In this article you’ll learn:

  • Factors that influence the lift trucks life span 
  • Importance of proper maintenance



Many factors will affect a forklift’s longevity, but before diving in, it’s critical to understand how a forklift’s “age” is measured. A forklift’s age is measured in hours, just like miles on a car. If you look at a single-shift operation that has an 8-hour workday, you should expect a forklift there to run 2,000 hours per year. The average lifespan of a forklift is 10,000 hours. It’s also important to mention that it’s common to see lift trucks last more than 20,000 hours from higher-quality brands, such as Toyota.

Internal Combustion Engines vs Electric Forklifts

On average, you can expect an electric to last longer than an internal combustion engine. On average, an electric forklift’s battery will last five years, but its main advantage over internal combustion engines is that they have much fewer moving parts. More moving parts mean more things can potentially break.

Factors That Affect Longevity

  • Maintenance: Just like a car, a forklift serviced regularly will last far longer than one that isn’t. According to OSHA, you should inspect your forklifts daily. If you use your lift trucks constantly, then check them after each shift. This can ensure you have proper fluid levels, there are no signs of damage, and your tires and forks are in good condition. 
  • Conditions: Forklifts that are in clean and cool environments will last longer. Extremely cold temperatures will rapidly age a forklift. Corrosive environments, such as chemical plants, also decrease the lifespan.
  • Use: Forklifts that run for multiple shifts in a day will age much faster than forklifts that only run for one shift. Also, watch for improper operator behavior, including heavy braking, excessive speeding, or skipping pre-shift inspections. Forklift turnover is the biggest cause of forklift fatalities. So, proper forklift training can reduce risk of human error. 

How often should you replace a forklift?

As stated above you should replace your forklift around 10,000 hours. However, many factors influence this, such as your usage and working environment. 

Here are a few signs it’s time to replace your forklift:

  • Your forklift blades are worn or distorted.
  • Your company experiences excessive downtime.
  • The forklift is always in need of repair.

How to Increase Your Forklifts Lifespan

The most recommended way to keep a Toyota forklift running for a long time is to perform initiative-taking maintenance. To have a headache-free experience with any brand lift truck, you should sign up for our Planned Maintenance or Full Maintenance package. Our Toyota-certified technicians are trained to catch early signs of problems, reducing the possibility of downtime and removing the potential of damage occurring to major components. A forklift  repair package will allow your equipment  to be in service for many years.

Read more about Toyota’s Maintenance plans.

Then schedule service  today!


Please contact us online if you want to learn more about our maintenance packages.