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Signs It Is Time to Buy a Forklift

The decision to buy a forklift can be a pricey one, and isn't always necessary, depending upon whether or not you can simply replace or repair parts. However, there are certain indications that your machine's useful life is coming to an end. Here are a few signs that it is time to buy a forklift.


Buy a forklift when maintenance costs begin to increase.

A comprehensive maintenance plan for your forklift is an important way to extend its lifespan. Keeping your forklift well-maintained and keeping up with regular tasks, like oil changes and inspections, can prevent major breakdowns that might force you to buy a forklift early.

However, as a forklift ages, maintenance may begin to cost more than it is worth. For example, you may find that an oil leak requires frequent oil changes, which also means more frequent downtime for your machine and more frequent expenses. More and more small things may go wrong with your machine. Eventually, you may find that your forklift is nickeling and diming you to death, digging a hole in your financial pocket that is not worth the continued use you are getting from the machine.

While the point at which the cost of buying a forklift is worth the maintenance savings is subjective, it is an important consideration as your forklift ages. When you feel as if the maintenance is no longer financially worth it, it may be time to buy a new forklift for your fleet.


Buy a forklift when the machine reaches its maximum useful hours.

Most forklifts have a certain useful lifespan. While they may last a little longer than the maximum lifespan, you can usually depend on needing to replace your machine after it has been used for anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 hours. These hours typically translate into 5-7 years, if a forklift is heavily used.

While the number of hours you place on a forklift is not the only determining factor in whether to buy a forklift, it should play a role in determining when to retire your current machine in favor of a new one. For example, if your machine has run for 12,000 hours, you may want to keep an eye out for a good deal on a new or used forklift. Chances are, you will need it soon.

When a forklift's hours are reaching the upper limit of its lifespan and you notice an uptick in maintenance or repair costs, then you definitely need to buy a forklift. Those increased maintenance and repair costs are red flags showing you that your aging forklift is about at the end of its life.


Buy a forklift when faced with multiple worn out parts.

Typically, when a forklift part breaks, you replace it. For example, you may replace tires, forklift forks, masts, or other pieces of the machine as they wear out. However, occasionally, especially as a forklift ages, you may find that several parts wear out and require replacement at the same time.

When faced with multiple worn out parts at once, or in quick succession, you may want to buy a forklift rather than replace the parts. Financially, the purchase price of a reliable machine with low maintenance and parts repair costs may outweigh the expense of replacing multiple parts. This may be especially true if your forklift is aging and you anticipate getting limited use out of it in the future.


Buy a forklift when it experiences major part failures.

Many forklift parts are easily replaceable. From tires to masts, these parts present reasonable replacement costs that make them more economical to repair than to buy a forklift. Hiring a reliable technician to maintain and update your forklift can save you significant money over replacing your machine every time something goes wrong.

However, there are certain breakdowns that should leave you considering the replacement of the entire machine, rather than the replacement of the broken part. In particular, you will need to consider replacement of the machine when your engine or your transmission breaks down.

The engine and the transmission both have similar expected lifespans. This means that they will often break down in close proximity to one another. Since both replacements can be quite pricey, facing two of them in a short period of time is not usually financially feasible.

Even if only one part breaks down, you are likely going to face a hefty repair bill, for a forklift that is already coming to the end of its useful life. In order to preserve your finances while maximizing your machine's productivity, you may need to buy a forklift rather than simply replacing the broken part.

The decision about when to buy a forklift will depend upon a number of factors. For example, you will need to balance the expected lifespan of your machine with its overall performance. It may be wiser to replace a machine nearing the end of its expected lifespan and experiencing multiple issues than to continue paying to repair those issues. Other reasons to buy a forklift rather than repair it might include when you face the breakdown of multiple parts, or when your machine experiences major part failures, such as those of the engine or transmission.

When you need to buy a forklift, you need a reputable dealer. Here at Darr, we have a wide selection of machines designed to meet a wide range of customer needs. Do not hesitate to reach out for assistance with purchasing a machine that will complement your fleet within your available budget.