How To Best Pick a Well-Maintained Used Forklift

If you decide that a used forklift will be the best option for your business or company, then the next step is to find the best deal on a well-maintained used forklift. You know by now how to select the best dealers in your area, so trust that they would only sell used forklifts that are in good working condition. But if you buy from a dealer for the first time or are unsure if they are trustworthy, it is advisable that you know in advance what to check for on any used forklift. You may ask the dealer about these important points, and check them for yourself:


What To Check Before Buying Used Forklifts

  • Inspect the overall condition of the lift truck.
  • Inspect and check the motors and lift cylinders for leaks.
  • See if the lift chains are stretched. If they are in a good condition still, it should not be possible to insert a coin between the chain’s links.
  • On a pallet truck (pallet jack), use a second lift truck and elevate the forks’ tips off the ground a few inches. Check if the fork trailings and wheels show slack and move. Should they rattle or shake, you can be sure that some expensive repairs are waiting around the corner.
  • Find out the age of the machine by checking for the serial number, which sometimes includes the manufacturing date. You may find the manufacturing date on some brands printed on the machine’s overhead guard.  No matter if you buy from a dealer or a private seller, you should always know the forklift’s age.


Additional Used Forklift Inspection Items

Some of the larger forklift companies will offer you a certified used forklift. “Certified” means that the seller ensures that the forklift is of good quality and that it passed an inspection. Additionally, find the working and repair history, which includes the hours the lift worked, as well as the following:

  • Where did the machine work – indoors or outdoors?
  • Was the forklift part of a fleet of rental machines?
  • Was it working in a freezer or in ambient temperatures?
  • Are the maintenance records available?
  • Was the machine maintained on a material and time agreement or on a contract?
  • On an electric forklift: Is the battery used or new?
  • On an electric forklift: How old or how new is the battery charger?

The above information will influence the resale value of any used lift truck, so you can see why it is vital information to obtain before buying a used unit.

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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