Why Are Used Forklifts Hard to Buy Right Now?
Used forklifts have become increasingly more popular within the warehouse and transportation sectors; especially due to the events that have occurred across the globe recently. While brand new forklifts seem appealing to many business owners, just like cars, people are deciding to purchase used forklifts as a result of cash shortages and consequently believe they are better value for money.
With this in mind, this article will discuss:
- Why there is a shortage of second hand forklifts
- Why there is a semiconductor shortage
- Why there is a labour shortage
- Our advice here at Trucks Direct
Demand Greater Than Supply
First of all, it is important to note that a forklift truck is the workhorse of many material handling facilities. However, those who supply parts and services for second hand forklifts are scrambling to keep up with the ever increasing business demand for the vehicles. The suppliers have been trying to manage a strong balance between providing critical supplies to distribution centres while dealing with their own supply chain challenges.
Additionally, customers are trying to source alternatives from their current supplier, who may have run out of inventory and thus, caused supply to weaken and demand to skyrocket. For this reason alone, there has been a major shortage in forklifts and their respective parts.
Furthermore and more specifically, the sale of forklift’s chassis (the base frame of a wheeled vehicle) and the forklift’s engine parts have risen massively to cope with increasing demand However, due to a lack of raw materials, manpower and long delays, this has now caused the production and availability of these parts to come to a halt.
All of these market factors have greatly impacted lead times for lift truck parts which vary depending on the class of equipment and manufacturer. In particular, electric forklift truck lead times are much better/shorter than the Internal Combustion engine truck lead times however, when looking at Lead and Lithium-Ion battery forklift lead times, they are extended due to the lack of supply chain parts.
Semiconductors are essentially the main hub of a vehicle. They are electrical devices (made from wafers of material like silicon, gallium arsenide or silicon carbide substrate) and are used for critical functions such as sensing, safety features, power management, displays and control of the vehicle. The lack of these chips has meant that manufacturers have had to temporarily shut down their operations, especially when the coronavirus hit at the beginning of 2020.
As we have previously mentioned, the sale of engine parts of forklifts has decreased due to factors like a lack of workforce. When you can’t work or you are sick, you can’t produce products, it’s as simple as that. In addition, forklift assembly and shipping has slowed down during COVID because workers have had to isolate after contracting the virus which had led to new forklift inventory drying up and becoming more difficult to purchase.
On the topic of lack of labour, according to the REC’s job recovery tracker, there was a 9.1% increase in vacancies for forklift truck drivers in the first week of November 2021, suggesting that companies are struggling to recruit. This is yet another reason why second hand forklifts are in such short supply as there are less people willing to drive them and as a result, has reduced the supply to purchase them for business owners.
To further reiterate this point, Brexit is another contributing factor to the lack of used forklifts as 34% of forklift drivers were EU nationals, but now many had gone back to their home countries which further suggest why forklift production has come to a slow decline.
A final reason why there are forklift supply shortages is because of the recent environmental regulations that have been put into place and thus, stifled production of forklifts. In order to meet environmental standards, manufacturers must comply with these regulations and certify their products are safe and comply with environmental standards before they can be shipped out.
For example, in the US, some forklifts have had pending new certifications from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) which only increases time lags in which these pieces of machinery can be issued out. This move alone limits the number of available forklifts to warehouse and transportation businesses.
Our Advice Here at Trucks Direct
Thankfully, here at Trucks Direct, we still stock a wide range of used forklifts. From 4-wheeled trucks to the incredibly popular electric forklifts, we are bound to have a forklift that’s right for you so hurry while stock lasts.
Alternatively, if you happen to find that the desired forklift you want is not in stock, we recommend that you utilise our rental service to fill in any workflow gaps. For more information, contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff today.