Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Used Forklifts & Batteries – How to know if it’s Worth the Investment

Posted by Brian Quigley, Director of Client Services on Jan 17, 2019 4:00:00 AM

There are situations when buying used forklifts and reconditioned batteries is a viable alternative to purchasing expensive new equipment. But it’s important to research and consider the care and condition of the used equipment before you decide. Depending on your company’s material-handling demands, a used forklift may fit your needs and make better fiscal sense.  forklift-160284_640-1

Think of it this way: Buying a brand-new electric warehouse forklift with standard capacity can cost about $15,000-$25,000 in today's market. On the other hand, a well-refurbished, used electric forklift with a 3,000-pound capacity runs between $5,000 and $10,000. 

Buying used, reconditioned forklift batteries can cut replacement costs in half. Reconditioned batteries are recommended for situations where the operating time of the forklift will be a maximum of 2-3 hours per day. If this fits your needs, and the reconditioned batteries have passed a quality inspection and were well-cared for prior to reconditioning, buying used works and will allow for replacement on a tight budget. 

But, will you get what you pay for? Let’s face it: Not all forklifts are maintained or used as they are supposed to be. Not all batteries are cleaned and charged as their manufacturers recommend. This equipment may be reconditioned, but it is crucial to know its true health before you buy. 

Buy used forklifts & batteries without regret 

Purchasing used equipment is not something you should do without research and data to determine if it’s a good investment. This data should be available to you if the equipment was monitored by a telematics software system. Ask to see it. 

You can learn a wealth from this telematic data. For example:

  • What is the true history of the used equipment how was it used (one shift per day or at a 24-hour facility) and was it used within the manufacturer’s specifications? (For example, did the forklift regularly carry loads that exceeded its design limits?) 
  • Was the used forklift involved in an impact or has it required excessive repairs? This could indicate it was used by a careless or reckless operator, was driven too fast, or was potentially pushed beyond its limits. 
  • Did equipment pass safety checklists before each shift, and were regular maintenance and repairs completed as they ideally should have been?  
  • Has the supplier completely tested and inspected reconditioned forklift batteries for quality?

Purchasing a used forklift or reconditioned batteries can be a stressful — and costly — decision if you don't ask the right questions beforehand. With advanced telematics, you can learn the history of used equipment and make smarter choices based on data before you buy.

Topics: analyzation of data, forklift costs, battery charging, battery monitoring, one-screen access, value driven strategies, buying used forklifts

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