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The hidden costs of owning a forklift

The hidden costs of owning a forklift

Many people think that after they’ve paid for a forklift, the list of expenses ends there. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You’ll need to pay for maintenance, fuel or electricity consumption, attachments, repairs and operator training. Read on to learn more.

Runnings costs

First and foremost there are the everyday costs of running a fleet of forklifts to consider. When researching the range of initial costs for forklifts, it may seem like an Internal Combustion (IC) forklift is the way to go as they typically have a cheaper upfront cost than electric. However, when factoring in ongoing fuel costs you may find that the cheaper initial cost isn’t worth it. Recharging an electric forklift’s battery is far cheaper than the costs of fuel, which is also difficult to accurately budget for due to fluctuating prices.


Maintenance and servicing is something that is easy to forget when you’ve just purchased a brand new forklift. Unfortunately the ongoing costs of maintenance will make themselves clear pretty quickly.

Depending on the quality of the forklift you’ve purchased and whether it is new or used will impact how often the machine will need to be serviced. Additionally, factors such as the conditions of where the forklift is operated and stored can affect its longevity. For example; if the unit is stored outside in the elements or in a corrosive environment, it is likely to deteriorate quicker.

You may be tempted to put off servicing your forklift to save money but unfortunately, this is unlikely to achieve the results you are looking for. If your fleet of forklifts are constantly breaking down or not operating at optimum efficiency then productivity will suffer and you’ll likely start taking a financial hit anyway.


Whilst not a direct cost for the machine itself, to drive a forklift an operator will need to have completed a course and obtained a license. The cost of this may fall on your business if your forklift operators don’t already have one. The course, license and associated fees can cost anywhere between $400 – $700 per person. Generally these will also need to be renewed every 5 years.

Whilst it’s easy to consider the initial costs of a forklift, it’s important to factor in all ongoing expenses to ensure you don’t end up with something you can’t afford to maintain and operate.

Melbourne Forklift hire and sales

If this blog has raised some questions for you, or you want to look at hiring or purchasing a forklift, then don’t hesitate to reach out to Triwest. Triwest is a leading supplier of top-performing forklifts that customers in Melbourne and Regional Victoria look to with complete confidence. With over 40 years of experience in the industry, we’re a trusted, local name and we only work with the best manufacturing brands. Get in touch with our friendly team to rent or buy forklifts that will never let you down. 

Call today on 1800 874 937 or complete a contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


At Triwest Forklifts, we have provided comprehensive material handling solutions to Melbourne based business for over 40 years. We would love to have you join our growing team!