Repair Vs. Replace Your Forklift: What Equipment Managers Need To Know
by Moody Simmons, on Feb 25, 2022 1:21:00 PM
Forklifts are the top priority for busy warehouse equipment managers like you. But if your forklifts are suffering from repeated repairs and extensive downtime, you may have a problem. It can be challenging to face the inevitable decision to repair or replace your equipment, especially since each option can have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Here’s what you need to consider when your next forklift nears the end of its life:
Forklift Economic Life
Nothing lives forever, including your forklifts. When things start to break down more often, you have to consider the total cost of forklift ownership and operation. While forklifts may be useful for many years, their economic life ends when the cost of maintenance exceeds what it would cost to purchase a new forklift. This figure includes the cost of downtime and can vary based on your business. Depending on your business, this typically occurs between 8,000 and 10,000 operating hours of your forklift to limit diminishing returns of the money put into your equipment.
Costs of Maintenance
Your forklifts’ economic lives don’t happen in a straight, consistent line. Costs of maintenance tend to rise in a curve over time. Delaying needed maintenance can lead to spikes in your expenses and increases in downtime that can harm your profitability in significant ways. While it can’t prevent your forklifts’ economic life from winding down, a full-service maintenance plan with a trusted provider can help reduce downtime and extend your fleet’s lifespan.
Shifting Business Needs
If your business has updated its products or processes, your forklifts may need to be updated as well. Heavier pallets, longer storage intervals, or rapid throughput needs require technology to meet those specific goals. If your fleet is more than a few years old, you may need to consider replacing your aging units with new equipment such as stand-up riders, reach trucks, or larger capacity sit-down forklifts to handle your business demands. Consider the benefits of optimizing your fleet if you are faced with the decision to repair or replace your equipment.
Access New Technology
When it comes to the cost of operating forklifts, your employees’ health is important to consider as well. Operators are at risk of repetitive motion and overuse injuries that can help be prevented through ergonomic designs in updated forklifts. Combined with telematics and other features and attachments that can help drive efficient handling, the upfront costs of replacing an aging forklift could be offset quickly. Electric forklift technology has advanced rapidly in recent years - if it’s time to replace your forklift, consider upgrading to electric power for your company. Some businesses benefit from leasing options to keep their fleets refreshed with the most recent technology every few years - would shifting to a leased forklift help your business?
Knowing whether to repair or replace your forklift can be challenging, but you don’t have to make a choice alone. Use your fleet management data to help inform your decision and count on Southern States Toyotalift to help. Our team of talented material handling experts will work to understand your business before we recommend products or repairs. Contact us online today or visit one of our 11 locations to learn more: