Purchasing a Diesel Forklift

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For many business owners or labor services, a diesel forklift is a fundamental part of getting the job done. With so many makes and models of diesel forklifts available, it can sometimes be a daunting task to determine which would be the right one to purchase.

Diesel forklift buying considerations

Calculating diesel forklift costs

Expect to pay a relatively low price up front for a new or used diesel forklift, often ranging from $3,500 to $12,000 for models requiring some repairs or with high hours. Newer models with low hours tend to fall in the $14,000 to $35,000 range. Brand new lifts can run $29,000 to $44,500 and higher. Just remember to take into account the costs of fuel.

Speaking of fuel, we can estimate that the average business may pay around 6 cents per kWh for an electric lift. With a 48 kWh industrial battery, this equates to just under $3 to recharge a battery that's close to dead. In comparison, with the average price of diesel hovering around $4 per gallon, you'll pay about $28 to fill a 7 gallon tank. And at more than $3 per gallon, a 33 lb LPG tank costs about $23 to refill (1 gallon of propane weighs 4.2 pounds).

With these figures in mind, the cheapest option is the electric truck, but only if it can provide the power you need, which it often can't. At least with the above fuel costs in mind, you can plan accordingly. For more information on the current cost of fuels, visit the Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

If you're expecting to use forklifts for jobs which require a pretty consistent lift load, one or two heavy-duty forklifts working in tandem may do the trick. More importantly, you'll save on diesel costs. Whether your job is big or small, chances are there is a forklift out there to accommodate your needs.

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