How Much Does a Forklift Cost?
A forklift, also known as a fork truck or lift truck, is a powerful industrial truck that is used to transport goods. While this is most commonly used in a factory setting, it can be used elsewhere. Developed in the 1960s, the forklift has been a staple in warehouses across the globe. A forklift is the chief piece of equipment used to move pallets throughout a warehouse. Even the smallest forklifts are able to carry at least 3,000 pounds, and the largest can carry up to 30,000 pounds. The way this machine works is by putting two metal loader bars, which is why the word “fork” is used, underneath something to carry it. The loader of the forklift is able to be moved up and down, usually up to the height of the machine. This allows the user to put large loads up on a shelf if necessary. The cost of a forklift is similar to a car; it is going to be based on the model, the condition, features and other factors.
How much is it?
- The standard 5,000 pound forklift that is commonly bought by warehouses and factories can cost anywhere from $15,000 to as much as $28,000. This type of forklift is more than enough to perform the jobs of the average factory.
- Internal combustion forklifts can cost anywhere from $14,000 to $35,000; the final price will be determined by the features that you want.
- A larger forklift, such as a 10,000 pound capacity forklift, can cost anywhere from $25,000 to as much as $50,000.
- Larger lifts that can carry more than 30,000 pounds can cost as much as $100,000.
- According to the website BuyerZone.com, a forklift can cost anywhere from $18,000 to as much as $100,000. The price range will all depend on the capacity of the forklift, the features that you choose, as well as the type of engine and power.
- Because of the high cost of forklifts, many people opt to purchase a used one in the same way that they would purchase a used car. MachineryTrader.com, an online classified ad site, has a range of used forklifts for sale. The prices for used forklifts range anywhere from $9,000 to as much as $74,000. For instance, a 2004 CAT C5000 is available for $9,000.
Type of Forklift
Forklift (3,000 to 5,000 pound capacity)
$18,000 to $29,000
Forklift (10,000 pound capacity)
$25,000 to $50,000
Forklift (30,000 pound capacity)
Electric Forklift with Battery
$25,000 to $35,000
Electric Standup Forklift
$30,000 to $40,000
Narrow Aisle Forklift
$74,000 to $100,000
What is going to be included?
- Forklifts are rated depending on the amount of weight that they can lift. Forklifts start at 3,000 pounds and can go up to 30,000 and more. The most common forklifts, however, come in 3,000, 5,000 and 8,000 pound capacities.
- The average side loader, which means the actual width of the forklift, is usually around 24 inches. This is an important factor to consider since the width of the aisles in a warehouse may be an issue.
- Common types of power sources can include gasoline, diesel, propane gas and electric, which uses a battery.
What are the extra costs?
- Brands really matter when it comes to a forklift. The top-tier brands are going to cost a lot more than the no-name brand. The same can be said when shopping for a car.
- Aside from the actual forklift, plan on setting aside $1,500 to $6,000 for the forklift battery and the charger.
- Like a car, the prices do not stop when take it off the showroom floor. With a forklift, you are going to have to pay for additional costs such as the oil, the fuel, filters and regular maintenance. Maintenance alone can cost your business up to $2,000 a year, depending on the type of forklift purchased.
- Operating costs can range anywhere from $1,500 to as much as $13,000, depending on the forklift and how often the business uses it.
- Since all forklifts do not last forever, there may come a time when it will have to be repaired. Repairs can be costly, especially if something major goes wrong.
- Just like a car, you will need to have the forklift, as well as employees running it, insured.
Tips to know:
- If you plan on using the forklift for more than four to six hours a day, many experts will warn you that a used purchase is not worth it. A new forklift will pay for itself in job efficiency.
- Electric forklifts can often take up to 15 hours to charge the battery.
Top brands to consider:
How can I save money?
- Used forklifts can save you more than 40% if you purchase from the right company. On average, a used forklift can start at $5,000 and go up from there.
- For those that do not have the money up front to afford a forklift, you should know that most dealers will offer financing for just about any buyer that can qualify.
- Renting a forklift is also an option for those that only plan on using a forklift for a minimum amount of time. If your warehouse is located in an industrial complex, you can even consider sharing the cost of a forklift with a neighboring facility and splitting the time it is used.