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New forklifts vs used forklifts

New Versus Used Forklifts: What Makes Sense for Your Company?

Everyone wants new equipment, fresh off the production line, featuring the latest technology with zero wear & tear; and of course the added bonus of a new warranty. Deciding to purchase new equipment is the easy answer, and in a productive busy application it’s probably the correct one, but what happens when budget constraints cause you to look at used?

Successful business owners know purchase decisions are based on two components, a) what are my needs, and b) what can I afford; this is where things get tricky. Let’s review needs first. Needs arise from the way you’re business functions, the processes you have in place, and market demands. When you do a needs analysis, you may find you can’t currently justify buying New, or there’s not enough foreseeable demand to warrant it; regardless of available budget. The alternative is having the needs and demand, but a limited budget, so what’s the right answer? This is the tricky part I mentioned, it’s tricky because you don’t know what you don’t know, which is why you should consult with Material Handling Experts. Companies like Arpac have been providing application surveys and analysis for more than 40 years, we know what kind of storage and equipment will maximize your density without impacting safety and productivity. At Arpac we understand the economic life of equipment, and focus on things like the total cost of ownership, to ensure our solutions are value driven.

Once you know what your needs are, the next step is understanding your options, here are a few questions you need to consider

  • How many hours a day will the forklift(s) be utilized?
  • Will I have enough equipment to allow for scheduled maintenance downtime?
  • Will my equipment support my peak period needs?
  • What is my maintenance budget for non-warranty items?
  • What is my rental budget for unforeseeable emergencies?
  • What is my training budget?
  • How often should planned maintenance be performed?

Knowing your needs, and the per day demand on the equipment will assist you on the balance of the questions, and will help clear up the question of new versus used, but there’s one more thing to consider. Not all new equipment can be considered equal, and likewise not all used equipment can be considered equal. Just like the world of automobiles, the world of material handling equipment has a multitude of manufacturers, some with a good reputation, and some not so good. A good used forklift will typically start out as a good new forklift; poor initial quality doesn’t typically age well. Here are some of the things to look for when considering used equipment:

  • Leading brand names.
  • Safety, has the equipment been altered?
  • Market share strength, there are typically 2 or 3 manufacturers that could be considered.
  • Buy brands that independent used dealers or wholesalers try to focus on.
  • Availability of used equipment warranties
  • Does the brand offer a factory quality controlled used option? i.e. Crown Encore
  • Used parts availability (market share has a big part in this)
  • Ask yourself, if I was purchasing new, what brand would be my first choice?
  • What is the true cost per hour? (some manufacturers/dealers use key time, this is a warning sign, you need to focus on traction/drive motor hours divided by total maintenance costs)
  • Maintenance records, and abusive applications; what’s the history?
  • Who maintained the equipment, if not the OEM dealer, have they installed inferior non OEM parts, or is their Crown still a Crown?

Where You Purchase New and Used Forklifts Matter

As they say, you get what you pay for, the key is making sure you purchase a reputable product from a reputable dealer. If possible look to purchase units that have always been maintained by the OEM dealer, while avoiding units with service histories that can’t be proven. Some of the best units are ones that were in the dealer’s rental fleet. Avoid deals where an independent adds extra warranty to try to appease your fears, if the unit is in quality condition, they would demand the appropriate price and offer a suitable warranty without playing games. In the end, always remember, the OEM dealer has much more to lose by selling you any used forklift that does not properly represent the quality of that same model of equipment in their new fleet; independent dealers have nothing to lose, they have no stake in the reputation of the product they are trying to sell you.

Whether you need new Crown, Nissan, or UniCarrier forklift, a Taylor-Dunn Burden Carrier or a used forklift, where you buy does make a difference. Arpac represents quality whether new or used. Forklifts to suit your company’s budget as well as industry leading brand names with safety, productivity, and the lowest total cost of ownership.

Call us at 800-946-8511 to see what new and used forklifts we currently have in stock. Fill out an online contact form with your questions and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.