The Typical Life Cycle of an Electric Forklift

Running an efficient operation requires that older and less efficient forklifts are replaced. This goes a long way in improving productivity, reducing maintenance costs and above all, helps to maximize on investment returns. Timely replacement of your forklift can positively impact on the profitability of the business.

Improper and inappropriate maintenance of forklifts has the potential to increase the downtime, which subsequently means that the productivity of the business suffers. Ultimately, the maintenance costs hit a high that the business cannot afford when efficiency can be elevated. So how do you know when a forklift needs to be replaced?

The key in knowing when a forklift should be replaced is knowing and understanding its life span. More often than not, companies tend to use forklifts for longer that they should. This happens because they tend to ignore the effectiveness of its economic life and focus more on how long it remains useful. What they do not understand is that a forklift can remain useful for as long as ten years, but still be economically draining on the business.

The economic effectiveness of every forklift is limited and after a while, the cost of maintaining it may exceed the cost of purchasing a new one. The typical life cycle of a forklift is determined by several factors including:

  • Type of forklift
  • Age of its design
  • Number of hours it operates each month and each year
  • Severity of application
  • Frequency and type of maintenance the forklift receives


– The Type of Forklift That Exist

Generally, there are two types of forklifts; the electric forklifts and Internal Combustion Engine forklifts. The electric ones tend to have longer life spans probably because they have less moving components.

– The Severity of Application

How well you use your forklift and the environment you use it in will have a significant impact on its life span. For instance, rental forklifts exposed to corrosives, extreme temperatures and brine will last for a shorter span of time. On the other hand, those used in warehouses that have wide aisles and are clean tend to last longer.

– The Number of Operation Hours

The number of hours the forklift is operated every year determines how long it can remain economically effectively. Those that are used for multiple shifts have a shorter life span compared to those that are not.

– Periodic Maintenance of the Forklift

Forklifts that are put on a regular maintenance schedule tend to be more efficient and last longer, economic-wise. The same cannot be said for forklifts that only undergo maintenance when something goes wrong. Simple maintenance habits like checking the level of vital fluids before every shift can help prolong its life span.

So How Long Is The Life Span Of An Electric Forklift?

Well, that depends on how well it is used and maintained as discussed above. Putting annual usage and application into consideration, an electric forklift can last for as long as 4years and up to 7 years or even longer. Thus, the importance of a regular maintenance schedule cannot be stressed.

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