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How Long Will an Average Forklift Last?

by John Sullivan on December 13, 2016
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how long will your forklift last

Here’s another Forklift FAQ (Frequently Asked Question): How much usage is considered “normal” on a forklift? Is usage measured in miles or hours?

According to AAA, the average American drives their personal vehicle between 10,500 and 13,500 miles per year. But what counts as “average” forklift use in a given year?

What's an average amount of forklift use?

Forklift “age” is measured in hours. For a single-shift operation with an 8-hour work day, the average forklift runs 2,000 hours/ year.

The average lifespan of a forklift is 10,000 hours, but this depends on the manufacturer. Above-average machines, such as Toyota forklifts, commonly last more than 20,000 hours.

Other factors that contribute to more rapid “aging” include:

  • Cold temperatures
  • Lifting heaving stacks
  • Used for multiple shifts / day
  • Whether the forklift was well-maintained

Gas Versus Electric Forklifts

It’s possible to have two lift trucks that are the same age (in years) with vastly different life expectancies. A truck used mostly indoors in clean conditions will last a lot longer than one exposed to extreme temperatures or heavy loads. If you have multiple indoor / outdoor trucks in your fleet, consider rotating them every few months, so the vehicles wear at the same rate.

Another factor in the lifespan of a lift truck is whether it’s electric or uses an internal combustion engine (ICE). Generally speaking, electric forklifts last longer than ICE forklifts, mainly because electric forklifts have fewer moving parts. That said: the battery on an electric forklift lasts approximately 1,500 charging cycles, or roughly five years. 

Well-Maintained Equipment Lasts Longer

One of the most important factors to ensuring equipment has a long, healthy life is proactive maintenance. Unexpected, preventable repairs send your cost per hour of operation through the roof and can take your business offline.

Forklifts on a planned maintenance schedule operate more efficiently and last longer. How often does your forklift need maintenance? Read about the six main factors. Or, learn more about contract maintenance offered by TMHNC.

Please contact us online with any questions, or by phone:
East Bay - Livermore  (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091 

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Topics: Forklift FAQs

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