Choosing a forklift dealer can seem impossible. With so much hanging in the balance, you want to ensure you’re choosing a fair and dependable dealer with a strong reputation and a sales team that is knowledgeable, but not pushy. It can feel like a tall order.
Finding a forklift dealer should also be the start of a positive, long-term relationship. If you find the forklift dealer right for you, your heavy equipment, forklift, and equipment service needs should be taken care of for years to come.
Selecting the perfect forklift dealer doesn’t need to be overwhelming or complex. We’ve compiled seven key evaluation criteria, ranging from inventory to service offerings to financing capability, that will help ensure you’re working with the right forklift dealer for your unique needs.
7 Key Factor to Consider When Choosing a Forklift Dealer
Let’s start with the obvious: if the forklift dealer isn’t near your home or business, getting there is going to be far more of a chore than it’s worth. Look at each dealer’s locations – are they nearby? Do they serve a specific region? Will they connect you with other specialists if they can’t meet your needs? These are all factors to consider when seeking out a perfectly located forklift dealer.
At Liftech, we have five locations for customer convenience, including dealers in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, near Albany, and in Burlington, VT, but we also service the entire Northeast region. We connect out-of-state customers with the best, most qualified sales and service members, whether we’re the right fit or not, ensuring your needs are met 100 percent of the time.
Training may not be at the top of your considerations (you just need a forklift, right?), but it should be. Offering forklift training is a good sign that the dealer you’ve selected is committed to safety and invested in their customers, and the industry, far beyond point-of-sale.
Finding a forklift dealer who believes that purchasing a forklift is only the beginning of the customer-dealer relationship is key to long-term satisfaction with your purchase. Many dealers will even offer DVDs and training kits so you can train your team on your own time.
Company History & Reputation
Consider the company’s history and reputation when selecting your forklift dealer. Choosing a distributor who has adapted to the changing industry over many years shows commitment to the industry and, by extension, to your needs as a customer.
Liftech is privately owned and operated with deep ties to the communities we serve. We also have more than 30 years of experience working with and growing with leading brands like Yale, Hyster, JCB, and more. Verify that the company has a positive reputation through Google My Business or Yelp.
Financing is important because it can help you stay on (or under) budget. Many dealers will work with manufacturers like Hyster, JCB, and Yale to assist with payment plans on forklifts. Be sure to ask about leasing options for forklifts and heavy equipment as well.
At some point, whether you purchase a new or used forklift, it will likely need service. Seek out a forklift dealer with factory-trained service technicians to ensure quality and timely repairs. Reputable forklift dealers will also give a response time window for service; for example, at Liftech, our average response time for service is four hours – two if it’s an emergency.
Even if you’re planning on buying new, finding a dealer that offers rental options can help you out down the road. Developing a relationship with a dealer that also offers rentals ensures you can use that relationship down the road, even if you only need a piece of equipment for a week. Rental programs also often include the ability to try new models before purchasing.
Look for short-term and seasonal rental options, extensive inventory, and affordable prices. Take stock of any rental charges they typically apply – fuel, transportation, and cleaning charges are common with rentals, but making sure they’re fair will tell you a great deal about the nature of the dealer.
Vast Inventory & Brand Knowledge
You want the forklift dealer you choose to be your partner moving forward. Unless you can see the future, you likely don’t know what equipment you’ll need in the years to come. Ensuring that the forklift dealer you select has a vast variety of equipment from the best brands in the industry means you’ll be setting yourself up for a long, fruitful relationship.
As you can see, selecting a forklift dealer doesn’t need to be daunting or difficult. By considering the factors that mean the most to you and your long-term success, you should be able to quickly identify a forklift dealer that meets (or exceeds) your needs.