Considered one of the most crucial aspects of warehouse businesses, forklifts can perform some heavy-duty tasks that an average employee can’t do alone. With this ability, forklifts are an operational asset.
However, as time passes by and with enough wear and tear, they’ll gradually be considered a liability for your company. Fortunately, you can always trade it in for a new one from dealers.
The challenge now is getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to trading it. How will you be able to maximize the profits of your current forklift, with its condition? Well, the answer lies deep in various tangible factors that will affect its performance and capabilities.
When to Trade in Your Forklift
As you weigh in on the choice of whether you should sell your old forklift or not, you have to consider these 2 main factors.
First, the age of your forklift matters. If it has been with you for over 5 years, then it’s probably due for a replacement.
From there, you can then move to the second aspect, which is the annual maintenance cost, which will usually be about $2 an hour.
Determine the resale value of your forklift (a simple Internet search will give you a rough idea). Let the resale value act as your benchmark. Once the yearly maintenance cost matches or goes over the resale value, consider trade-in or retiring your forklift.
By then, if you continue using the forklift for the same task with the same frequency, the forklift safety risks will increase. However, to increase its value, you can always conduct regular personal maintenance to lower the need for repairs and trade it in with a higher value.
Factors Affecting the Forklift’s Value
To maximize the return on your forklift trade-in, make sure to check out these factors that will affect its value significantly:
- Working environment
The working environment of your forklift is one of the main factors that can depreciate its value. If it has spent the majority of its working life outside, with the harsh elements and fluctuating weather conditions, it will have a lower shelf-life than other forklifts.
Excess exposure to cold, heat, water, and chemicals can contribute to rusting and the gradual degradation of parts. This can greatly decrease its safety capacity as well.
While forklifts that have been used in a warehouse with controlled temperatures will yield a higher trade-in value as it has incurred less damage.
How your forklift appears indicates if it has been properly maintained. Dents, scratches, and any visible damage will greatly reduce their value, so it’s better if you make it look as damage-free as possible during the trade-in process.
However, if you’re not ready to spend extra costs on improving the appearance of your forklift, just make sure to account for every scratch and dent, and how it was incurred to assure prospecting trade clients that what they’re getting is still serviceable.
Fortunately, you don’t need to worry too much about how the forklift looks. Trade partners will certainly value function over aesthetics when it comes to forklift choices.
- Type of fuel used
Most forklifts run on propane, electricity, or diesel. Depending on its engine, this fuel source will also determine how costly it will be to power it up and for it to perform at maximum level.
Electric forklifts are usually considered the least desirable due to the need for constant battery replacement. Propane-powered forklifts, on the other hand, rank the highest in value due to their efficiency and cheaper fuel choice.
- Specs and accessories of mast
The mast also plays a significant role in determining the value of the trade-in. What are the maximum height and load capacity of your truck? Popular accessories like a fork positioner or side-shifter can make your forklift more valuable.
The resale value of the forklift will increase with any additional accessories, such as bale clamps, roll clamps, forklift cages, fork extenders, aerial platforms, or rear guards.
- Battery life
If you’re trading in an electric forklift, take care of its battery regularly. A dead battery cannot provide power and will render your forklift lifeless. To ensure that your forklift has a higher value, make sure to use a battery that is rechargeable and has more power than other varieties.
- Usage intensity
How long your forklift has been used is one thing, but how intensely it has been used in daily operations can also greatly affect its value. If it has been running for more than 2,000 hours annually, chances are, it will incur more wear and tear than other models.
If your forklift has been overworked, some of its vital parts may have reduced capacity.
- Service hours or age
How long your forklift has been in service plays a great role in how well it will function in the future. The age of your forklift is especially useful in determining how serviceable it still is. This “age” is measured in hours instead of miles.
An average forklift model will usually last up to 10,000 hours. If it’s used for 40 hours weekly, then its shelf life should be about up to 7 years. If you’re considering the best time to trade in your forklift, it should be well before this 10,000-hour mark.
Tips for Increasing the Trade-in Value
Now that you know these value-depreciating factors, how will you then be able to reverse them? Here are some tips to increase the value:
- Ready the maintenance records
Providing the data on how often you’ve sent your forklift for repair and maintenance under your ownership will increase its value during the appraisal as it will show clients that the forklift has been well taken care of.
- Make sure your truck looks good
Damaged-looking forklifts will not attract traders. Before you send it for a trade-in make sure to coat it with new paint, wash it, and oil it up.
- Do research
Knowing how much your forklift costs will ensure that you don’t get bamboozled during the appraisal. Conduct your research first to get the best value.
- Purchase and organize accessories
Adding and listing down the special forklift safety accessories such as The Backbone® for forklifts will not only improve its safety but increase its value as well. The Backbone is a forklift rear post & guard accessory, which protects forklift operators from rear-ward collisions. Clients will truly appreciate that they don’t have to purchase such items for installation.
Trading in your forklifts is no easy feat. With so many factors to consider during the value appraisal, you have to be keen and vigilant on how clients are eyeing it. Don’t be afraid to trade in your forklift for a new one because any upgrade for your business will always be a good decision. For more technical information about the forklift rear post & rear guard “The Backbone®” call Lakeport Metalcraft Inc. now at (416) 587-5809.