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Purchasing a Forklift? It’s Important to Know the “Other” Costs of Ownership.

Purchasing a Forklift?  It’s Important to Know the “Other” Costs of Ownership.

There's no doubt that buying a new or used forklift requires a large upfront capital investment. The price is determined by many variables including the capacity, operating capabilities, engine type, brand, condition, and accessories. However, there are several “other” items to consider in addition to the initial cost of a lift truck. Besides looking at the price, it's important to consider the dealer’s ability to service you.

First Call Resolution Rate:

It’s a fact that excessive downtime will cost a company money. Often, response time is the focus of a repair. But what good is it if the service technician shows up quickly and doesn’t have the part to complete the repair? The ability to fix the problem on the first visit to get your equipment back in operation is more important than how fast a technician shows up just to tell you what the problem is, order the parts, and then return several days later for the repair.  Be sure to select a company that pays attention to its first call resolution ratio.

Service Technicians:

Don’t overlook whether an organization has the personnel to support your investment. Does the dealer provide trained technicians to carry out maintenance and repair? Choose a company that goes above and beyond traditional classroom training with hands-on training. Requiring new hires to work on lift trucks with instructor supervision for a predetermined period of time is a good practice. It’s also important that the service personnel working on your lift trucks are factory trained and receive updated training on a regular basis. Their experience is valuable to you! 

Service Agreements:

Study the service agreements and pay attention to the details. Be sure that you are on the same page with the dealer. Good service plans take into account the whole picture and try to save money by minimizing overall costs. Select a plan tailored to your organization's needs. For example, are you best served by planned maintenance (PM), full maintenance (FM), complete maintenance (CM), or time and material (TM) plans? Bad plans might look good on the surface, but ultimately fail if there are unexpected or hidden costs. You need a dealer that will explain the service programs that are available.

Parts Availability:


Be sure to select a company that has access to a large in-house parts inventory. When parts are being shipped from a long distance it could create a major problem waiting for delivery. The lead time needed depends on distance and availability; with shipments from Hong Kong to New York taking up to 32 days. Excessive downtime will cost you money!

Parts Pricing:

It’s important to know that you receive high-quality replacement parts at the greatest value. An experienced parts department will assure that you find the right parts at the right price. Whether using original manufactured forklift parts or aftermarket parts, quality, availability and cost are key. A parts department that is prepared to support your purchase is essential to saving you time and money.

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a lift truck. Many customers go straight to the bottom line to compare the price. However, it’s important to consider all the “other” costs associated with the purchase. Before you finalize the deal, be sure to take a good look at the dealer’s ability to meet your service needs.