Deal or no deal?
Secondhand forklift trucks could be the answer for those companies seeking additional materials
handling equipment without raising the budget. Laura Cork goes shopping for quality seconds
s orders slowly begin to pick up, Other customers can stretch the budget certain new models on the market,” he says.
manufacturers may find they need further to its platinum package. But whatever When a customer buys a used Jungheinrich
more – or different – forklift trucks the cost, selecting a used truck enables buyers truck, he says, they are also buying in to a
to move materials to and from the to secure premium brand equipment with a reliable supplier with a sound infrastructure
warehouse and around the factory floor. With higher spec and more features than a cheaper and proven after-sales service record –
budgets remaining tight, however, more and new model – “something used car buyers have something “that some of the recent entrants
more are opting for used trucks, some of been doing for years,” Wallis points out. to the market simply cannot match”.
which can be refurbished to near-new Indeed; this is a market with significant Jungheinrich’s secondhand equipment is
standards. potential. Jungheinrich says its sales of used marketed under its ‘Ready to Go’ brand. One
This is borne out by market reports. While equipment have more than doubled in the customer that was attracted to the offer is
industry statistics point to a sharp reduction past two years, and it expects this upward Franklin Silencers. This Northampton-based
in sales of new forklift trucks in the UK, some curve to continue. Less bullish is Linde manufacturer of industrial silencers recently
truck manufacturers are reporting a surge in Material Handling, though it says its used decided to upgrade its materials handling
demand for used and refurbished vehicles. equipment sales have “remained stable” in equipment and, having looked at what was
Take Toyota Material Handling UK, for the past year while the market for new trucks available on the market, opted for
example. Operations director Tony Wallis says fell dramatically. “In light of the current Jungheinrich’s Ready to Go range.
the company has seen “a significant economic conditions, to be maintaining sales Franklin decided upon electric and LPG
increase” in demand for pre-owned at last year’s levels is a good sign,” says models for use around the production and
equipment in the last 12 months. “We’ve Linde’s head of used trucks Mark Sullivan. distribution sites. The gas-powered truck is
modified our approach to reflect this,” he “We’re promoting our used trucks just as used around the production plant, where it
says. Customers can now buy Toyota used strongly [as new equipment], particularly as unloads deliveries of raw steel. The electric
equipment, with a full range of finance, they are designed to be robust and reliable for machine is used within the finished goods
rental and service options to boot. many years of work, far beyond the initial warehouse.
Toyota offers pre-owned equipment to contract period.” Both are fairly low-intensity operations
three standards to suit each customer’s Like Toyota’s Tony Wallis, Jungheinrich and this was a key factor in steering Franklin’s
requirements and budget. “Many are UK’s used equipment and short term rental decision to used equipment. “We chose used
operating a leaner materials handling fleet director Neil Warren also maintains that much machines because the Jungheinrich models
than in previous years, but still want the of this growing demand comes at the expense were refurbished to an extremely high
security of a back-up truck, should work of new – and much cheaper – forklift models standard and represented excellent value for
volumes increase suddenly,” explains Wallis. imported from the Far East. “We’d contend money,” says Franklin’s deputy MD Danny
“An entry level or Toyota Gold standard truck that a good quality used truck that has been Weisenberger.
would give them the value for money they fully refurbished to the relevant European Each truck in the used range comes with
seek.” standards represents far better value than full service history, valid LOLER certification
and up to six months’ warranty. As well as
electric and engine-powered counterbalance
A good quality used truck models, Jungheinrich also offers refurbished
warehouse equipment such as reach trucks
represents far better value and order pickers. Better still, all are available
on next-day delivery. This is made possible by
than certain new models its truck refurbishment factory in Dresden,
Germany. The economies of scale here enable
Neil Warren, Jungheinrich UK the company to offer competitively priced
28 February 2010 www.worksmanagement.co.uk
John Bradley Materials handling & logistics Forklift trucks
used equipment, and the trucks rebuilt at offers contract hire or lease purchase expense of compliance with EU safety
Dresden are shipped to many countries and packages. standards.”
continents. If it all sounds too good to be true, then The European Machinery Directive is
On arrival at Dresden, each vehicle is perhaps it is. There is a requirement on the designed to ensure a common policy of safety
dismantled and all worn or defective parts are customer to do more than kick the tyres to and supply. The latest version of the Directive
replaced, including tyres and lift chains. The declare these machines with ‘previous’ to be came into force in December. E or CE marking
trucks are then cleaned inside and out and fit for purpose. There’s a hefty responsibility indicates that the product design and
repainted before they are reassembled and and duty of care to ensure employee safety. construction complies with health and safety
tested. “The advantage of carrying out this The truck manufacturers’ association, requirements laid down by the relevant
work within the group, rather than through BITA, asserts that safety must be the top European Directive (including Machinery
dealers, is that we know all the trucks that priority. “It’s not unusual for equipment that Directive). Without a compliance mark, buyers
leave Dresden have been overhauled is offered for sale on the global market and cannot be certain that the truck design meets
according to our quality standards, so they imported into the EU for the first time to be minimum safety standards – in turn, meaning
meet all legal requirements as well as more than 10 years’ old,” says BITA’s secretary there can be no guarantee of safe operating
customer needs,” says Neil Warren. general James Clark. “This means that both condition.
How competitive are its prices? Warren EU and ISO standards could have been revised BITA offers useful guidance notes on this
says that a fully refurbished truck costs twice since the original date of manufacture. and other matters: see www.bita.org.uk.
around 60% of the price of a new model. Over Indeed, from experience, it is apparent that a It’s certainly important to verify safety
half the used trucks sold in the UK are number of these used machines have achieved standards on a secondhand truck, but if that
purchased outright, but the company also their highly competitive pricing at the truck is to be operated in a hazardous area,
www.worksmanagement.co.uk February 2010 29
Materials handling & logistics Forklift trucks
this becomes a matter of life and death. Safety forklift trucks have an extremely arduous
specialist Pyroban provides explosion-proof working life, why would any buyer ignore the
modifications for all leading truck brands and service history in favour of the best price?
it warns of the dangers of buying used Wallis recommends asking questions about
explosion-proof equipment. “When we the truck’s working life. “Forks and masts are
convert a truck, it undergoes stringent tests subject to huge stresses over the life of the
which it must pass in order to be certified as truck. The higher the lift height, the greater
ATEX compliant,” says Pyroban’s Darren the stresses, so pay particular attention to the
Boiling. “As soon as it leaves our factory, it is mast mounting points.” It’s not just how the
then the user’s ultimate responsibility to truck has been used either, it’s where: “If it’s
ensure it is properly maintained.” That means been used in a yard with an uneven surface,
ensuring the vehicle has a valid ‘thorough you could expect to see wear and tear on the
examination’ report – the forklift equivalent inspection, preparation and warranty they are pivot point of the rear axle. Again, this should
of an MOT. being offered with any pre-owned truck,” he be inspected and included in any warranty.”
There are some used Pyroban-coverted states. Look for a quality brand that has been The Toyota counterbalance range features a
trucks in the market that are priced serviced and refurbished with genuine OEM swing lock cylinder, part of its system of active
attractively, he warns, yet may be so old they parts. “Manufacturers like Toyota re-sell stability, which helps to reduce wear on this
are not even ATEX compliant. If in doubt, ask equipment from their rental fleets, so they pivot point.
Pyroban to inspect the equipment. have been responsible for the maintenance of There are undoubtedly great deals to be
Toyota’s Tony Wallis raises more important the equipment from new, enabling them to had on used equipment of this kind. But, as
issues that buyers should be aware of. provide information about its working life and with used cars, there are premium quality
“Prospective buyers should certainly ask service history.” seconds and other, less reputable offers.
careful questions about the level of This is a critical point. Given that most Choose carefully. ■
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