How Long Does a Forklift Last?
Forklifts are a vital investment for any logistical operation. However, like most machinery, they’re not cheap. When you buy a forklift, there’s an expectation for the truck to have a long-life so you can get the most out of your money. Nothing lasts forever, though, and the same can be said of forklifts.
The average life of a forklift is measured in hours of operation. Therefore, most forklift lifespans are between 10,000 to 12,000 hours of use, which equates to 5-6 years of full 8-hour operation. However, this age range also depends on the manufacturer and the model, where some can last for as long as 20,000 hours (10 years).
Buying a forklift from reputable and innovative brands such as Mitsubishi or Caterpillar means your forklift is more likely to be durable and reliable. All of our refurbished forklifts are from well-renowned brands and have been through a thorough refurbishment process to ensure reliability. Our refurbished forklift listings detail how many hours are on the clock for each of our machines.
Forklift lifespan also varies between fuel types, as well as by their use and where they are being used.
How long does an electric forklift last?
Electric forklifts generally last for more total hours than forklifts with internal combustion engines (diesel or liquid propane gas). This is mostly due to electric forklifts having fewer moving parts that can wear down or stop working.
The electric battery, however, has an expected lifespan of 5-10 years, depending on how well-maintained it is, so it is likely that you will have to replace your battery during the forklift’s lifespan.
What causes forklift life expectancy to lower?
There are several factors that affect forklift life. As well as the age and model of machine, you should also take into consideration how often it is used and how heavy its loads generally are.
Regular heavy loads will shorten your forklift’s life. Similarly, the conditions the forklift operates in will affect its run time: exposure to extreme temperatures, hazardous substances, and messy or uneven surfaces will wear your fleet down quicker.
How to extend your forklift’s lifespan
Most vehicles have a limited life expectancy, and although machines don’t last forever, there are ways we can extend their lives to ensure you get the most out of them:
Regular forklift maintenance
Both regular and preventative forklift maintenance are critical to ensuring your forklift lasts as long as it should. Between daily routine checks to ensure everything is in working order, to annual and bi-annual thorough examinations, your forklift could survive as much as five years longer with the right care.
Not only will looking after your warehouse or yard ensure health and safety guidelines are adhered to, but it will also pose less risk to your forklifts. Dealing with any potholes, awkward layouts, or any other safety hazards, will cause your fleet to take less damage and require less expensive repairs.
Effective staff training
Staff should always be efficiently trained before operating machinery, but ensure that your staff are well-versed in forklift best practices to avoid damage caused by collisions, tip-overs, and general user fault.
Fleet tracking and monitoring technology
Fleet tracking and monitoring technology will help you to control and analyze your fleet so that you can keep on top of maintenance and won’t be left unpleasantly surprised by unexpected damages and repairs.
Because of more extreme temperatures, messiness, and uneven terrain, outdoor forklifts wear at a faster rate than indoor machines. If you have both an outside and an inside fleet, consider swapping them over every few months or so to ensure they wear at the same rate.
If a forklift truck is slowing down your team’s productivity, you should probably think about replacing it. Consider the full economic lifespan and how much it costs per hour – if it constantly requires downtime for repairs, or impacts your processes because it isn’t designed for the job you need it to do or uses outdated features, it’s probably too expensive to maintain.
To further reduce the cost of your forklift fleet, think about investing in refurbished warehouse equipment. Our forklifts are refurbished to a high standard with thorough examination and LOLER certification where applicable, guaranteeing the great reliability and optimum performance of a new machine.
Get in touch today to find out more on 0800 8620 819.