What to Look for When Buying a Used Forklift

When you must move heavy loads from one place to another on a regular basis, having a forklift is not only convenient but absolutely necessary. Whether you’re buying a forklift or a fleet of forklifts, considering the little things can make all the difference. You likely are not debating whether you should own a forklift as buying a forklift is likely your only option. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have choices.

Take the time to understand your options and know what to look for. In this way, you will improve your business’s operations instead of paying for more problems. Keep reading and we will help you to know what to look for.

Forklift Market on the Rise

The forklift truck market is expected to reach $23.81 billion globally by 2025. This growth of 3.74% compounded annually is largely due to the expansion of the logistics industry in developing countries. These figures serve to reiterate the important part forklifts play in the modern warehouse.

Forklifts are never cheap and even used ones easily cost over $10,000. Given the costs and the stakes it only makes good sense to do your homework before buying a forklift. In the end, it will surely pay to know what to ask about.

Ask the Right Questions

Buying a used forklift may very well be the answer to your business’s logistic challenges, but before you make that big purchase you should consider all the angles. Don’t just jump on the first forklift for sale you come across. Take the time to ask yourself the right questions so when you buy you have no regrets.

How Heavy Will the Loads Be?

Arguably the most important factor in buying a forklift, maximum load capacity and weight must be higher than your requirements. Give yourself some leeway here as you will no doubt have occasions arise when heavier than normal loads need to be moved.

What Environment Will You Operate In?

Will the forklift operator drive inside, outside, on smooth surfaces, or rough terrain? There are forklifts designed for all sorts of environments. If you will need to get around tight corners and narrow doorways your choices are going to be more limited by size.

Operating in an enclosed indoor space may require an electric forklift with indoor tires. When operating outdoors in mixed weather conditions you may want a diesel or gas engine and bigger tires with lots of traction.

What Brand Should I Buy?

This is a tricky question. Buying a forklift is a big investment and like all big investments, you don’t want to make the price the most important thing. Heavy machinery quality can vary greatly in the market and not all brands are easily accessible, depending on where you live.

It is best to get unbiased reviews from others in your same industry. Look for a reputation of reliability and quality within your load capacity needs and budget. You may want to consider a Princeton forklift as they have a long-standing reputation for quality forklifts and they have models that are suitable for various uses.

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain?

Like all machinery, forklifts require regular maintenance to keep them running at their best and extend their useful life. The cost of forklift maintenance may seem nominal compared to the purchase price, but over the years it adds up. Trusted brands and dealerships almost always come with warranties and maintenance agreements so be sure to ask about them.

What Are Your Current Needs Compared to Your Future Needs?

You don’t have a crystal ball, but we will assume you plan to grow your business. Will you need a bigger forklift with a higher load capacity as your business expands? If so, you may want to invest now in a more capable machine to avoid having another big purchase just around the corner.

Where Are You Going to Store the Forklift?

Believe it or not, this important consideration often slips the mind. When the work is done, the forklift will need somewhere to rest out of the way until needed again. If you are going to store it outdoors or in a shed make sure you are able to keep it safe from unnecessary damage from the weather.

Honorable Mentions

The first question you should always ask when buying a used forklift is “Why are you selling it?”. If you get an honest answer it will likely tell you if the machine is likely to serve your purposes. Some other questions to ask the dealer or individual selling the forklift:

  • Are there attachments and spare parts included?
  • How many hours are on the meter?
  • What was the forklift used for and how continuous is it used?
  • What are the maintenance costs and history of repairs?
  • Were the forklift operators happy with its performance?
  • What are the abilities and have the limits been tested/pushed?

Don’t take the seller’s word for it. Buying a forklift is much the same as buying a car. It is a good idea to have your mechanic give it a once over and report any potential issues that come up.

Whenever possible you should insist on a demonstration onsite and test it out yourself. Take it through the motions and loads it will be expected to handle if you buy it. If all is well and the forklift is performing as expected, chances are the forklift is worth buying and now it is only a matter of negotiating the price.

Happy Forklift Shopping

Buying a forklift is a big purchase and you shouldn’t take it lightly. Take your time and shop around. Armed with the knowledge of what to look for and common issues used forklifts often have, you will intuitively choose the right machine for your operation.

Sometimes to always life choices are complicated. When there seems to be no clear direction our blog is here to help. Come back again real soon.