How Long Will it Really Take to Get My New Forklift?

You have done your research and weighed your options. You’ve asked all the hard questions:

  • Electric or LP?
  • Cushion or Pneumatic?
  • Narrow Aisle?
  • High capacity or low capacity?
  • Indoor or outdoor?

Now that you’ve narrowed it down, you are ready to purchase, but how long will it actually take to get that forklift into your warehouse and ready to do some heavy lifting? Is it like a car dealership where you can go in, take it for a test drive, and then leave with one the same day? Is this something you have to custom order for your application?

Here is the breakdown.

The most common models of forklifts are available from our inventory with standard specifications. These units are available in one to two days. However, if our stock forklifts do not meet your needs, then we must factory order a lift to match your specifications.

A new, factory-ordered forklift can take anywhere from 106 days to 147 days. You might be thinking 3.5 to almost 5 months? Why so long? Why such a big window of time?

When you order a new forklift, we put it on order for you ASAP. This order is then received by the Toyota Forklifts manufacturer located in Columbus, IN. Depending on the attachments and specifications, your forklift will take 90-120 days to build.

This time frame is a result of the Toyota Production System, which means Toyota only builds what is ordered. This helps keep overhead costs in check and provides stable pricing for you. Equipment orders are slotted into the production schedule based on the production forecast and slot availability. This ensures a level workflow through the factory and is referred to as Heijunka.

Heijunka: A technique to facilitate Just-In-Time (JIT) production

“The Toyota Production System guarantees product quality by making each person and every process in our facility a quality inspector. Rather than having inspection at the final process to make sure the product is good and to our standards, we rely on each associate to be an inspector. So therefore we have 900 inspectors on the shop floor that are trying to make sure that good quality is built into the product”  -Scott Redelman, Senior Manager Production and Logistics, TIEM.

After 90-120 days of hard work at the factory, your forklift is ready to be shipped to our warehouse. Awesome! Delivery from Columbus, IN to either our Kent, WA or Clackamas, OR warehouse takes about 7-10 days.

Once it arrives, our shop technicians do a thorough check of your forklift. This includes:

  • Checking the brakes, steering, electric & hydraulic systems, and mast
  • Checking the engine and transmission on internal combustion units
  • Making sure all fluids are full
  • Making sure all attachments and options are included
  • Completing any necessary touch ups or cleaning

Before your forklift leaves our warehouse, our Territory Managers do one final check.  This entire process takes about 7-14 days, but can vary depending on the workload of our shop at the time of your forklift’s arrival.

Once we are certain your forklift meets all of your requirements, one of our drivers loads it up and brings it to you, which can take 2-3 days depending on the delivery schedule.

Toyota forklifts aren’t rated #1 because of quick production and sloppy inspections. An industry leading forklift takes time and effort every step along the way.