It can be difficult to know the optimal time to replace or retire a forklift. Replace too soon and you won’t get the most out of your investment. Replace too late and you may face an expensive breakdown that affects production.
There are general guidelines for when to replace a forklift. The most obvious sign that a new forklift would be cost-effective is when the annual repair costs are higher than the monetary value of the forklift. What other indications suggest it’s time to shop for a new forklift?
Here are five signs that you should consider replacing your forklift.
- Your Forklift Has a High Utilization Rate
If a forklift’s utilization rate is 90 percent or more, it may be overworked. This doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be replaced, but it does mean adding an additional forklift will reduce the load on this particular vehicle. It also could indicate the need to upgrade to a better-performing lift truck.
- Your Maintenance Costs Are Rising
Have your maintenance costs on a forklift more than doubled in the past year? Outside of your regularly scheduled maintenance plan, add up the downtime and costs associated with unexpected repairs and service. If these costs have more than doubled, a new forklift might be the best choice.
When considering maintenance costs, note any reasons the truck needed so much work. Did it have regularly scheduled maintenance? If not, scheduling maintenance can be an important step toward decreasing maintenance costs. Was there an incident or accident that damaged it or altered how it runs? That would affect the lift, and if it was repairable, next year’s costs might be lower. Has it worked harder than the rest of your fleet? That might mean adding another lift truck would lighten the load.
Having a preventative maintenance plan is a good step toward controlling ongoing maintenance costs. With a preventative maintenance program from G&W, you get regular visits from our mobile forklift technicians, and the likelihood of breakdowns is decreased.
- Your Forklift Has Approximately 10,000 Service Hours
The age of your forklift can be a sign that it’s time to replace. How many years does a forklift last? A typical forklift can offer approximately 10,000 hours of service, or six to seven years. It is possible for a forklift to perform beyond this window, and at G&W, we’ve seen forklifts perform well past their prime (with regular, ongoing maintenance). But if your lift truck is nearing the 10,000-hour service range, it’s a good time to consider if replacement would be more cost effective overall.
- Very Few Updates or Technology
If you have an older forklift, you are not able to take advantage of advanced features and technology updates. By purchasing a new lift truck you can get updated safety features, better operator comfort and higher efficiency.
Have you considered an electric forklift? Electric forklifts might be a better choice for your worksite than a gas-powered lift. Let G&W help you determine if an electric forklift might be a good option for you. See the top three reasons to use an electric forklift.
- Your Worksite or Operations Have Changed
If your worksite, operations, warehouse or construction sites have changed significantly, it might be time for a newer lift truck that is more specifically suited to your current needs.
At G&W, we have forklifts that work well in narrow aisles and for other particular specifications. We sell new forklifts from all of the brands you trust, with a variety of options. We can help you find the right one for your worksite and operations.
Maintain Your Forklifts
One way to maintain a good overall view of your forklifts is with Fleet Track from G&W. Fleet Track is our exclusive forklift fleet management portal, providing information to help you drive down costs and maximize your forklift utilization. This web-based fleet management system will centralize your data and help you reduce avoidable expenses. Learn more about Fleet Track.
For replacement forklift parts, G&W offers our online parts store, giving you 24/7 access to the forklift parts you need to stay productive.
Let’s Talk About New Forklifts
If you want to discuss whether it’s time to replace a forklift, our team of sales people are ready to help. We won’t just try to sell you a forklift – that’s not our style. We want to get to know your business and offer recommendations that fit your individual needs. Contact us today to discuss the possibilities with a new forklift.