How to Determine the Value of a Used Forklift

Assigning a monetary value to a used forklift for sale proves to be a difficult task at best. As a seller, you want to make a small profit out of your initial investment, but not scare off potential buyers with an overpriced offer. As a buyer, you do not want to overvalue or overpay a forklift that may need additional maintenance, parts or other expenses.

Pricing is subjective and depends on many factors. When determining the value of a forklift, note down all the information you know about it so you can see where to make price deductions, and where the price could increase due to a special feature or recent part replacement.

Forklift Age (In Years)

The age of the forklift is one of the biggest determining factors when it comes to price. Because machine prices (like car values) depreciate at an almost exponential rate from the sticker price when they’re brand new, you can look up a new model of your machine and deduct the price from there. On average, a forklift will depreciate up to 15% per year. Use this as your base price before you start adding or deducting value based on other factors.

Usage & History

You can have two of the exact same forklifts made in the same year that have vastly different value because one’s usage and treatment history is a lot better than the other. For example, if you have a 2007-made forklift that was running 20 hours per day lifting heavy concrete in freezing cold temperatures, and an identical model that was only used 7-8 hours per day lifting lighter loads in an e-commerce warehouse, the second will have a much higher value than the first.

Forklift usage is logged in hours, and the way you compare forklift hours for the machine’s value is very similar to the way you would compare mileage on cars of the same age. Key hours on a forklift count the number of hours the forklift has been turned on, but deadman hours (often considered the more accurate measure) count the number of hours an operator has actually used the forklift to either lift or transport materials.


Extra features almost always add value to your forklift. For example, if your forklift has a computerized control panel instead of a standard manual one, this will add value. Other features that add value include scales that weigh your loads automatically and in transit, attachments sold with the forklift, and air conditioned cabs, to name a few. Basically, anything that does not come standard on a new model is considered an additional feature that adds value.

To calculate the value any one feature adds, figure out the new price of this feature if you were to add it onto a current forklift, then deduct some value for age and the fact that it is being sold as a package deal with a used forklift.

Current Condition

The current condition of a forklift depends on how well it was taken care of until the point of re-sale. A machine with the paint job still intact will be worth hundreds of dollars more than the same model that has rust spots all over. The seller of a machine with a clean, well-maintained engine can ask for a higher price than a guy who ran his machine ragged and now has problems getting it to start. Additionally, any parts that have recently been replaced add a little bit of value to the machine because the buyer knows they’re getting something that won’t cost them extra money right away.

The most important thing to do when determining the value of a forklift is to communicate all the details of the forklift’s past and maintenance upkeep. When you have all the details present, you can make the most informed decisions about value calculations and the overall worth of the machine. Keep in mind that there are no set rules for exactly how much a used forklift should cost, and a lot will also depend on the supply and demand of used forklifts in your area.

Top 3 Common Electric Forklift Battery Repairs

Electric forklift batteries are durable and repairs aren’t needed frequently if the battery is well maintained. When a battery is on the fritz and not acting or performing as usual, the solution may be a simple repair made by a professional the very same day. Forklift battery professionals are able to repair batteries on site to get employees back out in the warehouse as soon as possible. Technicians arrive prepared for common repairs with tools and parts stocked in work trucks and vans.

Connector Replacements

As careful as staff members may be during a shift, connectors are frequently run over and in need of replacement. Without the connector, a forklift battery cannot be plugged in to the forklift or a charger to prepare for the next shit. While this is an easy repair offered on site, it’s an urgent repair as a truck is currently unavailable for use. Call immediately as same day service is available for connector replacement or repair.

Cable Replacement

Cables are the lifeline of batteries and are critical to top performance. If a cable is cut or damaged OSHA safety standards are violated and employees can be at risk of electrical shocks and shortages. A shortage can damage cells leaving the battery in need of full replacement or much larger repairs. Cables are replaced by a professional who burns off the lead head and burns a new cable onto the battery.

Cell Replacement

Forklift batteries are made up of many individual cells depending on the size of the battery. A battery that begins shorting or having a significantly shorter run time during a shift may need a cell replacement. A professional can use a special instrument to read the voltage output of each individual cell. If a cell has a below average or abnormal output reading it may be best to replace the cell to achieve normal run times during shifts. Cell replacement for industrial batteries can be done on site in a short amount of time ensuring you have all trucks available for operation.

Similar to a car, batteries are durable and can be repaired to a like new condition. Repairs are an affordable option and plausible alternative to purchasing a new forklift battery. Seeking a professional for forklift battery repairs should be done as soon as a problem arises to not only preserve the battery, but for safety reasons. A faulty battery may violate workplace standards and put employees at risk.