How Much Does an Average Forklift Cost?It goes without saying that a forklift is a significant investment. Treat your lift truck right by maintaining it well, and it will last for many years. For this reason, it’s important to buy a lift truck that will meet your future needs as well as your current ones.
Most mid-sized forklifts cost between $20,000 and $50,000. That may seem like a big range, but below we’ll review some of the factors that create that big price span. As a general rule, the higher a forklift’s capacity, the more expensive it will be. Learn more about different forklift capacities and classes.
When choosing a forklift, plan for loads to increase, but lift height to remain constant. In other words, it’s more likely your loads will get heavier than your ceilings will get higher. Estimate your average load weight and compare it to your maximum load weight. Then, consider purchasing a lift truck suited to that maximum load weight. Read more important questions to answer before buying a forklift.
Factors That Affect Forklift PricingPower type, tires and safety features are some of the major factors that affect the price of a forklift. Electric forklifts initially cost more than internal combustion (IC) forklifts, but often pay for themselves in the long run with low maintenance costs. Similarly, a truck with pneumatic tires typically costs more than one with cushion tires.
Safety Features Safety features are one area where you should never cut costs. OSHA requires every forklift have an operator-restraint device (seat belt), a sound-producing device (horn) and in some circumstances a back-up alarm.
According to OSHA, “Forklift overturns are the leading cause of fatalities involving forklifts; they represent about 25 percent of all forklift-related deaths.” That’s why Toyota Forklifts come with Toyota's System of Active Stability (SAS) in addition to six other essential safety features, including a horn and seat belt. Additionally, Toyota forklifts meet and exceed both American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.
Forklifts: You Get What You Pay ForIf productivity plummets when the forklift is down, it’s worth paying more for a top-tier lift truck like a Toyota. More expensive forklifts are also more reliable, they can handle harsh work environments and have a larger dealer network who can take care of repairs right away (rather than having to wait for a part).
When weighing the cost of one forklift over another, a smart buyer takes into account the machine’s long-term cost of ownership, not just the upfront price. Along the same lines: if you’re looking at a used forklift, be sure to ask about a warranty.
Forklift AttachmentsIn the auto industry, it’s not unusual for dealers to lure buyers in with a low price (for the base model). After adding in things like A/C power windows and doors, the car costs thousands more. When comparing forklifts, make sure the price takes into account any attachments or accessories you may need - and whether the lift truck has the capacity to handle the attachment(s).
Forklift attachments can save a company time and money. Some popular forklift attachments include:
- Single-doubles: this attachment allows one forklift to handle two pallets
- Side shifters: a fairly standard attachment that makes it easier for the operator to move a load left and right without moving the forklift, ideal for maneuvering loads into trucks and containers
- Layer pickers: with this attachment, an operator can take just the top layer off a pallet and move the product elsewhere. One forklift operator can fill orders at an average speed of 1250 cases an hour compared to 250 cases an hour manually
- Carton Clamps: allow the operator to pick up loads without a pallet (very common in the beverage industry)
In an independent survey of professionals in the material handling industry, Toyota forklifts ranked #1 for safety and low cost of ownership. The nearly 300 respondents ranked Toyota Forklifts as the best value, highest quality, lowest cost of ownership, and “most affordable to maintain in terms of safety” and “fewest safety-related incidents.”
View our current inventory of Toyota forklifts for sale in Northern and Central California. Contact us online, or by phone for a quote or to get answers to any questions you may have.
East Bay - Livermore (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091