How to Avoid Overspending on Forklift Service

How to Avoid Overspending on Forklift ServiceWhen one of your team members says, “Hey boss, I think something’s wrong with one of our forklifts,” what goes through your mind? 

Probably something along the lines of, “oh no, how much will this cost to fix?” 

When a forklift goes down, you lose money twice as fast: the cost of the repair itself, plus lost productivity due to unexpected downtime. Here’s how to avoid wasting hard-earned profits on expensive repairs:

Forklift Maintenance: The #1 Way to Avoid Expensive Repairs

The good news is, you don’t have a mess on your hands right now. Take a deep breath and enjoy that wonderful feeling. Now, let’s talk about how you can feel that way all the time. 

The best way to avoid expensive forklift repairs is by fixing minor issues before they turn into multi-thousand-dollar problems. Studies prove: regular maintenance reduces downtime by 30-50 percent and extends the useful life of your forklift by 20-40 percent

Your company spent a lot of money on its forklifts, right? It doesn’t make sense to neglect a valuable piece of equipment. Planned maintenance gives you the peace of mind that your forklifts will be available when you need them and you'll get the maximum value from your investment.

Would you rather:

  • Spend a few hundred dollars having a technician inspect and maintain your forklift  - on a schedule that works for you?
  • Or  have a forklift breakdown unexpectedly, scramble, then pay a few thousand on a repair bill?

We get it; your operation already has a lot of monthly expenses, but why take chances with your most valuable equipment? With forklifts, small problems don’t stay that way for long. 

Here are a few real-life examples of what can happen when businesses try to “save money” by not maintaining their forklifts:

  • Over time, dust and debris create ridges on a forklift's brake shoes and eventually the drums. Having a technician blow out the dust every month prevents a multi-thousand-dollar repair.
  • The forklift’s radiator will eventually fail without proper maintenance. This repair often takes 2-3 days and a few thousand dollars to fix.
  • A slow tire leak can quickly turn into a flat and even a broken axle.

Looking for other ways to minimize repair expenses? Here are two long-term strategies.

Cull the Herd: Retire or Reassign Old Forklifts

If you have more than one aging forklift, your operation is at risk for major downtime.

  • Older forklifts break down more often, especially if not well-maintained
  • Parts for older equipment can be more expensive and take longer to find

Imagine the conversation you might have with your boss about why the operation is down two or more forklifts. Yikes.

It’s better to have a young fleet or a mixed fleet with forklifts of varying ages. Leasing is a popular and cost-effective way to add new equipment. 

Maybe you have an older forklift that’s working fine, and you don’t see the need to get rid of it. Great, keep it as a backup and use it for non-essential tasks.

If you decide to buy a used forklift, avoid units with more than 7,000 hours or trucks that are more than five years old. Download our used forklift buyers guide and inspection checklist for more info and helpful tips.

How old is old?

On average, a forklift will run for 10,000 hours without too many problems if properly maintained. For a single-shift operation, this pencils out to 5-7 years. Without proper maintenance, you can expect a major repair (on any forklift) at 5,000 - 7,000 hours.

Mobile Forklift Service and Maintenance for All Makes and Models


When you need forklift service, call the experts at The Lilly Company. Our certified technicians take pride in doing a job right the first time. 

A factory-trained technician will arrive at your location with a well-equipped mobile service van. We complete 94 percent of repairs on-site.

We can also design a forklift maintenance program customized for your budget, your equipment and your schedule. There’s no long-term commitment, and we service all forklift makes and models.

A Lilly forklift service plan allows you to:

  • Save money
  • Stock fewer parts
  • Increase trade-in value
  • Keep your operation running at peak productivity
  • Uncover and fix small problems before they become major repairs
  • Trust and verify with True Video

The Lilly Company serves customers throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and eastern Arkansas. We have 120 service vans ready to deploy from 13 locations across the Mid-South. Give us a try, you’ll be glad you did.

Contact a forklift expert at The Lilly Company online or by phone 800-238-3006 to schedule service or learn more about the maintenance plans we offer.

Arkansas - Jonesboro
Alabama - Birmingham, Dothan, Irondale, Madison, Mobile, and Montgomery
Mississippi - Tupelo and Richland
Tennessee - Jackson, Kingsport, Knoxville, and Memphis

Further Reading:

Why Are My Forklift Tires Wearing Down So Quickly?
Why Outsourcing Forklift Planned Maintenance Makes Sense
How Fleet Management Reduces Total Cost of Ownership

Forklift Service

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