Analyzing How Much Your Forklift Costs Per Hour

Analyzing How Much Your Forklift Costs Per Hour

If you don’t know how much your forklift costs per hour, you may be losing money that you don’t even know about.
Cost per hour is a way to consider all of the maintenance costs required in an easy to interpret value. More importantly, this helps managers determine how healthy their forklifts are and which forklifts are approaching end-of-life.


Whether or not you decide to rent a forklift for your business will ultimately depend on your company’s needs and circumstances. And whether you are leaning toward buying or renting, the professionals at Modern Forklift can help you come up with the best solution for your Toronto business.

Forklift Costs

Forklift Costs Per Hour

To determine your forklift costs per hour, begin by considering the operation time for your forklift. On average, this is 1,500 hours per year. Throughout the year, every forklift requires maintenance and this maintenance is needed to calculate cost per hour. Maintenance may include and depending on forklift type, how long you want to keep it in service, regular planned maintenance, repairs and replacement parts, and labour involved in service and repair.

When you get a brand new forklift, cost per hour is going to be $0 for the first few months – minus any fuel requirements. As time goes on, you have your planned maintenance of course and this does add up fast.

First Year

Your first year has minor planned maintenance estimated for every 150 to 200 hours of use. If service costs $89.99 not including any part replacements, if average use per year is 1,500 hours then it will work out like this:

$89.99 x 7.5 (completed every 200 hours) = $674.92

Then, divided by 1,500 hours = $0.45/hour

Second Year

Your second year will require a major interval service coming up every 2,000 hours of use and costs on average $1,399. This is also not considering the wear-and-tear of your tires. All in all, this works out like this:

$6.29 (7 minor planned maintenance services) + $1,399 = $2.028.93

Then, divided by 1,500 hours = $1.35/hour

Third Year

Your third year will require another major interval service, another round of minor planned maintenance services, and will no doubt require a new set of tires for your forklift. If you also need to replace your forks, which in very likelihood will be worn out at this stage, this works out like this:

$2,028.93 + $800 (tires) + $400 (forks) = $3,228.93

Then, divided by 1,500 hours = $2.15/hour

Costs are going up quick. Keep in mind that this is without even the cost of fuel. It is recommended that when maintenance cost per hour passes $4 per hour, it is time to retire your forklift and to replace it.

Monitor Your Costs

Gradually year over year, the cost of your forklifts are going to creep up. This is why it is important to monitor it. If it rises too high, this begins to damage cost efficiency for your business. Having to sink more and more money into older forklifts only to lose hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars should not be the reality of your business.

To monitor your forklift cost per hour, be sure to designate someone to track your maintenance costs and to evaluate your trucks yearly. Note the factors we mentioned and be sure to recalculate cost per hour each and every year.

If you are looking for a replacement and to purchase refurbished, used forklifts in Toronto, please contact us today for more information on the options available to you.

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