Selecting Forklift Replacement Parts

You probably are aware that you have options when selecting replacement parts for a forklift. You can choose between the OEM and Aftermarket varieties and you can also select between used and new parts.

Obviously, there are advantages and disadvantages in the selection of each category.

You know, for example, that the original manufacturer manufactures OEM parts. That’s what OEM means. You probably know who the OE manufacturers are and you know that these manufacturers supply the parts to the forklift manufacturers.

It is said that OEM parts are manufactured under strict standards and made from

You have options when selecting replacement parts for a forklift. (Courtesy: Charles Green)

You have options when selecting replacement parts for a forklift.
(Courtesy: Charles Green)

high-grade materials. The manufacturers back the construction of the parts with warranties and quality guarantees that include the cost of labor if you require a replacement part.

The OEM manufacturers also make the parts to specific specifications and feature exact fittings and functioning components.

As with the case with any product, there are downsides to selecting OEM parts. For example, the cost of this category of parts is higher because the standards set for production are higher and higher-grade materials are used. This may inhibit someone who requires parts for a large fleet of forklifts because of the cost.

OEM parts can be difficult to find. That is because not all parts are widely distributed. So it is difficult for a warehouse to commit exclusively to just OEM parts.

In order to deal with the availability and cost problems, many warehouse managers choose to rely on a combination of aftermarket and OEM. However, if you do, be sure to find an aftermarket supplier on whom you can depend.

Regardless of whether you choose OEM, aftermarket, or a combination of the two, there are other considerations when selecting replacement parts.

Make certain that the parts you are considering are compatible with the make and model of the forklift you use. Have the serial number and make and model of your forklift in mind when in the market for parts. Use this information when discussing the parts you want to buy with the supplier to ensure a proper match with the forklift.

Don’t settle on buying the very first compatible part that you find. There are always options. Perform your due diligence and research what’s available. If you have an opportunity to purchase an OEM part over an aftermarket part, then select the OEM.

Ask when the forklift part you are ordering is available when you need it. If not available when ordering, find out when it will be. Also ask about the freight charges. It is best to deal with a supplier who can provide you with parts when you need them to avoid any down time for the forklift and possible loss of customers.

Avoid acquiring older used parts. Some experts suggest that you buy used parts that are less than seven years old. Although it is true that the older used parts are less expensive than the other alternatives, they will break more easily than other parts.

If you find it is more beneficial for you to buy used parts that are less than seven years old, then get those parts from a professional dealer. They have a staff that it trained to clean the parts and inspect them and categorize them properly. Many suppliers who offer new parts offer used parts to fill in while the new ones are not available.

There are benefits to buying used parts. For example, used parts can cost 50 percent to 60 percent less than a new part; they can fill the need when the new part is not available; if you are using old forklifts that are no longer manufactured; and you can buy one individual used part while new parts may come as part of an assembly.

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