How to get the max trade-in value for your forklift

Take these points into consideration before you upgrade

Your fleet of lifts has served you well, but whether because your business needs have changed or their performance isn’t what it used to be, you’re thinking it might be time to put a few of them out to pasture. If you plan to upgrade, trading in the forklift you own is a smart way to offset the cost. While there is no fast and easy way to determine the exact value of any forklift, there are a few things you should consider that help you get the best value possible.


If you’ve traded in your personal vehicle before, you know that one of the first things the dealer asks about is how many miles it has on it and it’s no different for your forklift. When determining the value of your forklift, a common threshold is around 10,000 hours. After that mark, you could see the value if your lift drop significantly. Fortunately, Toyota Forklifts have an average lifespan of about 25,000 to 30,000 hours so that value is held a little bit longer than others.

Fuel Type

There’s a variety of ways to power your forklifts, with gasoline, propane and electric as options. The market is saturated with LP/Propane units, which means their value has lowered recently while the value of electric units has soared. However, one aspect to think about when it comes to your electrics is whether the hours have taken a toll on the battery. If it can’t hold a charge or is completely dead, then so is the forklift.

Need a new battery?

Configuration and Accessories

Certain configurations can significantly affect the value of your trade. A difference in load capacity or max-height of the mast might be in high-demand and that means your equipment is that much more valuable. If you have unique accessories such as a side shifter or fork positioner, that lift may be even more attractive. But it is important that any installed accessories meet OSHA standards otherwise it is better to remove them.

The Appearance of the forklift

A good first impression is key. Though it’s understood that the average forklift is going to earn its fair share of dent and dings, it’s a good idea to clean it up as much as possible. Remove any excessive rust and touch-up the paint. It may not win any beauty pageants, but if your forklift “cleans up good” you could clean up on your trade value.


Last, but certainly not least, a well-maintained forklift is much more valuable than one on its last legs. It is a worthwhile investment to have a service technician examine and/or diagnose any potential issues before you offer it as a trade. In fact, a technician can help you determine a ballpark expectation of the value of your equipment.

Schedule a Service Visit

So, there’s a lot to think about before you trade in your forklift. Think of it this way: when trading-in, you’re essentially selling your equipment to the dealer. In order to get the best price, you must ensure that what you’re selling is in the best shape possible. It pays to do your research, consult with experts and give your forklifts a bit of TLC so that you and your company get the best price possible. If you ever have questions, the experts at Toyota Lift Northwest have the know-how to help you get the best trade-in value and find you the best new forklifts and warehouse equipment to meet your demands.

Top Photo by Justus Menke on Unsplash

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