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Updated: Jul 5, 2018

Tower Crane and Forklift

When forklifts are not appropriately maintained, downtime can led to decrease in productivity and loss of income. Most forklifts can remain useful for 10 years, and more, however at some point, the cost to maintain exceeds the cost to replace it.

The optimal time to replace depends on a few factors.

 -The Type and age (Diesel engine will have a longer life than electric)

-The hours it operates a month (The lifespan of an engine is 14,000 – 16,000 hours)

-Type and frequency of service it receives (If your forklifts are on a program of periodic maintenance, they will operate more efficiently and last longer, than those that receive attention only when something goes wrong.)

Every operating and ownership situation and application is different. It is important that an experienced and knowledgeable fleet management professional evaluates all relevant costs and determines the optimal replacement point for forklifts in a given application/operating environment.

Proper Forklift Maintenance & Repair Tips

While fixing minor faults is often necessary to extend the life of your forklift, major repairs are another issue. While an owner may be willing to replace a worn out radiator or lift chain, doing that again and again can eat away not only at your wallet but at your organization’s productivity as well.

If deciding that repairing an older forklift makes the most sense for your organization, do not rush it over to a mechanic right away. Once you get the repaired forklift back, look for ways to limit its use or prevent future repairs from being needed. That could include using the model less throughout the week, not using it on difficult jobs and/or using it only when absolutely needed like during a busy part of the season or overtime work. Monitor the forklift’s use and keep track of anything that might cause it to break down again.

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