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Forklift End of LIfe Options

Filed under: Forklift Maintenance & Upkeep

For many forklift owners and operators having an up to date and technologically advanced unit is imperative for operations.

DC Velocity quoted in Reddon 2014 believes:

‘It is time to retire your forklift if it is at the end of its economic life, which is when the operational costs of the unit are higher than the value it offers.’

Factors that need to be considered when determining a forklifts value include:

  • Hours of operation
  • Maintenance costs
  • Productivity
  • Utilisation rates

Upgrading to new units is common practice, but what happens to the old units that are being replaced?

end of life forklift

Reddon suggests there are four options for those looking to responsibly retire an old forklift; this blog will provide a snapshot of each option:

Trade-in and Sales
If the forklift is still in working order, often the company you are purchasing your new forklift from will consider your old forklift as a trade-in for a portion towards the purchase.

If a trade-in is not an option then you can advertise to sell your old forklift via one of the number of used equipment directories online such as You may also enlist the services of a broker who can connect you with potential buyers.

When traded-in or sold your old forklift may be used for warehousing operations or may be stripped and sold as spare parts.


Another option is to reassign your old forklift, whilst it may not be able to stand up to the rigors of continuous daily operation it may still be useful for light duties.

Reassigning an old forklift may be more cost-effective than trying to sell it.

Reassignment may need to be reconsidered when the operational costs of keeping the unit in working order outweigh the value it is delivering.

Sell for Scrap
If a forklift is unable to be sold, traded in or reassigned it can be sold for spare parts and scrap. The amount you are able to gain from selling for parts or scrap depends on the make, model, size and age of the forklift.

The demand for spare parts or scrap is simply down to the demand.

end of life forklift

Keep It
If the forklift is still in working order you can keep it as a back-up unit, to fill any void in your fleet operations if a new unit breaks down.

Having an on-site back-up forklift can limit loss of productivity in the event of a breakdown as it can almost instantly enter operations, instead of having to go through the hassle of sourcing a replacement forklift.

If you are purchasing your new forklift from the same manufacturer your old unit can also be kept on-site and used for spare parts.

For a large range of quality used forklifts please visit our used forklift website.

Reference List
Reddon, T, 2014, ‘How to responsibly recycle a retired forklift’, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, retrieved 15/3/17


Published By: Paul Hinz

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