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Average Forklift Cost Per Hour

November 15, 2021

Do You Know Your Average Forklift Cost per Hour?

Operating forklifts have costs associated with them. While you might not think it worth your time to track these costs, this is never beneficial. First off, knowing the average forklift cost per hour is a good indicator to use to determine when to replace them with new lift trucks.

Second, these costs will help you identify potential problems with particular lifts. For instance, you could have one forklift that is constantly breaking down even though it is a year or two old.There are all sorts of factors you must know in order to calculate the operating cost per hour for each of your lift trucks. These include:

  • The annual operation time for each forklift.
  • The anticipated amount of time you want to keep each lift truck in operation.
  • Replacement parts and their costs.
  • Repair and maintenance costs.
  • What parts and components are inspected and/or replaced at regular maintenance intervals.
  • The cost of labor for maintenance and repairs.

Let’s take a look at a few generalized examples to give you a better idea just how easy it is to calculate the average forklift cost per hour. For our examples, we are going to start off with a brand new forklift. We are going to make the assumption the lift is used 1,500 hours annually. We are also just looking at the costs of maintenance and not including fuel costs in our examples.

First Year of Use

During the first year, you are going to perform maintenance on average every 200 hours of use. The labor cost to do this is $90 each time. Since the lift is new, any parts that would need to be replaced are typically covered under warranty. So, you would do maintenance 8 times a year. ($1,500/200 = 7.5, then round up since you can’t do a half maintenance).Now, take 8 times $90, which equals $720 per year, and divide this by 1,500 hours to get an average cost per hour of $0.48.

Second Year of Use

During the second year, there are some added maintenance costs, like doing a major interval service for every 2,000 hours of use. For our example, let’s assume this service and parts needed to do it cost $1,500. So, you would have $720 in regular maintenance costs plus $1,500 for the interval service, which would equal $2,220. Now divide by 1,500 to get an average cost per hour of $1.48.

Third Year of Use

You will have the regular maintenance costs of $720, along with $1,500 for another major interval service. You will also probably need to replace the forks and tires. Let’s assume new forks cost $700 and new tires cost $500. Add these costs up to get $3,420 and divide by 1,500 to get an average cost per hour of $2.28.As you can see, the average cost per hour gradually increased from one year to the next. Once costs start to average $4 per hour or more, we recommend replacing the lift truck with a new one from us, here at Atlas Toyota Material Handling. Contact us at 877-438-2719 today for all of your lift truck parts and components, as well as new models!

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