How to Determine the Value of a Used Forklift

How to Determine the Value of a Used Forklift

Assigning a monetary value to a used forklift for sale is a difficult task at best. As a seller, you want to make a small profit on your initial investment, but not scare away potential buyers with an overpriced offer. As a buyer, you don’t want to overprice or overpay for a forklift that may require additional maintenance, parts, or other expenses.

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

Age of forklift (in years)

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

Usage and history

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

Forklift usage is recorded in hours, and the way you compare forklift hours for machine value is very similar to how you would compare mileage on cars of the same age. Key hours on a forklift count the number of hours the forklift has been on, but deadman hours (often considered the most accurate measurement) count the number of hours an operator has actually used the forklift to 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, that 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 cabins, to name a few. Basically, anything that’s not standard on a new model is considered an extra feature that adds value.

To calculate the value added by a feature, calculate the new price for that feature if you were to add it to a current forklift, then deduct some value for the age and the fact that it is sold as a package with a used forklift.

Current condition

The current condition of a forklift depends on how well it is maintained up to the point of resale. 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 it. The seller of a machine with a clean, well-maintained engine can charge a higher price than a guy who ran his machine to shreds and now has trouble starting it. Plus, any parts that have recently been replaced add a 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 a forklift’s value is to disclose all details of the forklift’s past and maintenance. When you have all the details, you can make the most informed decisions regarding value calculations and the overall value of the machine. Keep in mind that there are no fixed rules regarding the exact cost of a used forklift, and a lot will also depend on the supply and demand of used forklifts in your area. .

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