When selecting a pre-owned forklift, many buyers concern yourself with getting saddled with a lemon. It’s unfamiliar territory, nearly everybody knows what to consider in a car, but have you thought about a forklift? It’s an expensive purchase that you should be reliable for a long time. This is a simple checklist you must search for when buying a used forklift.
Please be aware: This article covers physical inspection of used forklift sales. For tips on picking a forklift size and type, please visit this post.
It used to be a chore, the need to drive from a factory to a different one (often widely spaced in numerous suburbs). Now of course we have the net to help. Most forklift sellers will have an internet site (the same as this!), and being able to see in advance what type of units can be purchased is actually a massive time saver. When checking websites, it’s still a good idea to ring the retailer and view that we now have no unlisted forklifts, often we sell forklifts prior to they could be listed on the site.
When checking forklifts online it can be difficult to view details but you would like to look for your following:
No obvious impact damage (scrapes and scratches are ok)
Minimal or no rust
Tyres that aren’t exhausted
Since you now have selected a couple of retailers or units to check out, make and appointment and go take a look. This is when you can really get a better look at the used forklift under consideration. If you are shopping having a low budget in mind, you will have to make allowances for the unit that may not meet every one of these criteria, but look for any problems and request the salesman specifically if they can be fixed just before purchase, especially things which might become a safety hazard or stop the system from working.
Please take into account that this can be a guide only, and based on the age and expense from the unit, you might want to compromise. The most important thing is to A:Get good value for money and B:Have a reliable forklift
Try to find new paint or paint in excellent condition, preferably with decals (better resale value) and warning stickers (for operator safety). Scratching and scrapes are ok, extensive rust, overspray from bad repainting and huge dints will not be. Check plastics (if any) for cracks or splits.
Open the bonnet and start the engine. It must start easily and idle smoothly (it will probably be more noisy than a car). Look above and below for engine (black) oil leaks. Check starter motor fires rapidly. Rev engine hard in neutral and view tailpipe once warm for blue or black smoke. Exhaust must be minimal if LPG, and free of excessive odour.
Raise Carriage to full height (move forklift outdoors if needed). Check lifting speed is steady and constant. Rev engine to boost lift speed then run in idle to make sure it consistently raise. Tilt back and forward at full extension, engine must not stall. Shims in tilt mechanism ought not move too much, carriage should not be sloppy. Drop down, movement must be smooth and steady, all stages should transfer turn without jamming.
Check all visible hoses for leaks. Look underneath the forklift for greenish or golden hydraulic oil. Move mast to full tilt and look for leaks again while under pressure. Levers should move easily and operation needs to be smooth for all those controls. For hydraulic drive forklifts (Linde), drive back and forward, operation should be quick and smooth.
Drive the used forklift around in a tight circle, backwards and forwards. Use brake, inch and accelerator to full extension, check seating position and controls are available.
Seat and Lights
Seat should be clear of large rips and tears. Seatbelt (if component of original equipment), needs to be functional. Flashing light on roof needs to be working, other lights if fitted should be working however they are not essential unless road use is necessary. Engaging reverse should trigger beeper or buzzer
All four tyres needs to be evenly worn, with sufficient usage left upon them. Solid and cushion tyres should be free from major tears and damage, Solid tyres should have tread. Pneumatic tyres needs to have adequate air pressure
Diesel/Petrol: Check under tank for cracks. Examine fuel cap area for damage. Check fuel lines.
LPG: Examine tank connector for damage. Be sure that seals work, no smell our sound should are derived from pipe. Check pipe for abrasions or marks. Check tank clips for damage, insert and take off tank to make certain it can be held firmly.
Tynes should certainly slide on carriage, but be held securely in position when clipped in, and not flop about. Check tynes about the used forklift for bending or excessive wear, especially around the ‘heel’ (bend) from the tynes
Battery (Electric only)
Inspect battery for missing caps or damaged leads. Any visible acid should be really small, no long-term buildup. Check water system (if installed) for leaks. Switch on charger and ensure it really works, check outlet plug for damage.
Notes on buying over the web without inspection
If you are living interstate in the used forklift in question or have been in a rural area, you might be compelled to purchase on the internet. There is certainly no problem with this particular approach, you need to simply be 74dexmpky careful. When emailing a supplier, ask for extensive details and loads of photos, especially close ups from the motor and mast/carriage. If at all possible demonstrate to them to a friend or relative with mechanical knowledge. Check against other suppliers for price and condition of units the same price. Enquire about warranty availability, it is usually restricted for interstate purchasing but make sure the salesman knows that you anticipate reliability and good condition and therefore are prepared to return the forklift if this doesn’t meet your expectations.