire type, fuel type, hydraulic setup, and additional features and accessories.

If you're purchasing a used forklift, the costs may be kept lower through factors such as paint, hours, warranty, the condition, and the year of the model.

You can save money by making sure you don’t purchase any unnecessary bells and whistles. How much money you should be willing to spend on a forklift depends on your need for it.

Before you can make any decisions, ask yourself:

  • How many hours a day do you use the forklift?
  • What capacity will it need to carry?
  • What range of motion is required?
  • Do you need a forklift for the short term or long-term?
  • Are there any particular features that are important to you?
  • Do you need a forklift all year round?
  • What forklift attachments will you need?

These are just a few examples, but you get the gist. 

How to Keep Forklift Costs Within Your Budget 

If you’re struggling (financially) to purchase a new forklift, it may be time to look at other options. Your company might not need a new forklift. In some scenarios, the purchase wouldn’t warrant itself.

Before you look towards buying new equipment, ask yourself if the cost would pay itself back over the next few years. How much need do you have for this equipment? How frequently do you require a forklift?

Depending on your answers, the options below might present a way to get what you need while keeping forklift costs within your budget.

Buying a Used Forklift

The most obvious solution to a limiting budget is to get a forklift second hand. This works especially if your forklift only needs to run for less than four hours each day. A used forklift will be significantly cheaper than the new forklift.

Dealers may also recondition used forklifts to include new paint, tires, and safety features. You may even find a used forklift with warranties included. In fact, some may also be available for upgrades.

Of course, the life span on a used forklift is already reduced by wear and tear. This is why the used option is likely only valid for companies that require limited operation and won’t rely on a forklift constantly (8 hours a day).

Otherwise, the equipment might soon break down, and you won’t have saved any money with repairs and replacements.

Don’t skimp too much on the budget if you are buying a used forklift. Make sure the condition is good, and the seller is trustworthy. Be sure to also see whether the forklift comes with a warranty - this works wonders for putting your mind at ease.

Lease or Finance a Forklift

Lending institutions often offer custom lease products for individual business needs. Forklifts are usually included in such options. Via a lease or finance arrangement, you may be able to save money by skipping lease payments.

This works best for seasonal businesses that don’t have generated monthly revenue. You could also only lease the forklift for two terms, which allows you to walk away at the end of the first period. Often, you can also get the second term much cheaper.

Financing also allows you to accelerate or decelerate payments, which can help keep your interests low or reduce your current expenses until your business picks up.

Rent a Forklift

If you’re not sure how long you'll need a forklift, it makes sense to consider renting the equipment. Often, you can get a discount for long-term commitments.

Another way to keep forklift costs low is the rental purchase option (RPO). This means renting a new or used forklift for a pre-set period. Then, you can purchase the forklift through a portion of the rental payments.

So, it’s crucial to consider your long-term needs and consider whether ownership is beneficial to you.

Don’t Invest in Unnecessary Lift Truck Capacity

If purchasing a forklift is still the best option for you, you can always keep forklift costs down by making the most suitable buying decision. Before you buy forklifts, make sure you know the maximum capacity needed for your applications.  So, it's essential to consider how high items need lifting and what weight will be carried at this height. 

Once you have this info, you can purchase a forklift that meets those needs without overspending on added capacity. Only buy what you need!

Find the Best Forklift Option on a Budget

The price of a forklift might be daunting but remember that many factors can push down forklift costs and save you money. Consider alternative options like renting or financing, and make sure you only invest in the functionality you actually need.

At Carolina Industrial Trucks, we offer forklift rentals as well as top forklift brands from Hyundai, UniCarriers, and Komatsu. Contact us to find out more!