Buy The Best Used Forklift With These 5 Tips

Buy The Best Used Forklift With These Five Tips

A forklift is an important part of any construction site or warehouse, whether you need to move wood, pallets or unload cargo. Like any large machine, a forklift can be expensive, so opting for a used one can be a cost-effective option. Buying used does mean a little extra research and know-how on the buyer’s part, though, and these five tips will help you do your due diligence when you’re inspecting a potentialpurchase.

Buy The Best Used Forklift With These 5 Tips

Check the forks and the mast


Face the front of the machine and carefully inspect both the forks and the mast for any cracks or damage overloading might have caused. While some wear is expected, deep cracks can make lifting a heavy load dangerous. Don’t forget to check the heels of the forks and the mast for the same kind of damage, and make sure the mast pins are secure.

Spend a little more time on the mast


Check the mast rails for cracks, too. Again, a little bit of wear is normal, but excessive wear could make the machine unsafe. Check the mast rollers for damage, and the lift chains for missing links. The hoses that run alongside the chains shouldn’t have any holes or leaks, and the tension should be distributed evenly.

Move to the frame and body of the lift


Inspect both sides of the machine’s body for structural damage, and then check the canopy for any bends. The chassis shouldn’t show any signs of damage or shoddy repairs, and the tires and wheels shouldn’t be missing any rubber or lug nuts, respectively.


Take it for a test drive


Get in the cab of the forklift as you would if you were about to operate it. Fasten your seatbelt, and make sure it is in good shape, then start the lift up and listen carefully for any unusual engine sounds. Lift and lower the arms of the forklift, and tilt them in all directions. Make sure the mast runs smoothly as you do this. Drive forwards, backwards and in a figure eight in the forklift, and test the brakes as you do so. Try to test as many of the controls as you can, including the lights, and double-check the load capacity to ensure it meets your needs. You will be grateful when this extra due diligence saves you from taking your forklift in for service, which could have been prevented.

Get inside


Now take a look under the hood of the forklift and do a thorough engine check. There should be no leaks, no build up of dirt and no cracks in any of the connecting hoses. Check the oil, the belt tension, and the air filter for cleanliness. If the forklift is electric, make sure the battery connections are in good shape. If it runs on propane, check the tank brackets and bolts. Now move to the back of the machine and make sure the exhaust guard isn’t damaged.

Trust your instincts and your knowledge, and you’ll be well on your way to owning a great used forklift.

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