Purchasing a Lift Truck: New or Used? — Liftow Toyota Forklift Dealer & Lift Truck Training Skip to content
Elevating everything since 1960.
Elevating everything since 1960.
Purchasing a Lift Truck: New or Used?

Purchasing a Lift Truck: New or Used?

You’ve done the research and run the numbers and you know for sure that a lift truck purchase will be necessary before the year is over. Your workload is increasing faster than your current teams and current trucks can keep up, and the addition of a new truck will keep your orders on schedule and your growth on track. There’s only one question: Should you choose a new lift truck or a used model? Which will generate higher income, lower costs and minimal risk? Here are a few factors to work into your decision.

Don’t blindly rush to one or the other.

Be cautious of your assumptions. If you assume a new truck will be more reliable but more expensive, and you want the reliability and can afford the expense, look closer before signing off. Not all new lift trucks are perfect, and not all used models are run-down, dangerous, outdated or questionable. A truly superior lift truck model holds its value over time, and the savings on a used truck may be far more significant than you realize. The take-home message: do some homework, even if you think the answer is clear.

Lift trucks vary widely depending on the model, year and usage history.

When you review a used model, obtain a detailed record of its usage and maintenance history. If these details are unknown or unavailable, keep looking. Again, some used models are superior to anything else on the marketplace and can meet your needs better than an inferior model straight out of the showroom. But you need to know where your truck has been and if/when it’s sustained damage, abuse or poor maintenance.

Financing can also mean the difference between red and black.

Understand and monetize the returns your purchase will bring each year and month of the remaining years of its life. If you buy a new truck at a low and reasonable rate, you’ll be relying on your new addition for years or decades after paying it off. A used truck with a poor financing plan may lose its value and become a liability sooner than you think. 

Take an expert.

If you aren’t a highly experienced operator or mechanic, enlist the help of someone who can recognize a design flaw or maintenance issue you might miss. Test any truck before purchase, as you would with a car, but make sure your test includes the assessment of someone who knows what to look for.

Again, if your used truck and/or its purchase price can’t measure up against an inexpensive new model, or your new model can measure up to a well-kept, well-designed preowned truck, rely on the opinion of your expert and keep an open mind. In the meantime, turn to the team at Liftow for options, answers, and objective guidance.


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