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    What is the Average Lifespan of a Forklift?

    Average Lifespan of Diesel, Electric and Gas Forklifts & Reach Trucks“How long should I expect my forklift to last?” should be one of the first questions you ask your friendly neighborhood forklift dealer when planning to make your purchase. Forklifts are expensive, and you want to make sure your investment will stand the test of time.

    So what is the average lifespan of an Electric Forklift? Do diesel forklifts break down faster than their gas-powered reach truck counterparts? How do regular service and maintenance come into play if I want to maximize my ROI? Today in this edition of #DoosanDeepDives, we will take a closer look at the average lifespan of a forklift and show how Doosan stacks up compared to our competitors.

    How do I determine the age of my forklift?

    A forklift’s lifespan is measured in hours of use, not years. We measure forklift lifespans in hours because different business utilizes their machines at different rates.

    Let’s think of it this way if you were looking to purchase a used forklift from a forklift warehouse dealer, which would you rather buy:

    1. A 1-year-old forklift from a significant warehouse company that ran its forklift 8 hours per day, seven days per week. (Approximately 2,912 hours total) OR
    2. A forklift from a small farm that utilized their forklift 12 hours per month for five years. (720 hours total)

    This is why we look at our machinery in terms of hours instead of actual physical age. The stress on a fork lift’s lift mast & the process of lifting and lowering equipment is what causes most forklifts to break down over time, not so much any rubber hoses cracking from age.

    Let’s Set Some Benchmarks: What is average forklift use?

    Before we can determine the lifespan of electric forklifts and reach truck longevities, we must determine what is considered “an average amount of use” for these trucks.

    Most forklifts run approximately 1,000 hours per year or more. Higher quality forklifts such as Doosan’s reach trucks can comfortably run 2,000 hours per year. Keep in mind that this estimation also includes regular maintenance on your equipment as well.

    So how long should I expect my forklift to last?

    According to Refurbished Forklifts’ article: most forklift lifespans can last between 10,000 to 12,000 hours of use. However, Doosan’s forklifts can easily surpass 15,000+ hours even when put under extreme stress. At an average of 1,500 hours per year, that is a comfortable average of 10 years! When you pair that with the fact that our reach forklifts are some of the best prices on the market, you couldn’t expect a better ROI from any forklifts dealer out there!

    The real question when it comes to your reach forklifts’ lifespan is this: at what point will the cost of repairs surpass the cost of maintaining my equipment? Because when you reach the economic lifespan of your forklift, that is the time to let the poor boy retire.

    Is my Forklift Water Resistant?


    Can you drive your Doosan Electric Forklift in the Rain? The short answer is: maybe!

    Forklift water resistance is rated with what is called a Ingress Protection code (IP) code. This code is sometimes referred to as the Internal Protection code. It is found on your forklift’s rating plate. This information will inform you what environments you can operate your forklift in. But is it ever safe to operate an electric forklift in the rain?

    What does the water protection rating on my forklift’s IP code mean?

    Good question! The water protection rating refers to how much water can squeeze through gaps and reach the internal components of your forklift. The highest rating that a forklift can have for water resistance is 8. Each rating corresponds to a very specific level of water resistance.

    The water resistance rating levels are as follows:

    Level 0 Forklift Liquid Ingress Protection

    No Protection against water whatsoever. Don’t even sneeze near a piece of material handling equipment with this rating.

    Level 1 Lifting Equipment Liquid Ingress Protection

    Material Handling equipment will not suffer damage when exposed to verticle droplets.

    We test this level of forklift safety by dripping water over a forklift for a 10-minute duration. If your forklift has a safety rating of 1 or higher, you can assume that it is safe to drive through mist or a very slight drizzle.

    Level 2 Lift Truck Liquid Ingress Protection

    Level 2 Forklifts can survive falling water from a 15° angle.

    We test this level of water resistance by tilting the equipment 15° on two axes. We also continuously spray the forklift with water for at least 3 minutes. The amount of water used during this test is equivalent to less than a half-inch of rainfall.

    Level 3 Fork Lift Liquid Ingress Protection

    Any forklift holding a level 3 IP rating can withstand a spray of water at any angle up to 60°.

    The level 3 test consists of two phases. Phase one involves spraying a forklift with a spray nozzle for five minutes. The second version of the test utilizes an oscillating tube for 10 minutes. This level of water corresponds to a 3mm rainfall.

    Level 4 Reach Truck Liquid Ingress Protection

    Water splashing against a lift truck will not harm the equipment.

    We test this level of protection with an oscillating fixture and a spray nozzle. We spray our forklifts down for a minimum of 10 minutes to test. When a forklift has a level 4 rating, it means that it can withstand water splashing against it from any direction.

    Level 5 Fork Truck Liquid Ingress Protection

    5 IP water ratings indicate trucks that can withstand projected water.

    This test lasts approximately 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes. The water pressure used during this test is 100kPa or 15 psi at a distance of 3 meters or less. On a strange note, 15psi is the maximum amount of pressure that most Instant Pots can operate at!

    Level 6 Reach Forklift Liquid Ingress Protection

    This IP asserts that your forklift will not suffer harm from 15 psi of water or less from any direction. This test lasts 1 minute per square meter for a minimum of 3 minutes. The water volume utilized during this test is equal to 100 liters of water per minute at a pressure of 100kpa at a distance of 3 meters or less.

    Level 7 Warehouse Forklift Liquid Ingress Protection

    This level of forklift certification states that your forklift can survive total immersion in water, up to 1 meter. We perform level 7 tests for 30 minutes at a time.

    Level 8 Electric Forklift Liquid Ingress Protection

    This level of forklift certification states that your forklift can survive continuous immersion in water under conditions specified by the manufacturer.

    Used Forklifts: The Dirty Truth.

    During this week’s #DoosanDeepDive we will be taking a closer look at the wide world of used forklifts to determine who is a good candidate to purchase a used forklift. We will also be answering questions such as: How to spot quality used lift trucks and how to spot dishonest fork truck dealers. 

    What type of business can benefit from a used forklift?

    According to our Eastern Regional Business Manager, Mike Cody, any business that is looking to run their forklift less than 40 hours a week would be a good fit for a used reach truck. Used lift trucks are also a good fit for businesses that do not have a large amount of money set aside for the purchase of a new truck or are not interested in going through the process of financing a new electric forklift

    How much should I expect to pay for a used lift truck?

    There are many different types of reach forklifts available on the market and each kind has its price point. Keep in mind that depending on the accessories and functions you are looking for price can vary widely. Visiting a reputable forklift dealership is always a great starting point on your search.

    Because forklifts hold their value extremely well, you can expect to pay approximately 75% of the original cost. However, during times of scarcity, this price can average as high as 85%. Keep an eye on the current market and average asking price to make sure that you are not paying too much for your used fork truck

    What should I keep in mind before purchasing used forklifts?

    According to Mike Cody, no particular industry is better than another when it comes to utilizing new or used forklifts. But he did have the following suggestions to keep in mind before you make your purchasing decision:  

    • Companies that require their lifting equipment to run outside should probably invest in new equipment.
    • Do not purchase used equipment if you plan to work on a construction site.
    • Used lift trucks are often not eligible for normal service contracts or warranties
    • The cost of servicing older equipment can quickly outpace the upfront savings.
    • Always take a mechanic with you to evaluate any equipment before purchase. 

    What questions do you have about buying used fork lifts?

    Did we answer all of your questions regarding purchasing used forklifts? Comment below to have them answered!

    Don’t forget: every month we select a winner from our comment section! Winners will be announced on all of our social media channels, so if you are not already following us be sure to do so on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so you don’t miss your chance to claim your prize!

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