As a warehouse manager, providing your staff with quality, reliable equipment is essential to keep operations productive and efficient. You have an important decision to make when purchasing forklifts — buying them new or used.

If you’re trying to decide between buying new vs. used forklifts, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we cover the pros and cons of buying new and used equipment to help you make the most informed decision.

Pros of New Equipment

First, let’s look at the benefits of buying new forklifts for your warehouse.

1. Quality

Because new equipment buying options typically include newer forklift models, you’ll likely see better quality. Compared to older models, new forklifts can usually handle longer operational hours while maintaining an efficient pace.

New models include modern designs, technology, power and speed capabilities, so naturally, they tend to be more efficient and longer-lasting than older equipment. In most cases, a used forklift will have lost some of its speed and lift capacity over its service life. You also won’t have to deal with the maintenance and repairs that often accompany used machines.

A new forklift can provide the durability, efficiency and reliability needed for everyday use. Comparatively, older models may be better for light or occasional use.

2. More Attachment Options

New forklifts generally have more available attachment options. That means you can use the equipment for more tasks. With several attachments to choose from, you can easily customize your forklifts to accommodate different teams and jobs.

3. Safety

Because new forklifts have improved features and technology, they offer more safety. Many new forklifts include alarms and signals to warn operators of hazards. Additionally, they have better ergonomics and features designed to prevent operator accidents and injuries.

4. Consistency

We recommend buying new equipment if you want to ensure uniformity across your fleet. You often have to mix and match when purchasing used forklifts, but more often than not, you can buy multiple new models of the same type.

Cons of New Equipment

Next, here are the disadvantages of purchasing new forklifts.

1. Price

Price is the main drawback of purchasing new equipment. Like any vehicle, a new forklift costs more than a used one. However, you may find the advanced features and technology worth the investment.

2. Need for Retraining

New forklifts have advanced technology, designs and features. Therefore, your crew may need some retraining to learn the ropes of this new equipment. If you lack the time and desire to provide additional training, you may want to reconsider new forklift models.

Pros of Used Equipment

Now, we’ll go over the benefits of buying pre-owned forklifts.

1. Cost Savings

You can typically enjoy lower upfront costs when buying a used forklift. As mentioned above, it costs more to buy a new machine than a used one. A used forklift can be a great choice if you have a tight budget or want to save a few bucks.

Because used forklifts have lower prices, you can boost your buying power by choosing this route. The price of one new forklift could cover the cost of two used ones, giving you more for your money. You can use the money you save to purchase more forklifts, make necessary repairs or cover other business-related expenses.

2. Easier Maintenance and Service

Finding parts for used forklifts is often easier because those models have been around longer. A more recent model may be too new to have a wide parts supply available. Of course, a new forklift shouldn’t require parts right away, but it’s still something to consider.

Additionally, many mechanics are more familiar with used forklift parts and maintenance needs, which can speed up servicing. What’s more, replacement parts for used forklifts often cost less since they’ve been on the market longer.

3. Operator Familiarity

As mentioned, new forklift models have upgraded designs and features that warehouse teams may be unfamiliar with. You’ll likely have to spend some time retraining your forklift operators when you go with newer models.

When you opt for pre-owned models, chances are your staff will be more comfortable and familiar with their features, having previously operated the same or similar models. While your operators might need a brief rundown of the machines, you can skip those long training sessions needed for more intricate components.

4. Wide Selection

Most equipment dealers have more used forklifts available than new ones. Because there will likely be more pre-owned models to choose from, you can typically find a solution that precisely meets your material handling needs.

Cons of Used Equipment

Finally, let’s cover the cons of used forklifts.

1. Wear and Tear

Similar to a used car or truck, a pre-owned forklift will inevitably show signs of use — whether in the form of dents, scratches or slightly slower performance.

If you decide to buy a pre-owned model, be sure to get a detailed report of its maintenance and repair history. Consider how much use the vehicle has seen and how often it will be used in your warehouse. These factors can help you decide whether a used forklift is feasible.

2. Limited Warranty Offerings

New forklifts often include extensive warranties of a year or longer. However, used equipment tends to have limited warranties.

Should You Buy New or Used?

These factors can help you determine whether to buy new or used forklifts:

  • Intended use: What types of tasks will the forklifts perform? How often will you use them? How much time are you willing to factor in for maintenance and repairs? New forklifts are likely your best bet if you’ll be using them daily or for demanding material-handling jobs. You’ll want something as reliable and long-lasting as possible with minimal maintenance requirements. However, if you’re using forklifts sporadically for various applications, pre-owned forklifts may make more sense.
  • Budget: Determine how much you can comfortably spend on your forklift fleet, then compare prices of new and used models with a reputable dealer. If you have budget limitations or want to spend less upfront, a used forklift can be an excellent choice. If you need the quality and reliability of newer models but don’t quite have the budget for them, your dealer may be able to negotiate a financing plan with you.

Buy New and Used Forklifts at Fitzgerald Equipment

Whether you’re looking for new forklifts or used forklifts, Fitzgerald Equipment is here to meet your needs. For over 60 years, we’ve served customers throughout Wisconsin and Illinois with quality material-handling equipment from reputable manufacturers.

If you’d like to learn more about our available models or purchase a new or used forklift, contact our team today.

Rockford, IL
4650 Boeing Drive
Rockford, IL 61109