Buying a forklift is an undertaking, compared to renting one. Purchasing a machine outright comes with a lot of responsibilities and they’re hard to return if they don’t meet your expectations. Look long and hard at where it’s going, what it’ll do, and who you can call if something happens.


Working environment

With each forklift, pallet truck, or order picker you’re considering, you must think about where it’s going to work. Will they be indoors or outside? How many hours a day is the machine getting used? A forklift designed to work on a rough-terrain site doesn’t have a place indoors unless it’s parked there for the night.



Do you have the money for a brand new forklift? Or is it better to rent? New models cost tens of thousands of dollars, and the upkeep costs a bundle as well. When purchasing a forklift, the owner assumes responsibility for maintenance and the costs that come with it.

  • Tyres
  • Fuel
  • Maintenance
  • Parts

Renting is different in that the vendor has a list of service contacts. They draw on these for frequent maintenance and help when the occasional breakdown happens.

Another option is to buy the forklift secondhand. Look at the amount of hours it was used rather than the year it was made. Machines are more expensive if they haven’t been used much in the three-to-five years since being built.



Does the forklift look like it’s been through the wars? Or is it cleaned so well that it sparkles?

Look at the tires as well during the inspection. Forklifts don’t have suspension systems, and if they’ve been used on the wrong terrain then you’ll get problems down the road. Check the tires aren’t cracked or show other signs of abuse.



When you buy an all-terrain machine, a picker, or a counterbalance model, you’re responsible for it’s upkeep. You need to find a mechanic who can perform regular maintenance checks and servicing, preferably less than 20 kilometers from you. When something happens, you’ll need help fast.


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