Forklifts BC

by Scott McLeod

A Brief Look At The Forklift Market In BC : A Provincial Perspective

For some reason, the forklift industry in BC, not to mention the rest of North America, is a bit of a mystery for many people not directly related to the business. If you want to test this theory, all you have to do is bring up the topic of “forklifts” at a social gathering and watch what happens. The reaction will either be a gazed look resembling “a deer in the headlights” or a response something like “oh, that’s nice”. Very seldom will people begin to ask questions out of a sincere interest to learn more.

Although you can find different types of forklifts operating in a wide variety of businesses such as warehousing, distribution, logistics, stevedoring, mining, manufacturing, building supply yards and so on, I find it amazing how few people actually know much about them. Without forklifts, many of the products we use today would not be readily available or at the very least, at prices as low as they are.

Forklifts in BCHow many forklifts are there in BC, you may wonder?

That’s a difficult question to answer because no one really knows for sure, but let’s give it a try.

If we assume for a moment that the estimated life of a forklift is on average 15 years and if there have been roughly 1,000 new forklifts sold per year in the Province of BC over the last 15 years, then you could expect to find a total forklift population of at least 15,000 units.

But wait, there’s more.

You could also expect to find an additional 1,000 used forklifts sold each year where these forklifts have been brought into the Province of BC as used forklifts and therefore should be added to the numbers above. Realistically, the estimated life of a used forklift would be in the neighbourhood of half the life compared with a new forklift. Therefore, 1,000 forklifts sold per year over 7.5 years equals 7,500 additional used forklifts.

So, the grand total is an estimated 22,500 forklifts in BC ( 15,000 + 7,500 ).

Everyone in the forklift business will be able to locate forklifts operating in BC that are more than 15 years old. In fact, there are likely forklifts operating in BC from the 1940’s or earlier. To offset these old dogs, you will also find many forklifts that have lasted less than 15 years. Some have even lasted less than 5 years. So, the numbers above are simply a reflection of averages; an educated guess on my part.

What does all this mean?

If we assume for a moment that the average new forklift sold for $35,000 and the average used forklift sold for $13,000, then in the Province of BC you could expect to find an estimated forklift investment at time of acquisition close to $622,500,000, prior to depreciation. Not a small chunk of change.

Think about all the jobs that are directly or indirectly related to selling, leasing and servicing forklifts in BC.

Think about all the jobs related to operating ( driving ) and training forklift operators to use forklifts in BC.

Think about all those businesses that couldn’t operate without a forklift. Most commercial or industrial businesses produce products that are simply too heavy to lift by the average person and if they could lift these goods, they couldn’t do it multiple times over long distances.

Think about what the Egyptians could have accomplished if forklifts were around back in their day.

So, the next time you pick up something heavy, think about how forklifts have played a part in making your life easier and more affordable.

Thank you for taking the time to learn a little something about the role of forklifts in BC. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Scott McLeod, President of Fleetman Consulting Inc., by calling (604)614-3530 cell or via email, help@fleetmanconsulting.com.

Posted in: Forklift Industry News