Though they serve as critical elements in many material handling operations, forklifts can come with many potential hidden costs, such as maintenance and operator salary — in total, costs can reach as high as $250,000 annually per machine!

Despite these expenditures, more and more companies are making use of forklifts; a recent Peerless Research Group survey of material handling managers found that 69% of respondents planned to acquire a new forklift in the near future, with a per-respondent average of seven planned purchases, up from six the year prior.

When it’s time to add or replace a forklift at your facility, it’s important to not only consider these costs but to take into account usage, initial investment and equipment availability as you assess your different acquisition possibilities. With these factors and respondents' average forklift purchase quantities in mind, we’ve outlined the four best options for acquiring a new forklift for your facility.