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Should I Buy A New Or Used Forklift?

Given an unlimited budget, who wouldn’t choose a shiny new forklift with the newest technology and all the accessories? But as Mick Jagger famously sang, “you can’t always get what you want…but you might find you get what you need.”

But therein lies the question. Does your business need a brand-new forklift? Or would a used one work just as well?

When to Buy a Used Forklift

As a general rule, it makes economic sense to buy a used forklift if it will be used less than four hours a day in a single-shift operation. That said: this rule only applies when the used forklift is in good shape.

Choose your used forklift carefully and only buy from a trustworthy seller.  Buying used equipment off craigslist is extremely risky (we’ve heard a lot of horror stories).  Independent sellers don’t care about doing business with you long-term, but a dealer has a reputation to maintain.

When you buy from a certified dealer, you also get a forklift that’s had a thorough inspection and some level of repair and restoration.  Reputable sellers will also include a warranty on their used forklifts.

What about used electric forklifts?

Smart question. With the recent roller coaster of fuel prices, an increasing number of businesses in California have made the switch to electric forklifts. Buying a used electric forklift can be a financially-savvy, eco-friendly investment. But, as mentioned above, buying from a reputable seller and getting a forklift with a warranty is key. 

At Total Industries, all our used electric forklifts include a 2-year/1500-hour warranty and one-year on-site maintenance from a factory-trained technician. We’ll also give you a charger.

If you’re not sure whether electric forklifts will be a good fit for your operation, download our Electric Forklift Buyers Guide. Learn how  an average operation can save $25,000 over five years.

When to Buy a New vs. Used Forklift

If your operation runs multiple shifts or has high throughput, choosing a new machine is a no-brainer.  New forklifts are designed to handle heavy use and provide the highest level of reliability and productivity with minimal downtime. You’ll also get a 12-36 month warranty.

Other reasons to choose a new forklift include:

  • Needing specialized accessories
  • Unusual mast height requirements
  • Matching others in your fleet
  • A higher tax write-off/accelerated depreciation

Waiting for a used lift truck that matches the exact specifications of your operation can take a while. While you wait, productivity decreases along with employee morale.

If you’re new to buying a forklift (or work with someone who is), download our free Forklift Buyer’s Guide. Learn the questions experienced forklift buyers ask to get the right forklift at the best price. 

If cash-on-hand is an issue, a forklift lease allows you to get the equipment you need without tying up capital. A recent survey found 80% of businesses in the U.S. lease equipment.

Total Industries is committed to helping you find the right equipment for your needs and budget. Our forklift experts are happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Contact us online or by phoning a Total Industries location below:

Bay Area – Livermore (510) 675-0500 
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500 
Salinas (831) 757-1091

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