Giving MHE the much-needed second life

By Darryl Shafto, Managing Director at Goscor Lift Truck Company – August 2018

As the costs of doing business keep rising, especially in constrained economic conditions, the thought of purchasing new materials handling equipment (MHE) may be out of question for many. To survive the tide of such a downward economic cycle, there has been a clear shift towards refurbished equipment. In fact, the move towards refurbished equipment is not unique to the local market, but it’s a global phenomenon as companies find it a cost-effective way to stretch their dollar to service their contracts and operations.

Locally, the demand for refurbished MHE continues unabated, especially amid such a poor economic climate. On the back of that trend, through Goscor Rental Company (GRC), a division of Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC), we have identified the need to offer machine rebuilding services for the full range of forklift products in our stable, allowing customers to extend the lifecycles of their existing units, or to buy refurbished units that have the same capabilities of a new unit, but coming at a much lesser price.

We established our dedicated Rebuild Centre in March 2017, which is purely focused on refurbishing ex-long term rental units. I am of the view that this was a timely investment in the sense that equipment rebuilds are a growing trend, not only in the MHE industry, but across the capital equipment sector at large. To drive this point home, we have already seen a big jump in our used sales since the development of the Rebuild Centre.

It is often the norm that when times are this tough, price is the prime determinant of what we buy, but when the equipment you are buying is business-critical, quality and authenticity should be your most important considerations, especially when buying refurbished gear. Different vendors use different processes, parts, levels of exactitude and quality-acceptance levels to refurbish the equipment they sell. It is for these reasons that, in my view, buying from a reputable supplier is imperative.

In a short space of time, our refurbishment division has already proven its ability to make previously used machines as good as new. All refurbishments are completed in-house by experienced technicians and close attention is paid to the quality and long-term utility as each component receives the necessary attention to increase the lifetime. Refurbishing services span across all the forklift brands in the stable. These include Crown, Doosan, Bendi and Hubtex.

Each refurbishing job starts with a full analysis that documents each step the refurbishing team needs to take to ensure greater quality. The refurbishing process includes engine and transmission compression testing; drainage and filling of oil and lubricants; refurbishment of hydraulic systems (change hydraulic pipes if required); mast refurbishment; new tyres; a complete respray; new stickers; load testing and new battery installation.

Our new rebuild programme gives customers the opportunity to save as much as 50% over buying new, while having the assurance that their refurbished machines will operate at peak capacity. When it comes to the lifetime of refurbished forklifts, depending on the original age of the truck the application hours worked, one can get an additional 3 years or 6 000 hours from their refurbished unit.

Again, this is only possible when the particular refurbishing job is undertaken by a credible service provider. At our Rebuild Centre, with each refurbished unit, customers get a 250-hour or 3-month warranty, whichever comes first, which is proof of the trust we have in our quality of work. Of great interest to most of the customers we have dealt with to date is the 36-month lease-to-own option which we offer on our refurbished units.

In conclusion, apart from the refurbishing processes, when buying refurbished forklifts, customers should also take into consideration parameters such as hours worked, warranty and maintenance as these can often come back to bite you. Remember the good old saying “goed koop is duur koop!”