5 Reasons Why You Might Want to Trade in Your Forklift

The value of a Trade-In Forklift

A forklift is an useful asset to a company. It’s a productive piece of equipment that can be used to lift everything from sheets of metal to apples. However, just like cars, computers and printers these machines do not last forever. Eventually, productive pieces of equipment turn into a hassle and spend more time in a repair shop instead on the job. Nobody has the time for a loss of productivity, so what should you do? How about trading in your forklift for a competitive branded forklift.

Here are 5 reasons why you might want to trade in your forklift.

Cost-Effective Performance – As a business owner, chances are you want to trade in your forklift or fleet for better equipment, or to make a small profit. Before doing so, it helps to distinguish the difference between your forklift’s functional life and its economical one. Your older forklift may be durable and working, but is the unit still getting a cost-effective performance on the job?

For every forklift, there comes a time when repairs are more frequent and the overall cost outweighs the value. Of course these costs are more than just repair bills. For every hour that forklift is sidelined for repairs it also represents a loss in productivity. As maintenance costs climb, the trade-in value of your forklift drops. If you are planning on trading in your machine, the best time to do so is before it is fully depreciated. Meaning before the value has shrunk to a fraction of it’s book value.

Age/Hours – When you are trying to sell or trade-in your car one of the biggest factors is the mileage. Obviously the lower the miles the higher the value. Well, the same can be said for forklifts. A forklift with lower-than-average hours is worth much more than one with a lot of hours. Check out how to determine a forklift’s age by clicking here.

When the hour meter approaches 10,000 hrs, the value starts dropping significantly. This goes for both electric and IC (gas) forklifts.  Here are some general guidelines:

  • 7,500-9,500 hrs  – higher trade in value

  • 9,500-12,500 hrs – decreased value

  • 12,501-16,000 hrs – lower value

  • 16,000+ hrs –  lowest trade in value

That said, Toyota forklifts have a lifespan of 25,000 – 30,000 hours. So if the trade-in is a Toyota with more than 15,000 hours, you can expect to get something for it versus a non-Toyota lift truck. For electric forklifts, battery maintenance is crucial. If the lift has dead battery, then it’s a dead forklift. However, If the battery and charger are functional, then the forklift has a significant value.

Intensity of Usage/ Environment – Is your forklift running for 2,000 hours or more annually? Is it exposed to harsh weather conditions or contained inside? These questions can help you determine whether you might want to trade-in your forklift or not. Forklifts that are in operation for more than 2,000 hours annually wear out a lot faster than a forklift that might only run 800-1500 hours. A forklift is counted on for heavy lifting, but constantly lifting heavier loads at higher heights can generate more wear and tear on your applications. Especially, if it is being used for several hours each day.

Weather is a determining factor as well. If your forklifts are generally exposed to harsh environments such as excess water, dust, corrosive chemicals, cold and snow – your forklift will generally have a shorter shelf life than those that perform in climate-control warehouses that are clean.

Configuration and Accessories – What is the max-height of your mast? What is the load capacity? Does your current lift have a side shifter or fork positioner? These configurations and accessories can increase the value of your forklift. However, be careful when trading your unit for a new one. Those accessories could decrease your forklift’s maximum load capacity even though the lift height is the same. That’s why it is beneficial to list all the accessory information to a forklift dealer prior till trading in your forklift.

Overall Appearance – This is not rocket science. A picture is worth a thousand words. If your forklift is starting to wear down and slow down, then it might be time to think about a trade-in. Though you may not be able to get your lift looking brand new, a nice-looking forklift matters for value. Try cleaning up the machine as much as possible. If there is visible damage to the machine that cannot be fixed such as dents, scratches and rust, then be prepared to explain what happened. Even though these are used lift trucks, you still want them took look decent and account for any exterior damage.

If you are uncertain about a trade-in, consider these helpful tips to aid in your decision-making. Also, feel free to check out our next segment in the category, “How To Get the Maximum Trade-In Value for your Forklift.”

If you are interested in a trade-in, consider Toyota Material Handling Ohio. Currently, until March 31, 2018 we are running our Trade Up to Toyota Sales Event, in which you could receive a $2,000 rebate for any sit-down competitive-branded forklift. Click here, if interested in trading up to a Toyota Forklift.


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