What Are Electric Forklifts?
Unlike internal combustion (IC) Forklifts, electric Forklifts are not powered by an engine. Rather, they are powered by a battery that simply needs to be charged at the end of each shift. They are available in varying configurations just as IC Forklifts are, including three- and four-wheel setups, as well as standing or sitting options.
Though electric Forklifts have long been considered less powerful than IC lifts, advances in lift truck technology and manufacturing processes have made them a viable alternative to gas powered lift trucks.
Get Free Price Quotes
Pros and Cons of Electric Forklifts
There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of forklift. Electric Forklifts are incredibly eco-friendly, producing no emissions and requiring no fuel to operate, with the lack of an engine making them quieter, as well. They also offer enhanced maneuverability due to their compact size and the counterbalance their batteries provide.
Electric Forklifts have lower operating costs than IC lift trucks because they require less maintenance (there are fewer moving parts) and do not need to be refueled. Simply hook the battery up to the charger at the end of the day and you’re good to go. The operation of electric Forklifts is also easier, with only an acceleration and brake pedal instead of additional clutch and inching pedals.
But electric Forklifts are not without their disadvantages. Electric powered lifts have lower operational costs, but the initial cost is greater in comparison to IC Forklifts. In addition, the battery or batteries and charger add to the cost of the lift itself. And though they do not require refueling, there is a greater risk of downtime with electric powered lifts since they need to charge to function.
Another con when it comes to electric Forklifts is that they need a more stable and even floor to operate at full capacity. Steep gradients or uneven surfaces decrease their performance and drain the battery. And while they do not need as much maintenance as IC engine Forklifts, they are not as easy to maintain yourself and usually require servicing from an experienced professional.
Why Lease an Electric Forklift?
Many people think that, between leasing and buying, buying is always the better option, but this isn’t always true. Leasing comes at a much lower upfront cost, followed by manageable monthly payments. This makes leasing ideal for businesses with lower capital or that just can’t afford the full cost of a forklift all at once.
Leasing also provides access to new or better Forklifts than you would be able to afford if you were outright purchasing. Most lease agreements have pre-determined replacement cycles, meaning that your equipment is always up-to-date. Deciding to lease instead of purchase also takes some of the responsibility out of your hands, as many agreements stipulate that the owner of the lift covers any necessary maintenance or repairs.
Estimating lease costs is difficult as there are many factors that determine the final price. The age of the lift, condition it is in, duration of the lease, base cost of the vehicle, and the dealer you lease through all impact the initial cost and your monthly payments. The following pricing guide helps provide an idea of what you can expect to pay when leasing an electric forklift.
- A forklift that costs around $10,000 has an average rate between $250 and $350 per month over 36 months, and between $200 and $250 per month over 60 months.
- A forklift that costs around $20,000 has an average rate between $550 and $650 per month over 36 months, and between $300 and $400 per month over 60 months.
- A forklift that costs around $30,000 has an average rate between $850 and $950 per month over 36 months, and between $550 and $650 per month over 60 months.
Always be sure to clarify everything that is included in your lease agreement, including any warranties and who bears responsibility for repairs. It is a good idea to look into purchasing a service plan that covers maintenance if your lease agreement does not include regular preventive service.