What You Need To Know Before Selling a Used Forklift

What You Need To Know Before Selling a Used Forklift

Forklifts are often one of the most important machines in warehouses and factories. Sometimes, however, the maintenance of an old one costs more than the actual value the truck brings in. When this happens, the thought of selling or recycling is usually the next course of action—especially, if you find yourself in need of a different machine. Saving money and possibly getting rid of one that is approaching the end of its lifecycle is often the best option. This should be done in a process that considers a variety of different options and alternatives available.


If a forklift has reached the point in its life where its mostly eating up money in new parts and maintenance, recycling is a great option. This involves the truck being stripped down and all salvageable parts reassigned to a new machine, while discarding the inoperable ones. There are many benefits to doing this. For instance, it helps to cut down on the amount of waste from discarded equipment and also puts usable parts to better use in refurbished trucks.

Trading and Selling

When a forklift isn’t ready to be stripped down and have its parts redistributed, trading and selling is a great option. If the goal is to obtain a new or different truck, it is often the case that companies will consider taking in your old one, putting it towards the cost of a new forklift.

If you just want to make some cash off of the truck, there’s always the option of placing an ad online or in a newspaper, and reaching out to a willing buyer. But since this requires some time, it’s often a smart idea to take some of the stress out of trying to sell a machine by enlisting the help of a third party to help find a secondary buyer for your truck.

Selling Individual Parts

Depending on the condition of the forklift, you might want to consider selling the parts of the truck individually on the market. Using the different methods listed above, this option might work out well. There are still some aspects you’ll have to take into account with this approach, such as:

  • Finding the right buyers for individual parts and doing the necessary research to know their value based on age and use
  • Ensuring that stripping the machine down is something you can have done professionally
  • Making sure that you have the room to store individual parts safely

Again, you’ll want to make sure that selling parts, or the truck as a whole, is not something that will eat up time and make things more difficult; remember to always weigh the options in terms of the most realistic possibilities for your operation.

Selling for Scrap Parts

Selling parts for scrap sometimes seems like a logical solution. But since you’ll be stepping into a different industry, the money you make will be wholly dependent on the demand of a local scrap market; there’ll be other factors, too, such as the condition of the truck and its parts, the size, age and even model of the forklift. While there’s always the chance to make some easy money this way, it all depends on the demand–which can fluctuate.

Finding New Use for Old Machines

Sometimes the best way to save money is to find other ways an older truck could be used. Instead of spending the time, and possibly money, trying to find a new location for an old truck, you could consider other areas of your operation that might benefit from a truck that will be exclusively dedicated to lighter loads and fewer hours of operation; there’s even the possibility that this approach could boost productivity in the long run.

While it’s not an option for every situation, a still-functioning truck that can’t take on increased amounts of work could still be put to better use in other areas. It goes without saying that all regular safety precautions and pre-operation inspections should still be in place for a reassigned truck.

Understanding Your Options

Given the value that a functioning forklift adds to a factory, store or warehouse, deciding what to do with older trucks should be taken seriously. It’s a process that has a series of steps, involving:

  • Having a clear understanding of the reason to sell or recycle a forklift truck
  • Determining whether recycling, trading, selling or scrapping it is the most cost effective and hassle-free option for you and your operation
  • Finding ways that an older, functioning machine could be put to use to save costs and possibly boost productivity

Any of these decisions comes with the task of understanding and listing every important fact about the truck. This includes knowing the overall condition and performance capabilities of the forklift at the time you’re considering selling. Having more information available is going to make the decision process much smoother and hassle-free.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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