How Much Does a Forklift Cost?

by Pete Thomas on August 30, 2018
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how much does a forklift costA typical forklift, like the one you see in most warehouses, should cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on capacity, tires and fuel type. As a general rule, the acquisition price of an electric forklift is roughly 50% higher than a comparable Internal Combustion (IC) lift truck. While this difference might seem extreme, the majority of customers today are seeing the ROI of an electric over its useful life is significantly greater than this price gap.

The acquisition price of a forklift is directly related  to its capacity. The higher the capacity, the higher the acquisition cost. In this article, we’ll review what goes into a forklift’s sticker price and other important factors such as cost of ownership.

 

Factors that Affect a Forklift’s Price

Capacity Forklift prices increase with capacity, so it’s important to buy only as much forklift as you need - or may need in the future. Here are a few questions to ask when determining capacity:

- How heavy is my average load?
- How heavy is my largest load?
- How high do I need to lift my loads?
(The higher you need to lift, the greater the reduced capacity of the lift).
- What length is my largest load?
(Load centers also have an impact on reduced capacity).
- What forklift attachments will be used?

Attachments and Accessories If you’ve ever purchased a car, you may have been lured in by a low price only to learn that low price gets you a barebones vehicle. After adding the options you need, the vehicle costs thousands more than what was advertised. When comparing forklifts, add up the cost for any attachments, accessories and safety features. Keep in mind attachments will also affect the lift truck’s total capacity.

Operating Costs & Maintenance Generally speaking, the operating costs for an electric forklift are 85-95 percent less than a diesel or LP forklift. Where an LP forklift might cost $6000 per year, a comparable electric forklift will only cost $600 to $900 per year.

The annual maintenance costs for an electric forklift are approximately one-third of what it costs to maintain a similar internal combustion (IC) forklift. For example, a single-shift operation might spend $500 per year to maintain their electric lift truck versus $1500 per year for a diesel or LP forklift.

Dependability Not all forklifts are made the same. By investing in a forklift built for reliability and dependability, you’re buying peace of mind that your forklift will deliver years of consistent service. A forklift that requires frequent maintenance or repairs can quickly put an operation in the red.

According to Purchasing.com:
Many Toyota forklift trucks have been shown to perform for five years and 10,000 to 20,000 hours of work without any major repairs. This long life provides excellent economy. Within the first 10,000 hours of use, operating costs are said to be as low as 75 cents per hour (excluding fuel, operator wages, accidental damage, and capitalization).

How much a forklift costs is just one of the factors to consider when making your buying decision. Learn more about the Questions Smart Forklift Buyers Ask by downloading our free guide.

At Toyota Material Handling of Northern California (TMH) we want you to find the right forklift for your budget and operational needs. Contact us online or by phone with any questions you may have, or to test drive a forklift at our state of the art demo center in the East Bay - Livermore, CA.

Livermore (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Further Reading
What’s More Important: Low Cost of Ownership or Lowest Price? 
How Long Will an Average Forklift Last? 
When to Buy a New Vs. Used Forklift 

Forklift Buyer's Guide

 

Topics: New Equipment, Forklift FAQs

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