how to buy electric forkliftBusiness is doing good so you need an electric forklift to raise and move your products inside your warehouse. The cost for repairs of your existing unit is prohibitive, a replacement is the best option.

Before breaking your bank, it is wise to practice due diligence, a new electric forklift can run up to over a hundred thousand dollars depending on the type and the features while the used ones can be much cheaper but can do the same thing.

This truck is easy to maneuver, fun to operate, and regularly load and move palletized goods for short distances. These are run by an electric motor powered by rechargeable industrial batteries and takes up to 8 hours to recharge. It can function for a full eight-hour shift or operate continuously for six hours.

Electric forklifts are manufactured in many ways, making the selection process difficult. Finding the most beneficial and cost-effective equipment that will work for your application must be given due importance so that you would not commit a mistake.

There are also other factors to consider aside from the cost of purchase; this includes the load, the lift height, warehouse layout, technological innovations among others.

Read through this guide on how to get electric forklift to help you pick the correct type that will support your business operation.


Know Your Electric Forklift Requirements

Plan ahead, reflect on your operation and visualize how an electric forklift will enhance the workplace set-up. Once the electric forklift is available, there should be a smooth flow in the warehouse.

Here are the important factors to consider when you are planning to purchase an electric forklift:

What is the Lifting Capacity Your Want Your Truck to Have

Consider the size, weight, and measurement of the items in your depot that needs to be lifted and moved. Not all items that are alike are moved at the same time, it can be a combination of big and small items, medium and big items, or all big items. Look from previous records to determine the movement of things in your warehouse.

The information will be valuable in determining the maximum lifting capacity and the electric forklift to handle the job. The load center is also important, it is the distance from the center and the edges of the load. This will avoid a tip-over once the products are lifted and in transit, accidents can cause physical injuries. damage to items, and costly.

Slow-moving products can be separated from fast-moving ones improving efficiency. Clogging of stock shelves can be prevented by opening up space for additional storage.

On What Type of Work Area It Will Be Operated On

Once the capacity is determined, you also need data on the workspace and the height of the storage racks. This will ensure that the electric forklift of your choice will operate safely and reach its full potential.

There are models of electric forklifts that are designed to extend their fork beyond the highest compartment and lift pallets with a weight of over 5,000 kilograms. A 3-wheel electric forklift will work well on a narrow aisle. Cushion tires are used to forklifts operating indoors it does not leave any tire marks on the warehouse floor.

What are the Key Features You Need

If the electric forklift will be used in routine work, the unit with standard features will suit your needs. But if the function is unique, you need to purchase an electric forklift with special features to keep the people and work environment safe from harm’s way.

For instance, an impact monitoring system will encourage the operator to work with caution when operating the electric forklift. An audible alarm will warn people of the presence of the unit, works well in places with high foot traffic during the normal work schedule.

Types of Electric Forklift

A good rule of thumb is that electric forklifts are mostly used indoors i.e. 90% inside and 10% outside. These are driven by industrial batteries eliminating the release of gas and are very quiet.

4-Wheel Electric Forklifts

The gradeability of 4-wheel electric forklifts are higher, this makes the equipment capable of moving heavy loads in steep spaces. It can handle a load of 3,000 kilograms and raise it to a level of 7 meters. The load and lift capacity depends on the brand of the truck. This truck suits businesses with large capacity requirements and rough and uneven surfaces in the work area. It pivots well with a hefty load.

It requires a large turning circle making it hard to maneuver in tight spaces.

3-Wheel Electric Forklift

This is ideal for warehouses with limited space it can maneuver to aisles with a separation between 3.2 to 3.5 meters. A flexible material handling equipment that can lift 2,000 kilograms to a height of 3.5 meters. Increase your operator’s productivity with equipment that is easy to operate and saves time in handling tight spaces.

It is not advisable to use the 3-wheel lift over gravel it will struggle to grip the ground and unstable when turning with a load.

Reach Electric Forklift Trucks

Reach trucks have similar functions as the 3-wheel electric forklift except that it can lift items up to over 9 meters and carries a lesser load. An extendable carriage and forks allow them to reach and pull items from storage.

It is limited to indoor use since it has a low undercarriage clearance, less power systems, and weight restraints. Reach trucks are sensitive to rough terrains; the undercarriage is damaged when it comes in contact with the surface, tilts over, and wobbles.

Benefits of Electric Forklifts

In recent years, industrial companies shifted to the use of electric forklifts instead of the traditional fueled forklifts. And this is for very good reasons, they are now embracing the benefits offered by electric forklifts such as lower operating costs, powerful engines, heavy load handling, versatile, and environment-friendly nature.

Enjoy these benefits in your warehouse space.

Tough on performance

Electric forklifts are designed and built with state-of-the-art technology these trucks are hard to beat when they are at work. They can work in tight spaces and provide unusual applications such as getting into an elevator.

Electric forklifts can grab heavy loads, move them into storage, and can accommodate a spectrum of materials.

The enhanced brake and tight controls make them powerful but easy to drive and maneuver. Lifting the foot from the accelerator stops the unit instantly because of the highly efficient brake device. This type of truck is counterbalanced the battery serves as a counterweight for stability.

Low Operating Cost

The cost of operating electric forklifts is less than internal combustion trucks. Since electric forklifts run on electricity, you have to prepare a charging station to restore the batteries. But the price of electricity is lower than the fuel.

It has fewer parts hence lower maintenance cost resulting from less defective parts to replace. Since it runs on batteries there is no need for fluids like engine oil and coolant. Downtime is minimal with few moving parts and you can expect a working electric forklift most of the time.

Less Emissions

Since electric forklifts work on batteries there is no gas emitted. With no carbon dioxide emission, your warehouse space is environment-friendly which keeps your workers and the workspace safe and healthy. Emission can adversely affect foot stuff, perishables, and other consumer goods.

There is no need for expensive ventilation to fan out fumes. Also, you can save from additional heating costs by opening the warehouse door gases that can vent outside keeping the temperature inside at a constant level.

They do not heat up when working or on standby. The batteries of forklifts are built with lead and are recyclable that protects our planet.

Maintenance Benefits

There are long intervals in the regular maintenance of electric forklifts which drastically reduce the costs of maintenance. Consistently clean and service the batteries, you will be assured that the truck will operate for long periods. Productivity in your warehouse will increase with less downtime and more hours of operation.

Storage space for fuel is not needed only an AC charging point is required.

Less Noise

It is irritating to work in a confined space with multiple equipments working at the same time. The noise can be pretty loud distracting the attention of workers. Noise is considered a pollutant and continuous exposure can impair the hearing of people. It can affect your operator’s ability to work safely and efficiently. The loud noises can distract your workers, their ability to communicate properly, and pose a danger in the workplace.

An electric forklift reduces noise levels, you can only hear the tries when it is moving and an alarm alerting people.

A Wide Range of Options

No load is too heavy nor space too restricted with an electric forklift in your warehouse. There are many different forklifts to choose from that will work for you. Tight spaces are no match for a 3-wheel electric forklift its tighter turn radius allows it to move and lift the load to your storage. And there’s the 4-wheel electric forklift that can carry heavier loads. Items that need to be lifted to over 9 meters pose no problem to a reach truck.


What Do You Need? New vs Used

For some business owners purchasing an electric forklift is a no-brainer what needs to be decided is whether the unit is new or used. Forklifts cost a fortune so practice due diligence before acquiring one. There is no easy answer, efficiency and cost are things to ponder when searching for a shiny, new forklift or a previously owned unit.

You will come up with myriad information on forklifts for sale by searching the internet. A used unit may cost 50% less than a new forklift but may come with a lot of surprises.

Take time to assess your options with this table we made to help in your decision-making.

Type of Electric Forklift  Advantages    Disadvantages 
New   Latest model with technological advancement. Expensive
  Can handle extended hours with efficiency. Involves lengthy form-filling.
  What you want is what you get.  
  All the parts are brand-new.  
  A warranty between 12 to 36 months.  
  Noise-free operation.  
  No gas emissions.  
Used  Up to 50% cheaper than a brand-new model. You don’t get the required technical specifications, some features are waived.
  Availability of parts. High maintenance cost.
  Shortened purchasing process. It is the next best thing to what you want.
  Fast delivery of the unit. Restricted or without warranty.
    Not as efficient as a new one.
    The price valuation is tricky you might lose in the negotiation.

Industry experts agree that a previously owned electric forklift can not perform well beyond four hours a day. Consider a new unit if you plan to use it more than four hours a day.

Another option is to rent. There are times when the demand is high and taper off afterward. Meet your seasonal demand increases by renting an electric forklift to move items in your warehouse, especially during the high-peak season. Spend only when needed.

If You’re Purchasing New Forklift, Know Your Dealer

Choosing the electric forklift dealer can be just as important as choosing the electric forklift unit that will work for you. The right dealer will save you from tons of stress, provides you with perks throughout the life of your forklift, and offers a pocket-friendly maintenance package.

Here’s a guide to help you find a reputable electric forklift dealer.

Do Some Research About the Dealer

Prepare a list of forklift dealers from information provided by colleagues with experience on electric forklift operation and look for service providers via the internet. Consider five dealers.

Compare their prices, models, features, perks, warranties, and do not forget to check the client’s reviews. An irate customer will certainly spill the beans while a satisfied customer will complement the company. Choose the dealer that fits your electric forklift requirements.

Take time for a site inspection and observe how the staff treats their clients, the layout of the office, permits to operate, and inventories. Just to be sure that you don’t wind up with a dud electric forklift.

Deals Directly with Manufacturers

Dealers who work directly with manufacturers are certified. They sell high-quality, original products that the company manufactures. You can get information on the newest forklift model in the market; know the technical specifications, features, and price. Dealers have an inside track on the manufacturer’s line of forklifts and they can match what you need.

Forklift parts are designed to last, but they are exposed to wear and tear and break down. Defective parts need to be replaced to restore the forklift to working condition, your dealer can provide you with the parts even the hard-to-find ones.

One-Stop Shop

They can provide you with all your forklift requirements. Every customer has unique needs they can pair these with the products and services that they offer.

Forklift Operator Training

If this is your first time to own an electric forklift, you will need to train an employee to operate the equipment. Those who spend less on training winds up with a windfall of expenses in the long term in terms of mishaps and operating costs. The operator’s training should be taken seriously when purchasing a lift truck.

No worries. The seller will find you the best forklift that will work for you and then he can bundle this sale with the training of your operator for the brand-new equipment.

Forklift Rentals

Aside from selling either new or used forklifts, the dealer offers rentals. They have to be thorough in their forklift preventive and corrective maintenance so the equipment can function without any hitch for as long as possible. The forklift can be lease out again when the initial customer’s lease is up.

The forklift for rent should be always in good working condition to keep a respectable reputation.

Forklift maintenance

You will benefit from a dealer that offers extensive maintenance. Reputable dealers offer a maintenance plan whenever you purchase or lease a forklift. Eliminate forklift downtime from your worries since you have a good working relationship with your dealer repairs will be fixed in a jiffy.

Also, a dealer with a dedicated maintenance crew knows how to solve simple and complex problems of forklifts. They can advise maintenance schedules and provide you as much information as possible on your inquiries.

If You Want Used Ones, You Can Participate in an Auction

Purchasing used forklifts at an auction lets you to stretch up your budget. At an auction, it gives you the best opportunity to get a quality truck at less than the retail value. If you want to participate in an auction, here are the benefits you can reap from joining:

You Have Wide Range of Choices

Joining in an action to purchase a used electric forklift allows you to take advantage of wide range of choices. You will encounter different brands and features you want your machine to have.

Auction offers neutral ground where there is no preference towards any one brand or manufacturer so you can compare the advantages and disadvantages of each truck available at the action.

You have Better Deal in Terms of Prices

As a buyer, price is always a top concern. Electric forklifts are certainly not cheap, the value depreciation is the number one concern that strikes you the most.

When participating in an auction, you have the best chance to obtain quality machines for bargain prices while avoiding depreciation at the same time.

On-the-Spot Purchase

After winning at an auction, you can take the forklift with you right then and there. You don’t have to wait for several weeks or even months for delivery of the equipment – something you would not get when buying a new forklift from a dealer. This is something you want to consider if you want get the forklift put into use to finish the assigned project.

Before Participating in an Auction, Do Your Assignment First

You must be careful about certain things when purchasing used electric forklifts from a private sale or even at an auction, in this way, you will avoid mistakes that could waste your budget. Here are some of the tips to help you:

  • Do some research on the current market value of the forklift. Buying a used forklift is the same as purchasing a used car, and just like cars, forklifts depreciate in value. If you do research, you can come up with a price range of the truck you want to purchase – this will prevent you from overspending.

  • Make sure that there is still life left in the forklift battery. Forklift batteries are expensive. As a matter of fact, it can be worth 40% of the electric forklift’s value. Given that fact, you have to make sure that the electric forklift you want to purchase still has a sufficient life left in the cells before making a decision. 

    A forklift battery can do 1,200 charges before it reaches its “dying” point, each charge can do 5 hours of operational-time. To make a rough estimate of how long the battery will still last on the forklift you’re looking to get, just divide the truck’s clock hours by five (5), this will give you a ballpark figure how much life still remains in the cells.
  • The auction is a “pay immediately” process. This means you have to have funds readily available after winning, whether it is cash on hand or in the bank or approved financing.

If You’re Purchasing from Bay, These Will Help


Shopping for forklifts online has never been convenient, thanks to eBay, you have very huge selections available for purchase. You can browse through the category, read through the listings, choose the forklift that fits your needs, click the buy button, and voila, you can have your forklift delivered at your doorstep in no time - that’s how easy it is to purchase on eBay platform. eBay is also known as an auction website that lets you put a bid on a particular product.

If you want to bid or buy on eBay for electric forklifts, here are the great tips you can follow to help you shop:

  • Put a bid on the unit in the last few seconds. If the forklift unit you want to bid is really hot, then that will raise the price as other bidders jump in. Your best option is to wait until the last seconds of the auction deadline. This strategy is called sniping. If you’re a beginner, trying it would help you win the unit.

  • Find a seller with a good feedback rating so that you can count on the fact that you will also be given good service that was given by the seller to his past customers.

  • If you don’t want to wait if you won the auction, you can easily hit the Buy It Now button. This is a great feature newly introduced by eBay. This is very handy since you do not have to compete with others for the product you really want to purchase.

  • Talk to the seller about more details. If you have questions, send a message to the seller to know more about the details of the forklift unit. You could also ask if the seller would accept a lower price. Just be polite and friendly when negotiating with the seller and throw a reasonable price as your counteroffer.

  • Check the shipping cost. If the unit price excludes the shipping cost, talk to the seller if he could shoulder it. You could get a better deal if you can negotiate the shipping cost with the seller. A forklift unit with a higher price tag with free shipping cost may be a better deal.

To Make a Finalization

We hope we helped you with this guide in selecting the right electric forklift for your business. Purchasing electric forklift should not be complicated with just a little knowledge you can come up with a decision to purchase the best one for your application.