Many factors will affect a forklift’s longevity, but before diving into these, 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 were to 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 forklifts 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 for life to last longer than an internal combustion engine. On average, an electric forklift’s battery will last five years, but their main advantage over internal combustion engines is that they have much fewer moving parts. More moving parts means more things to potentially break.

Factors That Affect Longevity

  • Maintenance: Just like a car, a forklift that is serviced regularly will last far longer than one that isn’t.
  • Conditions: Forklifts that are in clean and cool environments will last longer. Extremely cold temperatures will rapidly age a forklift.
  • Use: Forklifts that run for multiple shifts in a day will age much faster than forklifts that only run for one shift.

Key Takeaway

The most recommended way to keep a forklift running for a long time is to perform proactive maintenance. To have a headache-free experience with any brand of forklift, 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 remove the potential of having damage occurs to major components. A maintenance package will allow your forklift to be in service for many years to come.

Read more about Toyota’s Maintenance plans


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