Should You Buy a New or Used Forklift? 4 Factors to Consider

Used ForkliftsGuest post written by Alex Hilke of Conger Toyota-lift out of Green Bay Wisconsin.

If you’re in charge of purchasing forklifts for your company, you might be overwhelmed. After all, there are hundreds of options to choose from. Your biggest question might not be what model to buy or what options you need, but rather:  Should I buy new or used?

Fortunately, this guide will outline four key factors to consider, so you can make the right choice for your company, needs, and budget.

1. The Cost

If you’re like most companies, you’ve got a budget to stick to when making equipment purchases, so buying a used truck can be tempting, since it’s almost always the cheapest option.

Consider as an example these new and used forklift pricing scenarios:

First, a 5,000 lb. LPG-powered cushion:

  • New: Approx. $24,000 to $30,000
  • Used: Approx. $9,900 to $21,900

Second, a 5,000 lb. electric sit-down rider:

  • New: Approx. $35,000 to $40,500
  • Used: Approx. $8,550 to $25,000

But the purchase price alone doesn’t tell the whole story, because there’s another cost factor you may not be aware of that applies to both new and used trucks alike, and that’s the total cost of ownership.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, let’s break it down.

The total cost of ownership refers to all expenses related to the operation of the forklift. That includes the purchase price, fuel, operator training, and maintenance costs.

In deciding between new and used, maintenance costs are a critical factor to consider. That’s because used lifts have more wear and tear, and thus higher maintenance costs. Realistically, a used forklift can cost around $3.50 per hour or more in maintenance. A new forklift, on the other hand, will cost around $1.00 per hour.

So, when you consider the total cost of ownership instead of just the purchase price, you’ll get a more holistic look at the real costs of both new and used lifts. And that can help you decide which one is the right choice.

2. Your Work Needs

The standard advice from industry experts is that you should consider a new truck if you plan to use it for more than 4 hours per day, 5 days per week. That means if you’re running an around-the-clock warehousing or manufacturing operation, you’re probably better off going new.

But besides expected service hours, there are a couple other things you should consider. One is your facility’s layout and operational needs. For instance, if you’re operating a warehouse with 25-foot tall racking, you may have difficulty finding a truck with that tall of a mast on the used market.

Likewise, if you’re stacking pallets inside semi-trailers, you might have a tough time finding a lift with a shortened “trucker’s” mast.

If your facility has narrow aisle widths, you may require a short-frame 3-wheel electric forklift, a swing reach truck, or a side loader forklift. Each of these trucks may be in limited supply on the used market. A final factor to consider is the hydraulic setup of the truck.

If you’re using multi-function attachments like paper roll clamps and fork positioners, you’ll need at least four functions, but you may have trouble finding a used truck with that many functions that also meets your other operating requirements. Adding more hydraulic functions is an expensive modification to make. So, if you find yourself in that situation, you’re likely better off going new. That way, you can get the correct configuration from the start.

3. The Truck’s Service History

No matter what your business is, the name of the game is productivity. You’re not buying a forklift to just have it sit unused. You’re buying it to work, and if your operation requires equipment to operate at maximum uptime, you can’t afford to risk costly downtime events.

When it comes to greater reliability, less downtime, lower maintenance, and overall better productivity, new is the way to go. Obviously, new trucks won’t have any wear and tear from prior use. But in case something does go wrong, you’ll have the peace of mind of an extended warranty. Not all used forklifts come with that assurance.

Conversely, if you’re planning on having the lift serve as a spare or part-time truck, you may have a bit greater appetite for risk, and a used lift truck might be a good choice.

In that case, you’ll need to carefully consider the truck’s history before buying. For starters, make sure to get the service hours and maintenance log upfront.

Then, see if you can find out more about the truck’s previous operating environment.

After all, certain kinds of work environments and operating practices can take their toll on these machines, including:

  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Continuous operation across multiple shifts
  • Poor maintenance practices
  • Operator abuse

If you’re eyeing an electric lift, there’s another aspect of service history you’ll need to consider: The condition of the battery.

Unfortunately, this is something buyers often overlook. But since a new battery can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000 or more new, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t.  A good rule of thumb is to look for batteries with at least 80% capacity remaining. That equates to roughly four hours of usage before needing a charge.

Now, if you’re comfortable with the truck’s history and current condition, your next step is to have a qualified technician inspect it. They can alert you to anything that’s structurally deficient, mechanically defective, or that jeopardizes safety, like:

  • Compromised overhead guard
  • Binding or lopsided mast
  • Leaks
  • Loud noises
  • Wiring issues
  • Unevenly worn tires

One way to reduce your risk of buying a shoddy used truck is to purchase from a factory-authorized dealership. Because they must meet stringent manufacturer standards to carry their brands, you can trust the quality of the used lifts they sell.

4. Your Urgency

In a perfect world, you could predict exactly when you’d need a lift truck. You’d be able to plan ahead and make the arrangements to get it in time. But the reality is that your operational situation and needs can change at any moment.

Maybe you’re experiencing a sudden surge in business. Or perhaps one or more of your current lift trucks are out of commission. Either way, you may find yourself in urgent need of a forklift. If that’s the case, you might need to consider going with a used truck. In some cases, you can buy a used lift truck and put it to work in as little as a day or two. Especially if you’re buying from a local, certified dealership.

New trucks, on the other hand, can take as much as 18 weeks before they ship from the factory to the dealership and are ready for the customer, and that simply might not be an acceptable time frame for you and your company.

Conclusion

There you have it: Four key factors to help you decide between buying a new or used forklift.

We’ve given you a lot of useful information, but you may still have questions. If that’s the case, there’s no substitute for consulting with industry experts who know lift trucks. The experts at Southeast Industrial Equipment can help answer any questions particular to your situation so you can get the perfect lift for your needs and budget.

2020 Roaring Twenties Award Winner for the Florence, SC Branch

Southeast Industrial Equipment, Inc.  has been named one of the 40 fastest-growing companies in South Carolina for 2020 by SC Biz News. Twenty large companies and 20 small companies have been named to the statewide list presented annually by SC Biz News. This honor recognizes the state’s fastest-growing companies based on both dollar and percentage increases in revenue from 2018-2019.

https://charlestonbusiness.com/news/business-services/79293

In order to qualify for the Roaring Twenties designation, companies must have a physical presence in South Carolina and be a for-profit entity or a nonprofit organization (EXCEPT FOR: government entities and charitable organizations, including 501(c)3 organizations.  These types of nonprofits are not eligible). Company size was determined by gross revenue: A small company was considered as having $10 million and under in revenue. Large companies were classified as having over $10 million in revenue. Small companies must have had revenues of at least $500,000 each year for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019. Profiles of the winning companies will be published in the winter issue of SCBIZ magazine. The winners will be honored with a virtual event on October 15th.

The winners and their locations, in alphabetical order, are:

 

Small companies:  
360Clean Charleston
Accountfully Charleston
Alder Energy Systems LLC Charleston
Big Red Box Coastal Charleston
Broadband Infrastructure Inc Greer
Cantey Tech Consulting North Charleston
Catch Talent Daniel Island
Ceterus Inc. Charleston
Crawford Strategy Greenville
Docugraphics LLC Charleston
exaqueo Charleston
GenX Security Solutions Greenville
High Spirits Hospitality Greenville
Intellectual Capitol Greenville
K-Con Inc. North Charleston
Lee & Associates – Greenville/Spartanburg Greenville
Matt O’Neill Real Estate Mount Pleasant
Pintail Capital Partners Greenville
Southeastern Institute North Charleston
Upstate Granite Solutions Greenville

 

Large Companies  
A3 Communications Inc. Irmo/Summerville/Greenville
Cantey Foundation Specialists Camden
Capital Waste Services Columbia
Crescent Homes Charleston
Evans General Contractors Greenville & Charleston
Frampton Construction Co. LLC Ladson
Langston Construction Co. LLC Piedmont
Logisticus Group Greenville
Mashburn Construction Columbia
Mavin Construction LLC Greenville
MedTrust Holdings Inc. Hanahan
Phi Life Sciences LLC Charleston
Samet Corp. North Charleston
Shelly Leeke Law Firm LLC North Charleston
Southeast Industrial Equipment Florence
Spencer Hines Properties Spartanburg
Stantec Consulting Services Inc. North Charleston
The Office People North Charleston
Triangle Construction Co. Inc. Greenville
USI Insurance Services Mount Pleasant

SIE Achieves Philanthropic Accolade from Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina held the 2020 Partner Appreciation Awards Thursday, March 12th recognizing its partners for their commitment to helping end hunger in the Charlotte, North Carolina and Metrolina communities. Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (SHMETROLINA) strives through education, advocacy, and partnerships to eliminate hunger by the solicitation and distribution of food. SHMETROLINA has been in existence since 1981. SHMETROLINA serves over 800 partner agencies including soup kitchens, emergency pantries, homeless shelters, senior programs, low-income daycares, veteran service organizations, and animal rescues in 24 counties in North and South Carolina.

Southeast Industrial Equipment wins Second Harvest Food Bank Partner AwardIn 2019 the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina had a list of accomplishments in 2019 that should not go without recognition:

  • Distributed over 60 million pounds of food and household items to their network of over 800 agency partners.
  • Distributed over 32 million pounds of fresh produce, dairy, meat & seafood. These are foods that low-income families need to stay healthy but struggle to afford.
  • Volunteers donated over 300,000 hours. This is the equivalent of 144 full-time positions with a labor cost savings of 7 million dollars.
  • 259 different programs were aimed at the ending of child hunger including backpack programs, kids cafe meal sites, and school-based mobile pantries.
  • The equivalent of 6.6 million pounds were collected in food and fund Drives.
  • Over 7.1 million pounds of food was distributed through 520 Mobile Pantries serving rural areas where poverty is high and resources are scare.

Here at Southeast Industrial Equipment, giving back to the communities that we serve is something we take great pride in. Each of our 10 branch locations throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia are encouraged to participate in several charitable activities from sponsoring events to volunteer time to collecting items to donate. The Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina has recognized SIE as a 2019 New Partner Award Winner and we could not be more honored! In 2018 we were able to donate over 5,200 pounds of food and in 2019 we were able to donate an additional 3,000+ pounds by developing a friendly internal corporate competition to see what team could donate the most goods.

Southeast Industrial Equipment is honored to receive this award and look forward to continuing our partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina in 2020 and the years to come.

 

2019 Holiday Gift Guide For Your Warehouse

2019 Holiday Gift Guide For Your Warehouse

1. Rack Guards –  Designed to set up quickly and easily to protect the corners of machinery, buildings, and offices with 90 degree bend to fit snugly around corners providing the ultimate protection against lift trucks or other mobile equipment.

 

2. Safety Rails & Guards – Safety railing greatly improves facility safety and efficiency by reducing costs associated with employee injury, machinery downtime, and building repairs due to accidental collisions.

 

3. Floor Tape & Floor Markings – Industry leading patented floor tape to help you spend more time on value added actions – producing, receiving, and shipping materials and less time on non-value added activities such as painting floor lines.

 

4. Storage Bins and Systems – Keep parts organized and readily accessible enabling you to identify parts quickly reducing downtime. High density, pick rack systems, and many more available to suit your business.

 

5. Annual ANSI Aerial Work Platform Inspections – Aerial work platform equipment inspections must be done 13 months after the previous inspection annually. Book your inspection today to stay in compliance and avoid costly fees.

 

6. Forklift Forks – “Just like Bubba in Forest Gump knows everything there is to know about the shrimping business, there is a lot to know about forklift forks. You can lift with them, sideshift them, fork position them, and even rotate them. Not to mention there are a variety of sizes, classes, and mounting types to choose from.” Fork Types From A to Z toyotaforklift.com

 

7. Forklift Tires  Are you like most, wondering what type of tires you need for your forklift? What if you don’t know when to replace your forklift tires? There are critical factors that could save you and your company a great deal of time and money when buying and having the right tires put on your lift trucks.

SIE Wins The Prestigious TMHU President’s Award For The Fourth Consecutive Year!

During the Toyota Materials Handling, U.S.A. (TMHU) Annual Dealer Meeting Toyota recognizes the top dealerships in the North American Market with elite awards for their accomplishments from the year before.

In order to obtain Service Excellence a dealership must excel in PM completion, Toyota Service Market Share, Customer Satisfaction, and Training. SIE was recognized for Service Excellence in 2018.

For Parts Excellence a dealership must excel in Parts Inventory Management, Parts Sales, Training, Parts Market Share, and Customer Satisfaction. SIE was recognized for Parts Excellence in 2018.

Sales Excellence is obtained by a dealership for excelling in the areas of Sales Market Share, Sales Coverage, Training, and customer satisfaction. Sales Elite is given to the top dealers in Volume of Toyota forklift. SIE was recognized as a Sales Elite recipient in 2018.

Finally, Toyota’s President’s Award is only given to the dealerships that excel in ALL areas of the business and meet the top % of their markets. SIE was recognized as a President’s Award winner for 2018!

The news was announced by Southeast Industrial Equipment President, Cory Thorne. – “I want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions in helping SIE earn these awards. We have now been recognized with Toyota’s prestigious President’s Award for the 4th straight year, and I can’t say THANK YOU enough!”

PRESS RELEASE President’s Award

SIE President's Award

Toyota Forklift Service Excellence AwardToyota Forklift Parts Excellence AwardToyota_SalesEliteAward_Logo

SIE Donates Forklifts & Pallet Jacks to Support Red Cross Hurricane Florence Relief

October 12th, 2018 — In collaboration with Toyota Materials Handling U.S.A. (TMHU), Southeast Industrial Equipment’s rental and parts departments responded to numerous American Red Cross requests for materials handling equipment rentals to assist in Hurricane Florence relief efforts at warehouse locations near SIE’s Florence, SC, Columbia, SC, Wilson, NC, and Hampton Roads, VA branches.American Red Cross Donation from SIE

Hurricane Florence has had devastating impacts in North and South Carolina. After making landfall in the Southeast, many rivers swollen with rain, have caused historic flooding and threatened homes, industries, and infrastructure. Preliminary information suggests that between 8,000 to 10,000 homes may have suffered major damage or were destroyed. More than 3,500 Red Cross disaster workers from all over the country are helping to shelter, feed and support people affected. Working with partners, the Red Cross has served more than 921,600 meals and snacks, provided more than 114,700 overnight stays (92% by the Red Cross), distributed more than 138,200 relief items like diapers and comfort kits for people forced from their homes.

The Red Cross submitted forklift rental requests to TMHU who then got in touch with executives at Southeast Industrial Equipment to respond with immediate assistance. SIE delivered 11 Toyota hand pallet jacks and 13 Toyota forklifts to Red Cross locations throughout the devastation to assist in warehouse facilities to move pallets of water, food, and other items needed. Southeast Industrial Equipment donated one month of the rental equipment to the Red Cross and TMHU will donate the remaining months expenses.

Nationally, Toyota Material Handling assists the Red Cross with volunteer forklift training and encourages employees to become certified Red Cross forklift operators. The national partnership with the American Red Cross is Toyota’s commitment to support local communities and neighbors to ensure everyone gets through tough times together.

It is a privilege of SIE to be able to partner with Toyota Materials Handling, U.S.A. to help those in need during hard times.

Forklift Tires: What You Need To Know And When They Should Be Replaced

Are you like most, wondering what type of tires you need for your forklift? What if you don’t know when to replace your forklift tires? These are critical factors that could save you and your company a great deal of time and money. In this blog we will cover the two main types of forklift tires and the wear and tear to look for.

Forklift tires come in three different varieties cushion, solid pneumatic and air-filled pneumatic. Cushion forklift tires are primarily used indoors or on smooth outdoor surfaces. These tires can puncture easily, therefore, they are not suited for rough terrain. Pneumatic forklift tires are similar to a car or truck tire when air-filled for more comfort. Solid pneumatic forklift tires are used in outdoor applications where debris can easily make your tire go flat. Both cushion and pneumatic tires are offered in treaded or smooth options, however, you need to be aware of the moisture around the operation in order to make an educated decision on what type of tire you will need for traction.

Worn forklift tires can cause more damage to your lift truck that you would think. The axle of your forklift is typically specific to what type of tire it should have. Forklifts do not have suspension systems so the tires absorb the weight of the truck and the load. Therefore, the more worn your tires are the more pressure is put on the axle of the forklift. In order to reduce the risk of axle and other damage to your lift trucks, tires must be part of the daily operator checklist for each unit before using them. “Did you know: after a tire has worn 40%, the forklift and the driver will absorb over 84% of the shock if it’s being run over a rough surface. The transmission has to work much harder to turn the tires the same amount of rotation, which can result in a breakdown.” – tmhnc.com/blog If an operator starts to see chunking, cracking, tearing and/or flat spots it is time to replace your forklift tires. Below is an example of tires that have worn down to the “safety line” that some forklift tires come with and an example of tire chunking.

Worn Forklift Tires

Replacing forklift tires can be very dangerous and should not be performed but anyone not properly trained to do so. If you are in need of tire replacement services, contact Southeast Industrial Equipment at any one of our 10 branch locations throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia or Virginia. See our forklift tire guide below for more details.

Forklift Tire Guide

Schedule your next forklift service with SIE. FORKLIFT SERVICE REQUEST

SIE Supports the 5th Annual National Forklift Safety Day June 12th 2018

FIFTH ANNUAL NATIONAL FORKLIFT SAFETY DAY 2018

“Safety is the cornerstone of our industry, and operator training is a major component in reducing worker injuries and fatalities,” said Brett Wood, president and CEO of Toyota Material Handling North America and chairman of ITA (see full article.)

June 12, 2018 is the fifth annual National Forklift Safety Day. Created by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), National Forklift Safety Day is an annual event for the forklift industry to emphasize the importance of operator training and the safe use of forklifts.

Southeast Industrial Equipment’s main focus is to ensure that we provide our customers with the top of the line and safest material handling equipment in the industry. It is imperative that all operators are properly trained to operate the lift trucks they handle costly materials with day in and day out. SIE offers in-house operator safety and certification training at our Charlotte, North Carolina and Duncan, South Carolina forklift dealership locations on a monthly basis. We also offer the convenience of training your operators on-site at your location and numerous train the trainer programs where you become the trainer to save time, damages, accidents, money and more.

TMHU President Jeff Rufener said, “Toyota’s number one priority is to create safe products, so we’re naturally big supporters of National Forklift Safety Day. Implementing safety audits and training in your organization can reduce injuries, while preventing loss of resources and lowering maintenance costs.” (Modern Materials Handling article on National Forklift Safety Day)

For more on forklift safety in the workplace, check out the resources below.

https://www.toyotaforklift.com/blog/forklift-pedestrian-safety-tips-increase-awareness-in-your-work-space

https://www.toyotaforklift.com/blog/know-your-forklift-trip-points

https://www.osha.gov/dte/library/pit/daily_pit_checklist.html

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9828

The Solution to Changing Boat Storage Trends with Toyota’s Marina Forklift

Toyota’s High Capacity Marina Forklift is the solution to changing boat storage trends and the unique challenges faced by marina owners and dock workers.

High Capacity Marina Forklift Lifting a Boat

Once considered too costly for many boat owners, the advantages of dry storage (protection from the elements and advancements in building materials technology that make warehouses better able to withstand hurricanes, as well as increasing the load-bearing capabilities of the racking) have created an increased demand in many marinas. This also creates industry-specific challenges for marina and dock owners, such how to quickly access and move boats from the warehouse to the water, and how to house all those boats that were once in slip storage.

Marina owners are looking for specialty equipment that can maximize efficiency while maintaining safety and protecting their customers’ investments. The Toyota High Capacity Marina Forklift is the answer to those challenges. Customized for your application, with a lifting capacity of 15,000 – 55,000lbs, and forks that can handle any boat size you need to accommodate, this forklift can get the job done.

State of the art technology gives operators eyes in the back of their heads with must-have tools like an on-board rack height calculator and a backup camera, all in real-time and displayed on a 7” MD4 screen.MD4-7IN TOUCH SCREEN DISPLAY MARINA FORKLIFT

A two-stage mast built to reach new heights, gives you the ability to stack beyond traditional two and three-tiered racks, allowing marina owners to build up instead of out, and maximizing space. A forklift with negative lift, standard on Toyota’s High Capacity Marina Forklift, eliminates the need for cranes when lowering boats into the water, and optional wireless remote control gives operators the ultimate advantage in precision maneuverability.

Adapting to changing conditions and responding to new trends are critical to creating success in any industry. Having the right equipment, at the right time, along with a great support network can make all the difference. Contact your local Southeast Industrial Equipment branch today to see if the Toyota High Capacity Marina Forklift is right for your application.

SIE Wins Toyota President’s Award for the 3rd Consecutive Year

Toyota Materials Handling, U.S.A. announced the recipient’s of the prestigious President’s Award for outstanding performance in 2017 at the 2018 Dealer Meeting held in Tucson, Arizona. Southeast Industrial Equipment was one of 15 dealers nationwide to win the elite award for the third consecutive year! Only dealers who perform at the highest level in parts, service and equipment sales, customer satisfaction and overall operations win this accolade which was featured in a Material Handling Network article in April, 2018! “The dedication to go above and beyond for our customers is what sets the President’s Award winners apart,” said Jeff Rufener, president of TMHU. “They are driven to deliver the best customer experience in the industry and the President’s Award is our way of honoring them for their unwavering commitment.” – TOYOTA’S ANNUAL PRESIDENT’S AWARD HONORS TOP FORKLIFT DEALERS Monday, April 9, 2018

President Cory Thorne with Toyota Material Handling USA receiving the President's Award

Cory Thorne, President of Southeast Industrial Equipment accepting the 2017 President’s Award

Southeast Industrial Equipment also received the Sales Elite, Parts Excellence and Service Excellence awards during this meeting. Working together throughout 10 branch locations in the Southeast to serve our customers with the best customer service and high quality materials handling equipment has earned Southeast Industrial Equipment these awards consecutively.

Toyota Materials Handling USA Southeast Industrial Equipment President's Award

SIE Wins Sales Elite, Parts Excellence, Service Excellence from Toyota Material Handling USA

2017 Presidents Award Winners Group Photo

2017 President’s Award Winners

In addition, SIE has won the 2018 Toyota Commercial Finance Ambassador Award in recognition of continued support and achieving $150,000,000 in lease and retail outstanding with TCF.

Toyota Commercial Finance Ambassador Award Won by Southeast Industrial Equipment

Check out Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A. commitment to excellence in 2018 with this video below.