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A forklift can be a big investment for your company, so it is important to do your homework before making an investment in either a new or used forklift.

The obvious benefit to buying a used forklift is the affordability – it is a good option for smaller businesses, family farms, or businesses just getting off the ground.

Unfortunately, just like buying a used car or other machinery, you are also at risk of buying a lemon of a forklift if you don’t do your homework. A new forklift could have more expensive upfront costs but may cost you less in maintenance and repairs in the long run.

At Lift Equipt, we know a thing or two about forklifts, so our experienced team have put together five tips to help you buy the best used forklift for your business.

1. Understand What You Need A Forklift For

Before you rush out to buy any new machinery for your business, you need to understand its benefit to your daily operations. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are you using it for?
  • How long do you need to use it for at a time? An hour? Eight hours?
  • Will it be used indoors or outside?
  • How much room do you have to manoeuvre the forklift?
  • What height does the forklift need to reach?
  • How heavy are the loads you are lifting?
  • How often will you use it?
  • What will be your return on investment?

Asking the above questions will clarify what type of forklift will best suit your businesses individual needs.

2. Take It For A Test Drive

Just like any other machinery, it is important to inspect the machine and take it for a test drive before you hand over your hard-earned cash. However, because of the nature of a forklift’s work, buying a second-hand forklift takes a lot more care and research than buying a second-hand car.

Forklift Licence

Remember that before you take a second-hand forklift for a test drive, you need to ensure you have a licence to drive it! If you don’t have a licence, take someone you trust with a good knowledge of forklifts with you to test the machine.

Cold Engine

When you take it for a test drive, start with a cold engine, this is important to ensure that you pick up any problems that may occur when the forklift initially turns on. Once the engine is warm, issues may not become obvious.

Warning Signs

Ensure the floor is clean so that you can keep an eye on any hydraulic or transmission leaks. It is also important to really take note of any noises, warning lights, manoeuvrability issues or anything out of the ordinary.

3. Buy From A Reputable Dealer

A reputable dealer could be the difference between you buying a lemon, and your second-hand forklift becoming a long-term investment. While a second-hand forklift from a reputable dealer may seem more expensive to begin with, it is a worthwhile choice in the long run.

A second-hand forklift from a reputable dealer may be slightly pricier than a forklift from an individual or non-reputable business, as the reputable dealer may have undertaken extra safety checks and servicing to ensure the forklift is in a good condition.

You can also expect to get a warranty from a reputable dealer; if you are not offered a warranty on a second-hand forklift, you should be concerned.

If you are looking into a second-hand forklift from a non-reputable dealer, make sure you take a mechanic with you with a good knowledge of forklifts. The mechanic may be able to pick up on subtle issues with the forklifts day-to-day operations.

The Lift Equipt Difference

At Lift Equipt, all second-hand forklifts come with a seven-point safety check and have been fully serviced.

4. Check Safety

Operating a forklift safely involves meeting strict safety regulations. While a working horn or lights may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, these functioning inclusions are vital to ensuring the safety of both the forklift operators and other staff.

  • When you inspect your potential new purchase, ensure that the:
  • Seat belt is not damaged in any way;
  • Horn is operational;
  • Lights turn on and off, that they aren’t dim or close to blowing; and
  • Tyres are full of air and are in a good condition.

It is important to remember that older and second-hand forklifts have fewer safety features than their brand-new counterparts.

If you or your business is concerned about safety or wants to invest in a forklift with a higher safety rating, you can browse our range of new Hyundai forklifts.

5. Estimate Its Life Time

Just like all machinery, forklifts are subject to a limited lifetime – especially if they have not been looked after.

Much like purchasing a used car, if you are looking for a forklift to last you or your business a long time, you want something with a low clock reading and updated service history.

A forklift’s working life is judged by operating hours, so the more hours the forklift has undertaken, the more likely you are to have fork out money to repair the forklift sooner, and the less likely it is that the forklift will last the long haul.

Check For Clock Tampering

To get your business, a dodgy dealer may tamper with the forklift’s clock to make it seem as though the forklift has undertaken less working hours in its lifetime.
To confirm the forklifts hours are legitimate, you can compare the clock reading against the recorded service history of the forklift.

Electric Forklifts

For electric forklifts, you can also check the battery life and usage to check the potential lifespan of the forklift. Checking the battery will show you how well the battery is operating, the time the battery will operate after being fully charged.

Contact The Forklift Specialists

If your business is looking for a used forklift, contact Lift Equipt today! We offer Ferrari, Hyundai and other quality brand forklifts second hand; all our second-hand forklifts come with a safety check, service, and warranty.