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Make an Informed Decision Buying a Forklift

by: George Anderson
An accurate and meaningful parallel can be drawn between forklift prices and automobile prices. The variations in forklift pricing depend on several factors, such as manufacturing brand, technology, and overall reliability. Top class forklifts are expensive but they also ensure a longer operating life and overall increased durability and efficiency. The variations in prices, just like with cars, also depend on geographical positioning, dealerships, local regulations and the state of the machine.

In order to compare prices you would have to see at least three different retailers. Letís take the industry standard forklift Ė the 5,000 lb one. New electric forklifts in this category may be sold for an average of $20,000, with a maximum of $25,000. A few extra thousand dollars will be spent on a charger and batteries. The other options are internal combustion forklift models, which are also priced close to their electric peers. While prices for internal combustion types start at around $15,000, you can also end up paying double depending on model type and accessories that accompany it. Prices go up with the heavier and more powerful models. You will pay anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 for a 10,000 lb combustion forklift and over $100,000 for the high end - over 35,000 lb forklifts.

If you donít want to spend that much on a new forklift or you simply cannot afford one, you can go for a used model that will sell for about half the price of a new one. 5,000 pound used forklifts that cost $25,000 new can be bought used for $11,000 to $12,000. However, when determining your investment costs, also try to figure out another important element: your hourly operating costs. If the forklift is used daily for a few hours, you might notice a high hourly operating cost due to breakdowns and maintenance time. When calculating the operating costs, include the following elements: fuel cost, additional supplies like filters and oil, maintenance time, and downtime.

Since the initial investment in a forklift is so high, many investors prefer to lease the vehicle. With most dealers you will find some sort of financing option, either straight from the manufacturer or through local banks and financial institutions. You may also try a long-term rental Ė usually for a period over a year, in which you will have to pay a monthly payment. This last option has more benefits for short-term projects or for contractors, since the lower monthly fee and the included maintenance can produce some nice profit. You can also get different service plans to accompany your purchase. Full maintenance plans will take care of any problem you might encounter with the forklift, a very useful option if you are getting a used machine from a dealer.

About the author:
George Anderson understands the importance of forklifts in industry. See his website at http://www.getforklifts.com


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