When is the Best Time to Replace Forklifts?

Raymond has been a leader in the material handling industry since its founding in 1922 in Greene, NY.

Always on the lookout for forklift leasing in Los Angeles or a reliable LA forklift service center? It may be time to consider a forklift replacement from the top Los Angeles warehouse equipment supplier. Sooner or later, older forklifts need to be replaced to ensure efficiency of the whole fleet.(LA forklift leasing) Think of replacements as essential investments that can lower maintenance costs and save money with a boost in ROI. Think of downtime as reduced productivity and profits. If repair costs are no longer feasible, it may be time for a replacement.


Average Forklift Lifespan


10 years, in some cases a few years longer is just how long a forklift should be used to operate economically. At some point, maintenance costs will exceed replacement. When considering a replacement, take note of several factors:

  •      The age of the forklift, type, and design

 Electric forklifts often have a longer lifespan than internal combustion engine forklifts.


  •      How often and how severe it was used

Forklifts exposed to brine, corrosives and extreme temperatures tend to have a shorter lifespan. On the other hand, forklifts that remain in clean warehouses with wide aisles can stay in the fleet for a longer time.


  •      Number of hours of operation on a per month and annual basis

 Running a forklift on multiple shifts can accelerate the optimal time for a replacement.


  •      Frequency of repairs and other maintenance issues


Optimum fleet management means using a program of periodic maintenance for all forklifts. This ensures efficient operation and adds to the life of the fleet. This is contrary to a setup where forklifts only receive attention when something goes wrong. In addition, forklift operators and mechanics should be taught to check vital fluids beginning every shift. This can help prolong economic life of forklifts by as much as 2,000 hours.


So, when is the economic replacement time for a forklift truck? For the light application of forklift trucks, the replacement time could be anywhere between 5 to 7 years. That is equivalent to 12,000 to 14,000 hours. This depends on annual usage. Trucks in operation of fewer than 2,000 hours a year tend to have a longer lifespan than trucks used more than 2,000 hours annually. It also depends on the type of truck with electric forklifts enjoying maximized usability.


For heavy use trucks, again depending on the type and application, the economic replacement time can be 4 to 6 years. That is equivalent to 10,000 to 12,000 hours. With these data, managers can better plan their fleet management and operational costs while timing their replacements every 4 to 7 years.


The Key to Success is a Planned Replacement Strategy


Forklifts have a general economic life of 10,000 to 12,000 hours. This varies on the type of equipment, operating conditions, and maintenance practices. It is crucial for a fleet management professional to assess costs and fleet status to determine optimal replacement points for forklifts in a given operating condition.


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Raymond Handling Solutions

9939 Norwalk Blvd
Santa Fe Springs, California
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Published on

Jan 15, 2018

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