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Forklift Price: How Much Should You Expect in 2024?

A robust counterbalance forklift stands tall against a warehouse backdrop. The heavy-duty machine boasts a sturdy frame with a large set of dual rear.
A counterbalance forklift. Image via

Specific tools and equipment are necessary for many industries involving heavy material lifting, such as agriculture, construction, and logistics. They can make a huge difference not only in the efficiency of operations but they can also help improve workers’ safety. One essential piece of equipment is a forklift.

Although forklifts can be beneficial for a business, getting one involves significant expenses that may include thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. Whether you are purchasing a brand new forklift or considering renting one, understanding the costs associated with forklifts is critical to making informed decisions that can positively impact your business. And as we all know, a good healthy business requires good decisions. 

In this article, we will dive into the different factors that affect the cost of a forklift, provide insight into how to manage these costs, and look into how to choose the right forklift. If you’re in the market for a forklift, read on.

How Much Does a Forklift Cost?

A forklift’s price can vary significantly on several factors, such as the type of forklift and whether they’re new or used. With such a wide range of options available, it can be challenging to determine how much you can expect to spend on a forklift. Below are cost estimates for the different types of forklifts.


The standard forklift, also known as a warehouse forklift, is the easiest type anyone can recognize. They’re great for lifting items and moving them around over short distances. They are also a big help in loading and unloading cargo to and from delivery vehicles. Typically, you’ll see this forklift in a logistics hub or a warehouse, hence its name. Standard capacity forklifts can lift around 5,000 pounds. However, heavy-duty models can handle a lot more than that.


Depending on weight capacity and engine type, new standard forklifts cost around $20,000 – $45,000. A 2023 Doosan G25E-7 5,000 LB forklift sells for $32,950.


Depending on their service history and other factors, used forklifts can cost between $12,000 – $21,000. A 5K Komatsu forklift with pneumatic tires and 7,100 hours sells for $15,900.

A red forklift, with a sturdy frame and four wheels, stands tall against a backdrop of a bustling warehouse.
A standard forklift. Image via

Side Loader

Another type of forklift commonly found in manufacturing plants and factories is a side loader. With this forklift, the operator sitsin a sideways cabin. The sideways design allows the forklift to drive to the racks and load and unload items easily. They can navigate confined spaces between the shelves.


A new side loader costs around $25,000, while higher capacity loaders can go up to $100,000. A 2022 Combilift CB6000 is priced at $86,000.


The price for a used side loader depends on the model and condition. You can get a used machine with over 10,000 operating hours for $2,198. Newer models can go up to $90,000. A 2017 Combilift C6000 that has 10,785 hours is priced at $69,200.

A side loader forklift in action, featuring a sturdy metallic frame with orange accents.
A side loader forklift. Image via

Counterbalance Forklift

Counterbalance forklifts are a lot similar to the standard forklift. The main difference is that they have a weighted rear. This weight acts as a counterbalance to the heavy loads that the forklift will be subjected to. Counterbalance forklifts don’t have forks that can extend. This allows them to move directly to the load.


The price for new counterbalance forklifts can range from $10,000 up to more than $50,000. A new 2023 Rhino RFL350LPG forklift is priced at $33,600.


You will see online listings of used counterbalance forklifts starting at around $7,000 to $10,000. Newer models with fewer operating hours can go up to $20,000. A 5k Capacity Kalmar – Komatsu with 7,875 Hours is listed for $10,000.

A robust counterbalance forklift stands tall against a warehouse backdrop. The heavy-duty machine boasts a sturdy frame with a large set of dual rear.
A counterbalance forklift. Image via

Heavy-Duty Forklift

These forklifts are also similar to the warehouse forklift, except they are capable of lifting much more weight. Heavy-duty forklifts are perfect for those looking to move heavy loads. These beasts can lift up to 30,000 lbs of weight, while some can go over 100,000 lbs capacity. This makes them perfect for industrial applications. 


New industrial heavy-duty forklifts typically start from $50,000, and higher capacity machines can go up to $700,000.  A 2021 Taylor X300S with a maximum capacity of 30,000 lbs costs $265,000.


A used Clark C500Y300D with a 30-ton capacity is priced at $12,500.

A powerful, heavy-duty forklift with a robust frame and large industrial tires stands tall in a warehouse.
A heavy-duty forklift. Image via


Telehandlers, also known as telescopic forklifts, are a combination of a forklift and a crane. A twin fork is attached to an extendable arm, allowing them to reach higher elevations. This makes telehandlers a popular choice of machine for pole barn or barndominium construction. Check out our Pinterest page if you want to look into some of the houses built by these machines. Not only can they lift materials, but they can also carry people and other equipment to elevated places.


A brand-new mid-range telehandler can cost around $120,000. Higher-capacity machines can cost up to $135,000. A 2023 Genie GTH-5519 is priced at $119,522.


The price for a used telehandler can range from $15,000 to $80,000. As always, newer and less worn-out machines can cost higher. A 2016 Lull 1044C-54 can be bought for $75,644.

A sturdy telehandler forklift stands tall against a backdrop of a bustling warehouse.
A telehandler forklift. Image via

Rough Terrain Forklift

These machines have similar features to a standard forklift but with the added capability of operating on rugged surfaces. They are equipped with threaded offroad tires, giving them better stability and traction through rocky or muddy ground. Rough terrain forklifts also have higher ground clearance. You won’t need these added features for indoor jobs, but they are perfect for outdoor work such as construction and agriculture. 


New rough terrain forklifts can range from $20,000 up to $90,000, depending on their capacity and features. You can purchase a ​​2023 Octane forklift for $80,327.

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Used rough terrain forklifts are sold for $5,000 to $40,000, depending on their condition. A 1994 JCB 930 with 20,550 operating hours is priced at $41,713.

A sturdy yellow rough terrain forklift with chunky tires and a robust frame, navigating a challenging terrain strewn with rocks and uneven ground.
A rough terrain forklift. Image via

Pallet Jack

Also known as pump trucks, pallet jacks are the most cost-effective and basic type of forklift. Manual pallet jacks are manually powered and are common; however, electric pallet jacks are also available. These machines are great for lifting not-so-heavy loads in tight spaces and are perfect for small warehouses where a full-sized forklift takes up too much space.


You can get a new pallet jack for around $400. Electric-powered pallet jacks can go up to $4,000 to $5,000. You can get a new 2023 Ekko EP18SLi  for $3,667


Used pallet jacks can be priced around $150. Electric pallet jacks can go as low as $1,000. A used 27″ x 48″ pallet jack can be purchased for $150.

 A sleek and compact pallet jack forklift in vibrant red color, designed for maneuverability and efficiency in tight spaces.
A pallet jack forklift. Image via

Walkie Stacker

Walkie stackers are kind of in between a standard forklift and a pallet jack. The operator of a walkie stacker doesn’t sit in a cab. Rather, they stand behind it, much like a pallet jack. For jobs that require a higher pallet jack, walkie stackers are the solution. They don’t take much space as standard forklifts. They can also reach higher than traditional pallet jacks.


Walkie stackers cost around $5,000, and higher load capacities can go up to around $15,000. A 2023 Lift Hero CDD15-E1CB is priced at $5,622.


The cost of used walkie stackers can vary as widely as new ones. A 1994 Crown 40WTT costs $4,500.

A compact and agile walkie stacker forklift, painted in a vibrant shade of blue, standing in a well-lit warehouse environment.
A walkie-stacker forklift. Image via

Order Picker

The order picker is a specific type of walkie stacker used for retrieving materials from storage and transporting them to another location. They are particularly useful in warehouses and storage facilities where individual items need to be retrieved without having to move full pallets. Due to their adaptable design, they are capable of handling a wide range of item sizes, from small auto parts to larger pieces of furniture.


Depending on capabilities and features, new order pickers start from $3,500 to more than $30,000. A 2022 Heli OPSM with a load capacity of 330 lbs costs $8,950.


Pre-owned order picker listings start from $1,200 up to $15,000. A BIL-JAX ESP19 with 6,387 operating hours costs $4,500

A yellow order picker forklift positioned in a spacious warehouse aisle.
An order picker forklift. Image via

Reach Fork Truck

The key feature of reach fork trucks is that they can extend their fork’s forward reach. This gives them the ability to have more reach on warehouse racks compared to standard forklifts. They often feature an open compartment that gives the operator more visibility. They are perfect for quick pallet picking in warehouses.


A new reach fork truck can cost approximately $30,000 and can go up to over $100,000. A 2021 Komatsu FB15RL-15 costs $35,249.


Used reach fork trucks can be bought at around $17,000 upwards. Newer models with fewer operating hours can be more pricey. A 2006 Crown RR5220-45 is priced at $17,950.

What are the Factors that Affect a Forklift’s Cost?

Type of Forklift

As presented above, the cost of different types of forklifts can range widely. The various kinds of forklifts available have their own pros and cons. Depending on your needs, a specific type of forklift will do the job better than the others. Refer to the pricing information above to get an idea of the price range of your ideal machine. 


Established manufacturers tend to price their equipment higher than lesser-known brands. The good thing is that reputable manufacturers typically build quality machines. Excellent engineering and strict quality standards are why they are well known. For that, their forklifts can be more expensive.  

Engine Type

Forklift engines can be battery-powered or run on gas, diesel, and propane. Electric forklifts, although demanding more upfront costs, have lower noise levels and no emissions. This makes them perfect for indoor use, such as in warehouses. Due to being powered by electricity, they generally have lower operating costs.

It is also worth mentioning that even though electric forklifts can cost more, they generally have lower operating costs. In the long term, you can save more money by going with an electric forklift.


The maximum weight capacity of the machine directly affects its cost. Higher-capacity forklifts will cost more than lower-capacity forklifts. Producing a high-capacity forklift requires additional materials and more features. They also require more powerful engines. Because of this, the production cost goes higher, affecting the overall cost of the machine. It is important to have a good understanding of the forklift capacity needed for your jobs.


Another factor that affects the cost of the forklift is its features. These features can include power and speed settings, safety features, ergonomic features, and attachments. Forklifts that are equipped with attachments are more versatile. These additional components will come with additional costs. The same goes for safety features such as alarms and cameras. When choosing which forklift to purchase, it is important to evaluate which features you need and those you don’t need. 

counterbalace forklift lifting pallet in storage warehouse
The counterbalace forklift lifting pallets in a storage warehouse. Image via

Lift Height

Forklifts with more lift height will need longer mast sections and more powerful hydraulic systems. This makes them more expensive. Machines with more lift height also require more safety features to avoid accidents, especially at higher heights. Lifting height is an important factor in choosing a forklift because the machine’s capability is limited by its reach.


The cost of a forklift is also affected by the type of tire you choose. Cushion tires are the most affordable option. They are best used for indoor or paved surfaces. Solid pneumatic tires can cost more but offer more durability and long life. Air pneumatic tires are the most expensive type. They are great for rough, off-road terrain. Ultimately, your tire choice depends on your needs. 

Can You Rent a Forklift Instead?

Yes, renting a forklift is a great option for those working on a one-off project. If you don’t need forklifts often, you are better off renting one. This will be a better financial decision, allowing more flexibility and access to newer and better models without worrying about maintenance costs. However, if your rental expenses are getting close to purchasing a machine, then you should start looking into buying one.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Forklift?

The cost of renting a forklift will depend on several things, like the type of forklift, its capacity, and the rental duration. Your location and the rental company are also factors. You can expect rental rates to start at $150 per day, around $500 weekly, and $1,500 monthly. Larger and more specialized forklifts can cost more. 

Rental rates can also depend on your local market conditions. Make sure to reach out to multiple rental companies to get the best deal in your area. 

How to Choose the Right Forklift 

You need to consider several things to choose the right forklift.

Environment or Terrain

Consider the environment where the forklift will operate. Choosing the appropriate machine equipped with the right tires for its environment and terrain will result in better efficiency. In addition, it will be more cost-effective. Machines optimized for the indoor setting cannot perform well outdoors, and vice versa. 

Load Capacity

The load capacity of the machine is a crucial consideration. Think about the average weight your forklift would be lifting, the maximum weight it needs to lift, and the dimension of the items it will lift. This ensures that you won’t choose a forklift below your requirements. 

Lift Height

Understanding the lift height you need is also crucial when choosing a forklift. The most common lift height for a standard forklift is about 15 feet. Like the load capacity, the lift height you need depends on the intended use of your forklift.

Fuel Type

Depending on your budget, you need to choose between electric and internal combustion engines such as fuel, propane, or diesel. As mentioned, electric-powered machines will involve more upfront costs as you must purchase the battery and charger. However, they tend to have longer life spans and cheaper operating costs. This means that you will save more in the long term. 

heavy-duty forklift
A heavy-duty forklift. Image via


The cost of a forklift can vary a lot as there are many types of forklifts. Each one has its own unique features, making them appropriate for specific types of jobs. Purchasing a forklift is an investment that needs careful consideration. Looking at the factors that can help you decide which forklift to buy will help you make an informed decision and ensure that the investment benefits your business. It is important to remember that you should also consider buying one from a dealer with positive reviews. Ideal forklift dealers should offer maintenance services and support to ensure your forklift lasts long.

Forklifts are a big help in the construction industry, such as metal building construction. Check out our Facebook Page for more content on metal buildings and alternative housing like shipping container homes. Our Instagram Page also has much content to offer on custom houses.


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