Understanding the Full Cost of a Forklift

August 16, 2019 12:06 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Any time you buy a piece of machinery like a forklift, your budget needs to factor in not just how much the machinery costs up front, but also the various hidden costs that may be associated with long-term usage of the equipment.

There are a several main categories of additional costs to consider when purchasing a new forklift in Lafayette, LA. Let’s take a closer look at these costs.

Energy costs

First and foremost, you’ll need to consider how much the energy used to run the forklift will cost you. Energy costs have seen a fairly substantial drop in recent years, but there is still an associated cost there that you’ll need to consider as part of your budget. Electricity, batteries, fuel and any other components should all be factored into your purchase decision.


Most forklifts will come with a manufacturer’s warranty—if it doesn’t, you should look elsewhere. Of course, having that warranty will also come with a small cost. That being said, the cost is more than worth it if you end up needing it, given how much protection it will afford you from even more substantial costs.

Parts and maintenance

As with any type of vehicle or large machinery, you’ll need to engage in some routine preventative forklift maintenance in Lafayette, LA to ensure the equipment stays in good condition over the course of its life. This maintenance is not free. You’ll pay for any service and checkups provided by maintenance technicians, which includes costs for replacement parts and labor.

Operational efficiency

This is perhaps the category that gets the least consideration by companies looking to purchase a forklift, probably because it’s not quite as tangible as the other considerations we’ve mentioned so far. How efficient is the machinery, and what steps need to be taken to enhance that efficiency to lower costs?

With forklifts, for example, a facility could compare the charge time for batteries to the cost of additional batteries and the amount of time a forklift battery can operate on a single charge to determine which method of keeping the forklift powered up makes more sense. In addition, one also has to consider the differences in cost between electric engines and combustion engines with forklifts. Electric engines do not have the same maintenance costs, parts or downtime often associated with those types of engines.

With pallet wrapper forklifts, in particular, there are greater risks of downtime due to the higher likelihood of film breaks. Over the course of weeks and months the impact on output and operational efficiency can become quite significant. Many facilities reduce the tension of the film or discard film rolls that weren’t totally run, but both of these steps can significantly increase the costs of materials, which decreases operational efficiency.

With all this in mind, it takes quite a bit of planning and thought to make sure you select a forklift that will come with few hidden and operational costs. For more information about the factors that should go into your decision to purchase a new forklift, or to schedule forklift repairs in Lafayette, LA, contact George’s Lift Truck Service, LLC today.

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