Choosing Between Used and New Forklifts


Compare used and new forklifts in terms of reliability, fuel efficiency and lift capacity.

Are Used or New Forklifts the Best Choice for You?

The decision for business owners whether to buy new or used forklifts can be a challenging one. Buying new gives you the assurance that your team has the latest technology, the highest fuel efficiency and all the latest safety features. However, the fact is that forklifts haven’t changed too much over time. Most forklifts made in the last ten years by reputable manufacturers are still as strong and reliable as ever. Even some much older models are still kicking and lifting. Apart from routine maintenance, used forklifts don’t require heroics to keep them running.

Forklift Brands

Toyota has been the number-one selling brand of forklifts in the United States since 2002. With load capacities of between 2,000 and 17,500 pounds, Toyota forklifts are versatile. Komatsu and Nissan are two other forklift manufacturers.

The Nitty Gritty of Used Forklifts

The one area in which forklifts have changed dramatically in the last ten years is fuel efficiency. The latest generations of forklifts boast 20 to 30percent reductions in fuel use. That being said, most Toyota, Komatsu and Nissan forklifts built since 2000 are in line with modern fuel efficiency standards. Buying forklifts older than this may mean that you risk wasting your upfront savings on natural gas fuel in the long run. With natural gas prices staying low, you may decide that buying the latest forklift is not the most cost-efficient option.

It All Comes Down to Weight

Fuel efficiency has improved significantly in the last decade, but so has lift capacity. Businesses with lift requirements in excess of 8,000 pounds may have no choice but to buy new. Businesses with lift requirements less than 8,000 pounds are probably better off buying used forklifts from a forklift sales professional.