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Choosing Between New Vs. Used Forklift: Which One Do You Need?

Whether you are looking to buy a forklift because of a sudden equipment breakdown, because your business is scaling up, you want an efficient forklift, or you are just getting started. For some operations, a pre-owned forklift can work, yet some businesses never even consider used equipment.

Second-hand forklifts generally cost you 30-50% lower than a brand-new forklift and in some cases you get the machine much sooner.

If your operation involves multiple shifts, considering a new forklift does make sense. A new one ensures reliability, more productivity, and less downtime, and comes with a FACTORY WARRANTY, that can only be as good as the dealer that is selling and servicing that brand of truck.

Choosing between a new and a used forklift might not be that straightforward as many more factors come to play.

Here we will discuss the points that help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing between a new and used forklift.

When to Buy a New Forklift?

Like we have said before, if your business involves multiple shifts, buying a new forklift requires no second thought. New forklifts are more able to handle heavy use. They also come with warranties of generally one to three years. UNICARRIERS currently offers a two-year unlimited hour warranty on all qualified units. There are some stipulations based on the environment in which the truck will be used, but restricted to heavily abusive environments such as foundries etc.

Here are some more reasons why you need to buy a new forklift for your business:

  • Getting a higher tax write-off.

  • Matching with others in your fleet.

  • Lifting the morale of your employees

  • Longer interval between break downs. Typically a new lift truck will give 2-3 years of service before needing repairs. Periodic maintenance should be performed at 2-3 month intervals, depending on the application, from day one, but typically starters, alternators, brakes, etc. usually perform issue free for the first 24-36 months of service.


If there were a disadvantage to purchasing a new lift truck I would say the lead time… Unless the truck is in inventory there could be a possible wait time of 6-12 months depending on the specs of the truck.

When to Buy a Used Forklift?

While buying a new forklift comes with its benefits, there are certain occasions when you need a used forklift.

When You Need Equipment As Soon As Possible:

When you buy a used forklift, you can get it as soon as you pay the money to the owner. This way, you can get the operations up and running quickly. The lead time for a new forklift can be long as it generally takes a six to nine months from the time you order it until it gets delivered to you.

If your equipment breaks down and you are in a great emergency, you cannot afford to wait those months. You acquire a used forklift quickly as they are generally more readily available than a new one, meaning that you can use it right away.

When You Have a Limited Budget:

Second-hand forklifts let you increase your buying power. Used forklifts are likely to be more cost effective than new ones. In fact, you can get two forklifts for the price of a new one if you are willing to compromise with year model and hour meter readings. This way, it saves you a lot of money.

When Familiarity of Features Does Matter:

New forklift models are equipped with new design features. If your operators are used to the ergonomic design and operation of older forklifts, buying used ones can maintain their comfort level as well as productivity. Also, it leads to the safe use of forklifts.


  • A pre-owned forklift, like any other used machine, comes with wear and tear, so you have to ask for a previous maintenance report.

  • Your odds of being able to handle long operations with a used one are less than a new unit. A used forklift can be ideal for operations lasting four hours a day or light duty depending on condition of the unit.

The Conclusion:

Should you buy a new forklift or a used forklift depends purely on your requirement and budget. Therefore, you should ponder over all the needs before choosing between them. After all, a forklift is an important piece of equipment to handle your material handling operations.

Here at Permian Machinery Movers we stock new units in popular configurations so that they are on standby when our customers need them whether they be a rental, lease or sold unit we have options in stock. We also create a large amount of used trucks through our rental fleet. Our customers gain an edge when purchasing these units because although they are used, they have been maintained by our team of factory trained technicians with high quality OE or equivalent parts. We also offer in house warranties on select approved units. We stand behind our equipment and as always our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.

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