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How to be sure that, your forklift needs an upgrade? - an in-depth analysis

When to replace your forklift

Forklift is critical for your regular operation. Purchasing a new forklift is not an easy decision, which you can take within a blink of an eye. Getting a new forklift claims good amount of time & money investment. This is the reason businesses always try to rely on their old forklifts as long as possible.

Unfortunately, businesses often fail to properly measure the real cost of running the operation with an older forklifts. In this article, we will try to identify best time to change your old forklift.

In this process of the identification, we will highlight 3 different aspects to this problem. Without further ado, let’s move on.


Battery issues, clogged fuel lines, worn chain, an unbalanced suspension are some of the names which can cause you headache in regular interval if you continue using an old forklift. Primarily, these relatively smaller maintenance expenses could seem insignificant, but if you properly accumulate all these expenses properly you can get a very different picture.

Besides the maintenance cost, you must not ignore the downtime caused during the maintenance period. More downtime leads to more loss. If you calculate the lost productivity along with lost profits due to delays in product movement per hour loss could be hundreds of dollar per hour. This just unimaginable in plain sight.


To find out the lifespan of your forklift preciously, you need to consider the economic and useful life of the forklift. Let’s find out what they are and how use them.

Useful life : The maximum time the a forklift can be productive. This life ends when no repair can keep the forklift up and running.

Economic life : The economic life of a forklift ends when when repair cost is more than buying a new one.

Graph of 2 lives of forklift
Relation between 2 lives of forklift

If you approach your fleet management from the viewpoint of maximizing the economic lifespan of your forklifts will minimize your operating cost and maximize your return. You can also avoid the excessive maintenance cost by chasing the useful life of a forklift.


Taking a forklift buying decision after losing a forklift completely is harmful in many ways. Keeping proper statistics of your forklift operations will help you plan ahead of any emergency.

Keeping the track of the active working hours of every forklift is crucial for taking timely decision without any downtime in operation. In most cases, a good forklift can give services for 10,000 hours under average use. In heavy duty and high-use applications, replace could be due after 8,000 hours of use.


Forklift hours used table
Forklift replacement descion based on hours used


Ignoring small maintenance on regular basis can increase the overall cost. Again, avoiding necessary maintenance could lead to serious safety concerns for your manpower. Ask yourself if your forklift is facing any of the following issues, if the answer is ‘Yes’, then it’s probably time consider purchasing a new one.

1. Brake malfunction : Forklift can carry weight, a lots of weight. Naturally, a forklift weighs way more than it seems. In most cases a forklift weighs five times more than a car! So, with the gigantic weight relative to it’s size, any brake malfunction could be fatal.

2. Issue with hydraulic system : Leaky hydraulic systems can make mast movement uncontrollable. This is serious, especially for operators handling heavy payloads.

3. Loss of steering : Steering issues in old forklifts are common. This could harm your precious manpower, as well as valuable products.

There is no fixed time frame of the lifespan of any forklift in any operation. At the end, it depends on your need. This article will help you understand the actual needs of replacing an old forklift. If you ever need to understand the need or any question regarding your forklift you can contact us for expert consultation.

At Industrial EquipSol Limited (IESL), we import & supply high quality forklifts for different industry segments. You can check out our wide range of forklifts here.

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