What to Consider When Buying a Used Forklift

Consider the cost, intended usage, condition and service terms before buying a used forklift.

What to Consider When Buying a Used Forklift

Whether you are offloading pallets on a loading dock, moving materials at a construction site, or rearranging inventory in a warehouse, forklifts are one of the most versatile machines on the market. Finding a used forklift for sale is a sure-fire way to increase efficiency and lower costs in the long term.

Overall Cost Savings and Intended Usage

Before settling on buying a used forklift, you should plan out the long-term usage and make sure that there is enough to be done with the forklift to warrant the expense. The obvious benefit for buying used is cost savings. Often a used forklift can be had at a fraction of its original retail price. Used equipment does carry more risk than new, so inspecting the equipment is critical.

Present Condition of the Forklift

You should always inspect the forklift prior to purchase. To ensure the machine is in top shape and will last a long time, make sure the forks and mast are free from cracks and bends. Inspect the lift chains and cylinders to make sure they are free from damage or excessive wear, being certain there are no missing links in the chains or leaking hydraulic fluids. Also, check the cab, frame and canopy to make sure there are no signs of damage or accidents.

Service and Parts

Even if you are comfortable with the inspection of the used forklift, its a good idea to have a long term service agreement or parts supplier that you can turn to in a time of need. All machines are going to require regular maintenance, replacement parts and the occasional service over their lifetime. Be sure to have a plan in place to limit downtime.

Provided it’s in good condition, a used forklift will pay for itself over time when used properly and serviced regularly. In addition, the realized savings over either purchasing new or constantly renting may be the most cost-effective approach for a small business.