Toyota vs. Crown Forklifts: Which Brand Should You Choose?
If you're in the market for quality forklift brand, two names will come up almost immediately. Toyota is the global vehicle and equipment manufacturer. Crown is a family-run forklift business that has built itself into a worldwide leader in forklifts. In terms of quality you can't go wrong with either company. But when it comes to choosing a forklift, who should you go with?
The first question is what type of business you prefer. Crown is, exclusively a manufacturer of forklifts and is vertically integrated. Everything from Crown, from the design of their products to the dealers that sell them, is run by the company. Unless you're buying used or renting from a third party, you'll be working with Crown directly on your forklift.
Toyota Materials Handling, on the other hand, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Industries, just one piece of an enormous company. That means you can find more Toyota's in more places. May have more financing options depending on your situation and what you're buying.
Forklift Brand Line Diversity
One factor to consider, and an advantage for Crown, is that Crown manufactures more types of forklifts and has more variety of forklifts on the smaller end. As a consequence of Crown's choice in the '60s to focus on a niche market, they make products such as pallet jacks, pallet stackers and turret trucks that you simply won't find from Toyota. Especially if you're kitting out a new warehouse or shipping area and want consistent equipment, or need a specialized solution, Crown is more likely to have the forklift you need.
Toyota has a narrower product line but also offers forklifts more suited for mixed indoor and outdoor use. Toyota can draw on the company's experience with other vehicle types to build larger, more rugged forklifts. This is an undeniable advantage for businesses that need it. Crown does distribute trucks along these lines under the brand Hamech, made by Komatsu and Clark, and does have the Crown C-5 internal combustion engine, but Toyota remains the leader in that area. One very quantifiable way to look at the value these two brands offer is resale value. Used Toyota forklifts prices tend to stay higher for longer than Crown. This is likely due to the greater perceived reliability of Toyota's used forklifts when compared to Crown.
Toyota is a global corporation that builds everything from semi trucks to golf carts, however it does not necessarily have an edge in forklift innovation. Crown has often been the market leader in introducing new technologies. They a long history of developing products that allow companies to redesign how their warehouses are run, with narrower aisles, higher stacks, and other useful innovations.
Toyota's innovations tend to focus on refining and improving their current product line and introducing new stability systems. They're more likely to deliver a better forklift for the warehouse you've already built, and that might be a factor.
Overall, much depends on your company's needs. You should closely examine the product line of each brand and look at how your warehouse is designed and what your team can use to be more efficient. No matter which you choose, though, rest assured you're getting the best in forklifts. To learn more, see our forklift buyer's guides.