Scraping An Old Forklift

Old forklifts never die.
You don’t have to abandon old, non-operating forklifts. There are recyclers that will pick up your old lifts and pay you for them.
(Courtesy: Machael Coghlar at

A forklift is an essential part of a warehouse operation. However, as is the case with any machine there comes a time when the lift can’t provide the service it once did. Some warehouse owner may not be aware that there are recycling companies around the country that will purchase your old forklift, recycle the parts, and pay you for those parts.

You probably won’t make much money scraping the lift, but it is certainly better for the environment that you offer it to a recycler then dump it in some empty field or woods.

There are recycling companies you can turn to that will pickup your lift and haul it to their yard.

Many of these companies have a process that you are required to go through before they will come out and pick up your machine.

  1.  You need to take a picture of the lift. Most recycling companies require the picture so that they can determine its condition and whether it can be towed to the yard.
  2. You need to also take a picture of the nameplate of the lift. This will provide vital information about the lift including its weight as well as the weight of the battery if it is an electric lift.
  3. The recycler will also want to know if the lift runs. If the truck is not operable, then the recycler will come to the warehouse and tow it back to the yard.
  4. The recycler may also ask if you have a loading dock. A loading dock puts the lift at a height from which it can pick it up and tow it away.

Recyclers will not only come to your site to pick up the machine. They will remove the fluids and oils from the machine, create a certificate of destruction for forklift batteries, and will properly handle the lift for scrap purposes.

Many recyclers will remove more than one forklift and pay for all of them.

The first parts of a forklift to be removed are the potentially hazardous ones including batteries, engine and hydraulic oil, and fluids. Other parts may be sent to a third party for recycling. These parts include lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. The lead from the lead-acid batteries is returned to the lead industry as raw material. The recycler also assures that the used hydraulic fluid is passed on to others that recycle it into new products including chainsaw lubricants.

Rubber tires are recycled into material used on artificial turf football fields, wall guards, and blasting mats.

Cables are removed and processed to produce granulated copper and aluminum that are sold to smelting companies. The frame of the forklift is cut into factory-grade sizes for smelting into new iron.

Portions of the forklift that are not recyclable go to incineration plants where they are used to generate heat and electricity.

(Source: and