Its really been in the last 5 years or so in Australia that we’ve seen a explosion of Chinese made forklifts in the market. We’ve taken a look at the Chinese made Forklifts before, and the guiding principle here as with anything is, you get what you pay for weather you are looking at buying second hand or new.

We wanted to take a look at a few thing you might want to consider when buying a new Chinese made Forklift or buying a refurbished used forklift.

Its really important to compare apples with apples when you looking at purchasing, a new Chinese model or a refurbished second hand model. So make sure you know what you need the forklift for so consider lift height, fuel type e.t.c when looking at your purchase

As an Example

A new 2.5T Chinese made forklift, with a 3000mm mast, petrol, will retail for about $14 999 at the bottom end and up to $19 000 at the top end of the Chinese product market, and will generally come with a minimum 12 month warranty, (Ask first about what warranty to expect).

A refurbished Hyster H2.5TX model (which is approximately 5 years old) with a 4000mm mast will retail for about $15 000 and you could generally expect a 90 day warranty with it.

There are a few things you need to consider when making the choice


Chinese manufacturing is light years ahead of where it was 5 years, with most if not all major brands bring out a Chinese equivalent (Yes think Toyota, Linde, Hyster). With a lots of smaller forklift companies now running Chinese forklifts in their rental fleet. So are they reliable?, well in the right application yes they can go the distance.


Depreciation is the true hidden cost of owning a forklift. Buy a good condition second hand brand name forklift such as a Hyster, you will still get a decent resale figure when you go to sell it down the track. Meaning that generally they will hold their age. A new Chinese unit, whilst is cheap, will quickly loose its value at the end of 5 years, you could loose up to 70 % of its value from new.

Backup and Spare parts

There seem to be a never ending number of different forklift companies importing Chinese brands of forklifts to Australia over the years, a lot of that have gone out of business, or have stopped selling Chinese forklifts. These companies are normally around for 2 to 3 years or until their warranty issues become too much and the Chinese manufacturing company moves on to another importer, you see a lot of these companies selling on Ebay. So make sure you are buying from a well established dealer.

A forklift is a business tool, and should be view as such. You need to make sure you are buying for the right reasons, and knowing what application you are wanting to use to you forklift in. New Chinese or refurbished second hand, its still an investment, just make sure you look for the obvious things, you need .

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