Knowing When to Replace Your Forklift

Old Forklifts Can Be A Danger to Employees

Your forklift is an essential part of your warehouse. It is vital to warehouse productivity. However, there comes a time when you are forced to replace it to maintain the level of efficiency and safety required in your warehouse. The older, more worn down forklifts can hurt your business’ productivity and put your employees in danger.

However, how do you know when it is time to replace your forklift?


One of the most important aspects of owning a forklift is making sure that it is properly maintained. Making sure that your equipment is well-kept helps ensure that it lasts a long time. If not, you force it to age much quicker.

A brand-new forklift should cost you nothing in maintenance costs within its first year. However, like with all things, the older it gets, the more repairs it will need. If you notice that your cost for Forklift repair is drastically increasing, it may be time to replace it. A way to figure this out is to check the resale price for your model. If the costs of maintenance are higher than the resale price, then it may be time to replace it. Also, if your maintenance costs have doubled in the past year, it may be time to retire it.

NOTE: It is important to determine whether any of these repairs occurred because of a one-time accident or regular maintenance. These can inflate your repair costs.

There are important forklift parts that require replacement regardless of how old they are. They should not be included in your estimated repair cost. Some of these parts include wheels, belts, and tires.


When the odometer on a car is about to reach 100,000 miles, owners may decide it’s time to replace the vehicle. Forklifts don’t rely on miles but hours. A typical forklift can last upwards of 10,000 hours if you measure it off single shift, 40-hour workweeks. This equals up to about six or seven years.

However, some factors can cause your forklift’s age to speed up, including:

  • How much weight is being moved
  • The frequency of maintenance
  • What the forklift is used for
  • How often it is used

The brand and type of forklift will also determine how long it lasts. Electric forklifts typically last longer than internal combustion engine (ICE) ones since ICE forklifts require more maintenance and repair.


Regardless of how long you use your machine, what you use it for, or how long you’ve had it, there are still several signs to keep a lookout. Some of them include:

  • More Downtime: If your forklift spends more time out of commission than actually being used, then it’s probably time to replace it. The longer it’s down, the more productivity is lost.
  • Dropping Loads: This should be an obvious clue. If your equipment can’t pick up a load or constantly drops them, it becomes a safety hazard and should be replaced.
  • Movement Issues: Your forklift should be able to drive around smoothly with no problems. Jerking motions, freezing up, or losing pawer altogether may be signs that something is wrong. This hurts productivity and puts your workers in danger.

Choosing to replace your forklift can be a difficult decision to make. It may feel a little premature to you in some cases. However, operating with an old, worn-out forklift can not only reduce productivity but put your workplace and employees in danger. If you are interested in finding a replacement for your vehicle, contact Ace Equipment.