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When Should You Replace Your Forklift(s)?

When running an efficient operation, it’s important to keep in mind the right time to replace older, less efficient forklifts. This can reduce your maintenance costs, improve your productivity and most importantly, save money and maximize your return on investment.

Downtime can decrease profits and ultimately, your bottom line is affected, as costs increase due to maintenance when efficiency could be elevated. So how do you determine the right time to make a new, significant purchase?  Downtime, due to non-productivity of forklifts, results in a loss of income and should therefore be avoided if possible.

Forklift Life Span

Facilities tend to make the mistake of focusing on how long a forklift remains useful rather than focusing on its effectiveness. Some forklifts may remain useful for many years, however, these forklifts may no longer be a good economic investment. For every forklift, there is a limit to its economic effectiveness. At some point, the cost to maintain it exceeds the cost to replace it. It’s important to consider:

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Cost of Maintenance

How much is each forklift in your fleet costing you to maintain?  How much money are you generating by using each forklift?  You’ll start to notice on your older machines that the cost to keep them running perfectly is getting higher and higher.  If one machine is consistently going over budget, that could be a sign that it is time to trade in and upgrade.


The actual bill for the repairs is not the only money you’re spending when your forklifts are being repaired.  Every day that a truck is down, it isn’t generating the income that it could be generating for your business. The older it gets the more it will cost which means that the machine will be out of commission longer for more costly hours.


How much your forklift is worth?  If it needs major repairs, would it be worth it to repair it, then sell it?  Should you sell it for parts?  Should you trade it in?  You can look around online to see what similar models in similar states are going for, which will help you make an informed decision.

These three considerations, combined, will give you an idea of when the optimal time to retire your forklift is.

Planned Replacement Is Key To Success

A key component of any successful fleet management program is planned replacement.  Substantial cost savings are available through the implementation of a fleet management program that incorporates the philosophy of planned fleet replacement once a unit has reached its optimal usefulness threshold.

In order to run an efficient and productive operation, the timely replacement of machinery is crucial. You can avoid costly maintenance procedures as well as loss of profits due to downtime and delays. By replacing your forklifts at the optimal economic time, productivity and profits can increase within your business.

For a FREE evaluation of your fleet contact KMH at: 888-564-7978 or use the link below for a free forklift quote / evaluation that only takes a couple minutes:

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