Buying a pre-owned forklift may be the best thing for your budget but it might also cost you more money in the long run. Here are some things to think about when considering buying a pre-owned forklift.
How often will you be using the forklift?
If you are using the forklift multiple hours every day, you may want to consider a new forklift instead. Purchasing used can save you a lot of money up front, but in the end, it will cost you more with repairs and maintenance costs.
What kind of warranty can you get?
It depends on the equipment age and condition. By selecting the cheapest option available, the truck will likely be susceptible to repairs so don't expect any warranty on lower end units. These are typically trade-in units that are older and may have minor leaks or problems. It you are looking at a lower end truck, expect to have maintenance costs regularly with the unit.
What type of equipment can I expect for low price ranges?
Typically trucks that are 1999 or older will be sold in as-is condition. These trucks may have some minor oil leaks, very high hours, worn or cut seat cushions, heavy paint damage, worn tires, etc. If a truck has nice paint, don't let that fool you! It will still likely have high maintenance costs. These trucks should only be looked at if your usage is minimal. Expect to have repair issues with these trucks regularly. If you are unable to fix these types of problems yourself then you may want to invest in a newer unit.
Typically trucks in the 2000-2008 range will also be higher hours. These trucks may have a 30 day warranty or less with them. These trucks will be in slightly better condition but you can still expect minor oil leaks, mid to higher hours, worn tires, etc.
Trucks in the 2008-2015 or newer age range usually have less hours and less wear and tear. These trucks are typically sold with up to a 90 day warranty and are ready to go with some paint damage and possible worn seat cushions, etc.
Trucks in the 2015 age range or newer are low hour units that can be used frequently. These units tend to carry at least a 90 day warranty and usually have some of the manufacturer's factory warranty coverage still available. These trucks should be free of any oil leaks and should be in good condition.
What can I expect with a used electric truck?
The most expensive part of an electric truck is the battery. With an older electric truck, you can expect the battery charge to last only up to 2-3 hours. If you are planning to run a used truck 7+ hours, you will need to make sure the battery is only a year or two old. If you run the truck sparingly, you might not want to go electric because the battery, if it sits without usage, tends to sulfate which will deteriorate the battery quicker.
If you need a charger you must know what building power you have. Your charger AMP Hour must match the battery AMP Hour or else you will never fully charge the battery. Some building power will not be sufficient for larger batteries.
Want more information?
click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding used forklifts.
Leasing vs Buying a Used Forklift
Looking for a used forklift? Before you do that it might be better to look at leasing a new forklift instead. Some used equipment is fine, in the right operation, but in other instances it might not be your best fit.
Is a forklift integral to your business operations? If your forklift goes down, does your business grind to a halt too? Do you use your forklift several hours a day, every day?
Does it make sense to pay short term cash for a long term asset? With interest rates low, why not hold onto your cash.
All of these are questions you should be asking yourself before you decide to purchase a forklift. Used forklifts are going to have wear and tear on them and are more susceptible to breakdowns and repairs. Why not look at a new forklift and look to lease it. This way you have a level payment and you are buying a new piece of equipment with a full manufacturer’s warranty. New equipment leases are very affordable right now.
We can structure these leases in numerous ways. If you want a low payment look at a Fair Market Value lease. This type of lease gives you a lot of flexibility. You will have a low monthly payment and then at the end of the term you can continue to lease month to month, you can turn the unit back in and upgrade to another new unit, or you can purchase the unit for the fair market value at lease expiration. A lot of options so you are not held captive. Or, do you want to own the equipment at the end of the lease? Then look at a $1.00 option lease. The payments will be a little higher per month, but you would own the equipment at the end of the lease term.
The benefits of a new truck far outweigh the possible negatives that come with buying a used truck. Too many people only look at the purchase price when deciding to buy a used forklift. You might find a cheap forklift online, but do you really know what you are getting? You could spend a couple thousand dollars on someone else’s problem. Then, when you receive the truck, you might end up putting another couple thousand dollars into repairs in it. We have seen this happen numerous times, and guess what, unfortunately the truck is still used and still susceptible to breakdowns and repairs.
Lets take a look at a quick example. Say you find a used forklift for $5,000.00 online and you buy it. Then you have to pay freight to get it to you, lets figure another $500.00. Then you might have to put some repairs into it right off the bat, lets say $1,500.00. So already you have spent $7,000.00, and that is $7,000.00 in cash up front. If you looked at a lease on a new truck you could have held onto that $7,000.00 and paid maybe $300.00 per month. Your $7,000.00 would have gotten you 23+ months of lease payments on a new unit. The new unit would have little to no maintenance costs with it, typically just PM service. Think about that for a second, 23 months of payments for what you just spent on a used truck. And we can add more money to that $7,000.00 because in those 23 months you are bound to have service issues with that unit that will need addressed.
Our manufacturers have the best warranties in the industry. With Hyundai products your warranty is 3 years / 4,000 hours on the full machine. With Komatsu their warranty is 2 years / unlimited hours full covers and 5 years / 8,000 hours powertrain coverage. Doesn’t it make more sense to look at a product that you know will hold up, that if something does go wrong the manufacturer will pay for it?
Do yourself a favor, before looking at a used forklift give us a call. We can show you the difference a new unit might make for you. In some instances it might not make sense, which is fine, we can find you the right used truck for your application and your usage requirements. Give us a call to learn more.