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Replacing Your Forklift

Replacing Your Forklift

Replacement Might Be the Better Route

You may have never considered replacing your forklift before, but if it is not functioning smoothly and efficiently, it may be time to do so. Replacing older forklifts can reduce your maintenance costs, improve your productivity, and save money both long and short term. Older forklifts may also no longer be safe for use.

Consider the following factors when deciding whether it’s time to replace your forklift.


A forklift might still work but no longer be truly efficient or practical. A forklift that is no longer efficient will no doubt affect your company’s productivity.

The average forklift runs 2,000 hours a year. And, as a general rule, forklifts have an economic life of 10,000 to 12,000 hours. This can vary based on your maintenance practices, operating conditions, and type of equipment, but is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind. The brand or type of forklift can also have an effect on its lifespan.


Consider how much your forklift is costing to maintain, and how much money you generate when you use your forklift. Obviously, well-maintained forklifts will last longer, but every piece of equipment has an expiration date. The cost to run older machines will be high, and will only continue to get higher. It may be in your best interest to upgrade sooner rather than later.


When your forklifts aren’t working, they’re costing you money. The money you’re losing isn’t only coming from the cost of repairs, but also from the productivity that is being lost. If your forklift spends more time in the repair shop than on the warehouse floor, it’s time to begin shopping for a new one.


You should consider how much your forklift is worth. For instance, consider whether it’s worth the cost of repairs it may need, or if you are better off selling it, trading it, or even selling the parts. Research what similar models are selling for and make an informed decision.

Other Signs It’s Time for Replacement

  • The forklift has cracks or distortions.
  • Your fork blades are worn or distorted.
  • There are broken or exposed wires.

Making Your Forklift Last

Whether your forklift is newly replaced or still functioning well, it is important to treat the equipment properly in order to get the most out of it. It’s also important to make sure your employees are properly trained in loading the forklift. It sounds obvious, but overloading a forklift can cause it to tip over or bend, which weakens the forks.

If you use a forklift, you likely have other material lifting needs. Learn more about the many vertical reciprocating conveyors, vertical lifts, and other package handling solutions that PFlow offers. And don’t forget to check out our VRC blog for more tips and industry information.

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