Used Forklift: Potential Problems

Purchasing a used forklift for your business may seem like a good idea, but there are certain things to investigate before you buy. We at Forklift Nation stress the importance of safety above all else, so learn what you should be aware of when browsing for used equipment:

Inaccurate Lift Truck Hour Meter Readings

Any quality forklift will feature an hour meter. This lets the last user and the servicing dealer know how much the forklift was used that day. However, once the meter hits the 10,000-hour mark, it will read “0000.” This makes it easy for a seller to mislead a buyer into believing the equipment has less hours on it than it does. If the seller cannot produce a usage history, it’s best to move on.


Photo courtesy of  WarOTomato

Incorrect Year-of-Manufacture

Verify the year the forklift was manufactured before you buy. Use the model and serial numbers and have the manufacturer confirm when the piece was made. Never accept miscellaneous records or the dealer’s invoice as a cold, hard fact.

Unauthorized Forklift Chassis Modifications

Avoid forklifts that feature welding, heating, or drilling of the chassis that the manufacturer did not authorize, as they can affect structural components and cause premature failure. This is especially important in case of accidents, as the manufacturer will not “stand by” a forklift with such modifications.

Harsh Lift Truck Applications

Forklifts utilized in fish processing, foundry, and similar industries have endured a lot. Meter readings are not going to show wear and tear on the chassis, so it’s best to skip purchasing forklifts that have had “tough lives.” Get a complete history of the forklift before you buy. It’s a good idea to discuss the piece with an independent consultant to help you determine if a forklift is worth purchasing.

If you’re in the market for a used forklift, please contact us today at 888-329-5438