Choosing the Right Used Forklift for Your Operations


A board sign that says forklifts are in use

Forklifts are essential to the operations of numerous businesses, particularly in the manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics sectors. They are utilized to transport large loads and materials within the workplace, thereby enhancing productivity and efficiency. However, new forklifts can be costly, so many businesses opt to purchase used equipment to save money. Numerous options are available on the market for used forklifts, making it difficult to select the best one. This article will discuss the most important considerations when selecting a used forklift for your business.

National Forklift Exchange specializes in the purchase, sale, and rental of new and used forklifts. National Forklift Exchange is well-equipped to provide expert advice and guidance on selecting the ideal used forklift for your operations, with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

Consider the following when selecting a used forklift:



The capacity of a forklift is one of the most important considerations when purchasing a used forklift. It is vital to select a forklift with the appropriate capacity for your operations. Accidents and damages to both the forklift and the cargo can result from overloading a forklift. Underloading a forklift can also result in inefficiency and higher operating expenses. A forklift’s capacity is determined by its utmost load capacity and lift height. Therefore, you must consider the weight and height of the goods you will be transporting and choose a forklift that is capable of handling them.

Type of Forklift


The type of forklift pertains to the forklift’s particular design and functionality. There are numerous types of forklifts, each suited to specific duties and environments. Choosing the appropriate variety of forklift is essential for maximizing performance and efficiency in your operations.

  • Counterbalanced forklifts are the most frequently used forklifts in warehouses and are suitable for use indoors. They are designed to transport loads on their forks and are equipped with a weight at the rear to balance the load. These forklifts are versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks, such as loading and unloading trucks, transporting pallets, and stacking products.
  • Because reach forklifts are designed to reach elevated areas, they are ideal for use in warehouses with lofty shelving. A telescoping mast extends the prongs to a maximum height of 30 feet. Commonly used for order picking and inventory management, these forklifts are optimal for high-density storage.
  • Electric forklifts are battery-powered and optimal for indoor use because they produce no emissions. Additionally, they are calmer than other kinds of forklifts. These forklifts are ideal for use in environmentally sensitive areas, such as food and beverage warehouses, and can be utilized for a variety of tasks, such as loading and unloading trucks, moving pallets, and stacking products.
  • Rough Terrain forklifts are designed to operate on unlevel surfaces and outdoor terrain. They are suitable for use in construction sites and other outdoor environments due to their large tires and high ground clearance. These forklifts are ideal for transporting large loads over rough terrain and can be utilized in a variety of industries, such as construction, forestry, and mining.
  • Pallet Jacks are designed for use in confined areas and are ideal for transporting pallets into and out of compact spaces. These forklifts are optimal for use in small warehouses and retail stores and can be utilized for a variety of tasks, including order fulfillment and inventory management.

Choosing the appropriate type of forklift is essential for maximizing performance and efficiency in your operations. By considering the specific requirements of your operations and the environment in which the forklift will be used, you can select the most suitable form of forklift. National Forklift Exchange offers a vast selection of new and used forklifts, including all of the aforementioned kinds, and can offer expert advice and assistance in selecting the ideal forklift for your company.

Type of Fuel


A forklift’s fuel type pertains to the type of fuel that powers the engine. There are four primary forklift fuel types: electric, gasoline/LPG, diesel, and hybrid. Choosing the appropriate fuel type is essential to ensuring that the forklift suits your operations’ needs while minimizing environmental impact and operating costs.

  • Electric forklifts are powered by rechargeable batteries and emit zero emissions, making them optimal for indoor use. Additionally, they are calmer than other kinds of forklifts. Compared to other fuel types, electric forklifts are highly efficient and have reduced operating costs. They are excellent for use in environments requiring clean and quiet operations, such as warehouses for food and beverages.
  • Gasoline/LPG forklifts are suitable for outdoor use due to their low emissions and are powered by gasoline or liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Additionally, they are more powerful than electric forklifts and can lift heavier cargo. Gasoline/LPG forklifts are ideally suited for outdoor applications and can be utilized in industries such as construction and agriculture.
  • Diesel forklifts are ideal for outdoor use and are fueled by They are more potent and have a longer lifespan than gasoline/LPG forklifts. For applications requiring heavy-duty lifting, such as construction and mining, diesel forklifts are optimal.
  • Hybrid forklifts balance power and emissions by utilizing a combination of fuel sources, typically gasoline/LPG and electricity. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and their fuel efficiency can reduce operating expenses. Hybrid forklifts are extremely efficient and can be utilized in a variety of settings, such as warehouses and distribution centers.

It is essential, when selecting a used forklift, to consider the fuel type that is optimal for your operations. The type of fuel you select will depend on the nature of your operations and your particular needs. For instance, if you primarily operate indoors, an electric forklift may be the best option, whereas if you primarily operate outdoors, a diesel or gasoline/LPG forklift may be more suitable.



The condition of the forklift is another important consideration when selecting a used forklift. A well-maintained forklift can provide years of dependable service, whereas poor maintenance can result in costly repairs and downtime. Before purchasing a used forklift, it is essential to ensure that it is in excellent condition by conducting a thorough inspection. Among the factors to consider are:

  • Symptoms of wear and tear – Examine the forklift for symptoms of wear and tear, such as worn tires, broken forks, and leaks. These indicators may indicate that the forklift has been heavily utilized or improperly maintained. If the forklift exhibits significant signs of wear and tear, it may need costly repairs.
  • Maintenance history – Inquire about the forklift’s maintenance history to ensure it has been routinely serviced and maintained. Regular maintenance can help extend the forklift’s life and reduce the likelihood of expensive malfunctions. A forklift with a documented maintenance and repair history is more likely to be in excellent condition.
  • Operating Hours – Examine the forklift’s operating hours to ascertain its level of utilization. The number of hours the forklift has been used can indicate its level of wear and tear and its overall condition. In general, a forklift with fewer hours of operation is more preferable than one with a greater number of hours.
  • General appearance – The forklift’s general appearance can also be indicative of its condition. Generally, a well-maintained forklift will have a spotless and organized appearance. The presence of corrosion or bodywork damage is an indication that the forklift has not been properly maintained.


The price of the used forklift is also a significant consideration. It is crucial to select a forklift that meets your needs, but it is also essential to consider your budget. A used forklift can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing new equipment, but it is important to ensure that you are receiving good value. It is essential to consider the age, condition, and features of the forklift when comparing prices. It is also essential to consider the lifetime total cost of ownership, which includes maintenance and operating expenses.

When purchasing a used forklift, it is crucial to select a vendor with a solid reputation. A reputable dealer will provide you with a variety of options, expert advice and direction, and a durable, high-quality forklift. It is essential to consider a dealer’s reputation, experience, and customer reviews when selecting one. National Forklift Exchange is a reputable dealer with over 20 years of experience in the industry, offering new and used forklifts to consumers across the nation.

Bottom Line

Choosing the appropriate used forklift for your operations can be a daunting endeavor, but by considering the aforementioned factors, you can make a decision that meets your needs and budget. National Forklift Exchange is dedicated to assisting you in locating the ideal forklift for your business. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we are able to provide you with expert advice and guidance regarding the selection of the ideal used forklift for your operations.

Check out our inventory at National Forklift Exchange to learn more about our selection of new and used forklifts and how we can assist your business in locating the ideal forklift.


About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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