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4 min read

Forklift Warranties: What Is and Isn’t Included

What's Included in a Forklift Warranty?


When you’re shopping for a forklift, you have many questions to consider: What is the best forklift for your application? Should you buy new or used? Gas or electric? What upgrades are available for productivity and safety? Will you buy or lease? Who will you buy it from? Is there a forklift brand you trust more than another? And does the forklift have a warranty?

Forklift warranties say "we're confident about the quality of our equipment."  It's a statement of integrity and commitment where the seller agrees to correct any problems if your truck fails. Manufacturers and dealerships want a long-term relationship with you. They hope a warranty builds trust and gives you the assurance you're making the best decision. 

A forklift warranty is pretty standard across the material handling industry. Not only are there things you should look for, but you should also know what's NOT included. If you need some help knowing what to look for in a forklift warranty, we have a breakdown to help align your expectations. 

What's Covered For New Forklifts:

New forklift warranties are comprehensive and help reduce financial risk for buyers like you. A typical new forklift warranty covers the first 12 months or 2,000 (key) hours of operation, whichever comes first. This warranty, called “Standard”, functions just like a new car bumper-to-bumper warranty (or, in the forklift world, carriage-to-counterweight). It protects you against manufacturers defects, failures, and other items that just shouldn’t happen in the first year under normal use.  Most manufacturers have very similar warranties, but there are some variations. Keep in mind that even with the best warranties, the factories will distinguish between the classes (Class I, II, III, IV, V), and some will have separate time, hour, and limits placed on them due to their inherent differences.

Furthermore, most forklift makers have an additional warranty covering the motive power portion of the lift, called the Powertrain warranty. Again, just like the automobile industry, these are designed to help out with the big money expenses of engines, transmissions, electric motors, etc. You know… the things that cost a lot of money to fix or replace! Powertrain warranties do have varying lengths and terms depending on the manufacturer, but in most scenarios, they all function alike.

With that said, nearly every brand will offer some “extra” or at-cost warranty that extends the coverages even further. Generally speaking, these will require some kind of commitment from the buyer to have a service or maintenance agreement in place with the original selling dealership.

What's Included in Forklift Warranties For Used Forklifts?

Unlike new forklifts where every unit rolls off the assembly line in the same perfect condition, used forklifts and their condition, vary as much as night and day! Some arrive in immaculate condition, while others… well, let’s just say they need a bit of TLC!  With that said, it just makes sense that used warranties will vary a bit depending on the truck’s condition. Of course, we would love for every used truck to arrive here in outstanding condition, however, that’s just not realistic. 

At The Lilly Company, our used equipment will fall into one of the following four warranty categories: 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, or As-Is. Each of these categories are determined after a careful examination and inspection of the lift. The 30-60-90 categories are for powertrain and major components. Regardless of category, each lift will be delivered in good working condition and in coordination to your expectations.

While the coverage on a used lift truck is less than a new OEM warranty, your reconditioned used forklift should have plenty of service life. Especially if you are purchasing from a reputable dealer. Consider reinvesting the funds in maintenance agreements to maintain your forklift’s uptime and keep your company productive. 

What's NOT Included in a Forklift Warranty?

Unfortunately, not everything is covered by your new or used forklift warranty. It’s important you know what isn’t included?

  • Wearable parts - things like brake pads, bearings, and tires aren’t covered by warranties. However, OEM parts do have their own warranty. If you care about parts warranties, it may be worth paying a premium for OEM parts and components. 
  • Maintenance - no warranty will cover your regular maintenance parts. 
  • A warranty that lasts forever - After a certain period of time, you’ll be responsible for your forklift if and when it breaks down, no matter how much you wish you could extend your warranty forever. 

Be sure you pay attention to the fine print of what is and is not covered by your forklift warranty - terms and conditions can vary widely across providers. 

​​Remember, there is a reason a used lift costs less than a new one. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to pay a lot less for the truck and get a warranty as good as a new one! Sorry, but we know that’s a hard pill to swallow!

How to Protect Your Forklift Investment

If you've read this far, we know something about you. You care about long-lasting equipment. You know when your truck goes down, your business stops. Besides looking for a good warranty, there are other precautions you can take to avoid unplanned equipment expenses. These include: 

  1. Planned Maintenance lets you pay for service in advance. These forklift owners know it's not if your truck will need to be serviced, it's when. A PM plan puts you in control by maintaining your equipment before it breaks. 
  2. Buy your forklift from a trusted dealer. If we didn’t stand behind any defects in material or workmanship, we wouldn’t be in business as long as we have. 
  3. Know what to expect. If you have heavier loads and/or run in harsh conditions, your truck will need more maintenance to keep running. 

Now that you know what’s covered in a forklift warranty, you are one step closer to pulling the trigger of a forklift purchase. Just remember, to make your selection from a trusted, certified dealer with a good reputation. 

The Lilly Company is proud of our 100-year history of excellence and is happy to offer top new and used forklifts. Our certified forklifts go through a 113-point inspection and reconditioning to deliver them in close to new shape for you.

It’s our goal to deliver the equipment and service you need to stand out in your work. If you’re in the market for a used forklift, you can contact one of our friendly team members online or by phone 844-LILLYCO (1-844-545-5926). We’ll help you find the right equipment to meet your needs. 

The Lilly Company is an authorized dealer for Toyota, Clark, Komatsu and Linde forklifts. We proudly serve customers throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and eastern Arkansas. Visit one of our 13 forklift dealerships across the Mid-South.

Arkansas – Jonesboro
Alabama - Birmingham, Dothan, Irondale, Madison, Mobile, and Montgomery
Mississippi - Tupelo and Richland
Tennessee - Jackson, Kingsport, Knoxville, and Memphis

Further Reading:
Should Your Repair of Replace Your Old Forklift
Used Forklift Buyer’s Checklist and Inspection Checklist
Top 4 Reasons to Rent a Forklift

Forklift buying guide