Buy Forklift – Grow Your Storage Facility Business With a Second-hand Forklift Acquisition.

When choosing a pre-owned forklift, many buyers be concerned about getting stuck with a lemon. It’s unfamiliar territory, nearly everyone understands things to look for in the vehicle, but have you thought about a forklift? It’s a costly purchase you need to be reliable for years. The following is a basic checklist you must look for when searching for a used forklift.

Please note: This post covers physical inspection of buy forklift. For guidance on deciding on a forklift size and type, please see this short article.

First look

It used to be a chore, the need to drive from a single factory to a different one (often widely spaced in numerous suburbs). Now needless to say we have the internet to assist. Most forklift sellers now have a site (exactly like this!), and being able to see ahead of time what kind of units can be purchased is really a massive time saver. When checking websites, it’s still a great idea to ring the retailer and check there are no unlisted forklifts, often we sell forklifts before they could be listed on the site.

When checking forklifts on a website it can be difficult to see details but you want to look for your following:

Clean paintwork

No obvious impact damage (scrapes and scratches are ok)

Minimal or no rust

Tyres that aren’t worn-out

On-site inspection

As you now have selected a couple of retailers or units to check out, make and appointment and go take a look. Here is where it is possible to really get a full glance at the used forklift under consideration. Should you be shopping with a low budget at heart, you will have to make allowances for a unit which will not meet each one of these criteria, but search for any problems and ask the salesman specifically when they can be fixed just before purchase, especially things which might turn into a safety hazard or stop the machine from working.

Your Checklist

Please understand that it is a guide only, and according to the age and cost in the unit, you may have to compromise. What is important would be to A:Get good value for money and B:Have a reliable forklift


Try to find new paint or paint in good shape, 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 usually are not. Check plastics (if any) for cracks or splits.


Open the bonnet and begin the engine. It will start easily and idle smoothly (it will probably be more noisy than the usual car). Look above and below for engine (black) oil leaks. Check starter motor fires rapidly. Rev engine hard in neutral and check tailpipe once warm for blue or black smoke. Exhaust must be minimal if LPG, and free from excessive odour.

Lifting Gear

Raise Carriage to full height (move forklift outdoors if necessary). Check lifting speed is steady and constant. Rev engine to increase lift speed then run in idle to make certain it will continue to raise. Tilt back and forward at full extension, engine must not stall. Shims in tilt mechanism must not move an excessive amount of, carriage should not be sloppy. Drop down, movement needs to be smooth and steady, all stages should move around in turn without having jamming.


Check all visible hoses for leaks. Look under 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 must be smooth for those controls. For hydraulic drive forklifts (Linde), drive back and forward, operation needs to 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 can be found.

Seat and Lights

Seat should be clear of large rips and tears. Seatbelt (if part of original equipment), needs to be functional. Flashing light on roof should be working, other lights if fitted ought to be working however are not essential unless road use is required. Engaging reverse should trigger beeper or buzzer


All four tyres needs to be evenly worn, with plenty of usage left to them. Solid and cushion tyres needs to be free from major tears and damage, Solid tyres ought to have tread. Pneumatic tyres ought to have adequate air pressure

Fuel system

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 come from pipe. Check pipe for abrasions or marks. Check tank clips for damage, insert and take away tank to make certain it is actually held firmly.


Tynes should be able to slide on carriage, but be held securely into position when clipped in, rather than flop about. Check tynes around the used forklift for bending or excessive wear, especially in the ‘heel’ (bend) of your tynes

Battery (Electric only)

Inspect battery for missing caps or damaged leads. Any visible acid needs to be tiny, no long lasting buildup. Check water system (if installed) for leaks. Start up charger and make sure it really works, check outlet plug for damage.

Notes on buying on the internet without any inspection

Living interstate in the used forklift involved or are in a rural area, you could be required to purchase on the internet. There is nothing wrong with this approach, you only need to be 74dexmpky careful. When emailing a supplier, require extensive details and heaps of photos, especially close ups from the motor and mast/carriage. If at all possible show them to some friend or relative with mechanical knowledge. Check against other suppliers for price and condition of units a similar price. Enquire about warranty availability, it will always be restricted for interstate purchasing but ensure the salesman recognizes that you anticipate reliability and good condition and are ready to return the forklift whether it doesn’t meet your expectations.

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