As with any vehicle, when purchasing a forklift truck, it is worth considering whether you need to buy a new one or whether a refurbished forklift would be a good alternative.
The argument for a brand-new truck is easy to understand – a trouble free choice, but from a cost-benefit perspective, and depending on the work it is needed for, a used forklift truck may make a better decision.
Cat® Lift Trucks believes that by working closely with their customers and understanding their needs, they can advise them on the best materials handling options available for their requirements and the work they have in mind.
When talking about the best choice for a client purchasing a forklift truck, “It is about being close to the client”, says Marco de Jager. He believes that not all tasks require the purchase of a new truck and in some cases, a used forklift might be as good an alternative.
“A used truck will save you costs. Money that you can invest elsewhere in your organization”, says Mr. De Jager.
“We look at the whole picture and recommend to our customers what the best product mix is for their operations and budget. It is about being close to the client, understanding their needs and offering the best choice. If our customer needs a backup forklift truck for incidental deployment or urgently needs an additional truck for coping with busy periods, then used forklift trucks are a good option.
The refurbished or used forklift truck market is growing in Europe and will continue to grow in the future, with an emphasis on nearly-new used trucks”.
Naturally, there is also a strong export market for refurbished forklifts, especially in Europe between one country and another. The demand for nearly-new machines is great and continues to increase, which means that whilst supply is limited, buying from abroad is a good option.
Mr. De Jager says, “Regardless of the size of the company, purchasing and selling a used truck makes no difference as the process is the same: to create a network with traders that can buy used machines. Another way is to put new trucks in rental for 5 years and then after the rental period is complete, these forklifts become ideal used trucks for traders”.
However, the easiest way though is through a combination of both ways – so when someone purchases a refurbished forklift truck, the dealer takes care of getting rid of their old one in return.
Marco de Jager has more than 20 years’ experience as a dealer in the used forklifts industry and now heads up the Cat Lift Trucks Rental and Used Trucks Centre that is supporting Cat® forklift truck dealers in handling used forklift trucks as well as renting, purchasing and selling refurbished forklift trucks.
So far he is very happy with the success of this initiative: “The first months were interesting for us as we created a lot of opportunities. However, in this segment of the market we face the common problem of the difficulty in finding nearly-new used forklift trucks at competitive prices.”
He had also found that the Cat® lift trucks dealers appreciate the support of the manufacturer in their rental and used trucks business.
According to Mr. De Jager:
“Our dealer network offers a range of solutions to customers with our used and rental forklifts. For example, if a customer has to deal with a sudden peak in activity but the dealer doesn’t have a suitable forklift truck in stock, they have the possibility of renting from us instead.”
In the long term, Marco de Jager wishes to extend this segment of the materials handling business by creating a Cat lift trucks and warehouse community to support dealers and customers in improving their refurbished forklift trucks business.