The No-Frills Approach
Far removed from its early predecessors, the modern forklift is nothing short of a technological wonder. Just think about how much the forklift has changed over the last two decades through the introduction of advanced engineering, composite materials, and artificial intelligence. The net effect of these additions is that the modern forklift almost has more in common with advanced concept cars from 20 years ago than forklifts from the same era. Yet for some applications, not only do these advanced features provide little advantage, they also make it far more difficult to generate a positive return on your investment.
Each forklift has an effective economic shelf life, or the point at which it costs more per year to maintain a forklift than the forklift is worth. This fact is a function of the economic lifetime of the forklift, where factors such as the work environment, maintenance, and driving habits combine to determine the relative value of a forklift as it ages vs its operational costs. As the difficulty of the work environment increases (based on the previously mentioned factors), the overall value of the forklift decreases as the cost of upkeep increases.
Operating in harsh work environments, where wear increases as a result of corrosive liquids, atmospheric particulate (smoke, grit, dust, fibers), and uneven surfaces, a forklift will have a substantially shorter economic life. These environments effectively limit the potential return on investment by reducing the average lifespan of a forklift by a factor of 2 or more. This does not mean that a forklift can no longer be operated, but that the associated costs (maintenance, down-time, lack of reliability) outweigh the potential benefits.
Whether your equipment purchase ends up being a sound investment is dependent upon selecting the most cost-effective and realistic equipment for your needs and work environment. Instead of heavily investing in the advanced functionality and features found in the more expensive forklift models on the market today, these harsh applications are better served with cost-effective, no frills models that are built to last. Take Stärke’s EcoMaxx line of LPG and diesel forklifts, for example, where a no-frills, straightforward design ensures it is easy to operate and maintain without breaking the budget. Rather than emphasize advanced features, these forklifts are built for reliability and serve as an ideal forklift for 4-6 hour operations. And, with a 24 month, 2000 hour power train warranty, you can feel comfortable with the security these trucks provide. For more information on Stärke’s EcoMaxx line of forklifts, visit our EcoMaxx webpage or speak with your local Stärke dealer today!