When purchasing a used forklift what do I look for?

The first question you need to ask yourself….Was this forklift used in a harsh environment?? Always look for evidence of corrosion, rusted chains, mast and carriage. These little signs will be the tell tale sign that the forklift was probably not used in the cleanest environments.

Ask how many run time hours is on the machine. Tip**On older machines the hour meter display usually only counts 4 numerical spaces…..so as an example if a 1992 cushion tire forklift only has 4800 hours the meter has probably rolled over and the actual hours on the machine would be 14,800 hours. This is very important on internal combustion engines because if you are going to have major mechanical problems on a forklift it typically is going to be around the 20,000 hour mark.

Always ask what type of tires is on the machine. Please keep in mind that just like in any industry we have terms for certain things that customer’s can be confused by. If you want your forklift to be mainly indoor use than always make sure the dealer knows this and likewise if you will be using the forklift outdoors. There are different type tires for indoor vs. outdoor so make sure you and the dealer are always on the same page.

Does the engine smoke?? Check this with the forklift under a load as well. If purchasing the forklift from a long distance dealer always insist on seeing a video of the unit running and operating. Make sure to listen for any engine knocking and visually inspect to ensure that there is no smoke coming from the tailpipe.

With electric forklifts you want to ask a couple of more questions. Always make sure that the price the dealer is proposing to you comes with a battery for the forklift. Big industrial forklift batteries can be VERY expensive to replace. A good rule of thumb to think when purchasing a used electric forklift is that “the forklift can only be as good as the battery that is installed”. What I mean by that statement simply is that you can have the cleanest, most efficient electric forklift out there but if the battery you installed in it only runs the forklift 20′ than the forklift is worthless to you. You can spot check a battery by asking the dealer to show you a picture of or you can visually inspect the battery looking for any corrosion, bad cables and connectors.

I hope as you have read this it has given you the tools you need to go out and purchase a forklift for your business with confidence. Please as always if you are looking for the best quality in pre-owned forklifts then make sure to look us up at http://www.forkliftsystems.com

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One comment

  1. Nothing wrong with showing up un-announced. If the salesperson hesitates to take you right to the vehicle, there may be issues. Examples would be leaks, hard starts when cold, sluggish transmissions when cold.

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