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To Repair or Replace? Four Signs You May Need a New Forklift

Portrait of a young woman driving a forklift in a warehouse

If your organization regularly relies on forklifts to move products, you may have an entire fleet of lift equipment. Hopefully, you have kept up on maintaining your forklift over the years to keep it in good condition. Even so, wear and tear will eventually take its toll.

How long should you keep repairing your older forklifts? When is it time to retire your truck and invest in a replacement? The average forklift lifespan is 10,000 operating hours, or five to seven years, depending on the brand, amount of use and many other factors. Here are four common signs that your forklift may need to be replaced.

1. Rising Maintenance and Repair Costs

If it feels like you are sinking a lot of money into certain lift trucks in your fleet, it could be time to consider replacing them. A planned maintenance program is a great way to gain insight to the state of your equipment through comprehensive checks and detailed reports. Vitan offers all planned maintenance customers free access to our fleet management tool, Fleet Analyzer.

With the right material handling partner, you will be equipped with the information to not only know when it is time to replace your unit, but what brand, make and model, and features make the most sense for your application and usage.

To learn more about our fleet management services, visit our fleet management page.

2. Excessive Downtime

If your older equipment is broken down frequently and being serviced often, that is downtime impacting your operations and your bottom line. If your equipment is regularly replaced with rental units while your equipment is in the shop, it may be time to compare the cost of repairs to the cost of a new unit that can run efficiently and minimize downtime.

3. Visible Wear and Tear

Part of your forklift maintenance program should include inspecting the equipment for wear and tear. If the forks are bent, tires are cracked, or other components are wearing out, you should at least replace the parts. Depending on the forklift’s hours and condition, you may want to replace it entirely.

The technicians working on your fleet should be trained to help you regularly identify preventable damage, and signs of wear and tear that could lead to more costly repairs down the line, if neglected.

4. High Demand on the Equipment

If your application is tough on your equipment, you may have to turn over your fleet more frequently than other types of businesses.

It’s also important to keep in mind that many forklifts come with features designed specifically to withstand certain applications. If your lift trucks are barely getting the job done within your operations, or your operators are being exposed to harsh materials and environments, there are lift truck solutions out there that are a better match for your business.

Contact Vitan Equipment Today

If your forklift requires frequent or major repairs, you should think about whether it is worth investing in the service or if replacing with a new or pre-owned unit makes more sense. At Vitan, our material handling consultants can help you determine the best plan of action for any equipment in your fleet that you may be concerned about. Contact us today to get in touch with an expert.