What to Look for in a Used Forklift

What to Look for in a Used Forklift

Did one of your forklifts suddenly die? Maybe your warehouse has expanded and the workload has increased. Whatever the reason, you can’t always predict when you’re going to need another forklift. Before you start pinching pennies for a new forklift, consider another solution. Finding used forklift for sale to accommodate any application and any budget can be difficult. When shopping for a used forklift, you’ll face a range of selections. Use these guidelines to what to look for and to narrow down the choices of used forklifts.

Maintenance History

There should be a detailed record of all maintenance and repairs performed on the forklift to date. A reputable dealer will have no problem providing this to you.

Workload Capacity

​What will be the specific function of the forklift? How often will it be used, and how heavy are the average loads? Older forklifts can handle lighter duties, but you’ll want a more recent model for heavier workloads.

Fuel Type

Electric, LP, Gas or Diesel?  Used electric trucks tend to come with a used battery.  Make sure the battery has enough life left to perform for the length of time you need it to.  Replacement batteries are expensive for electric trucks.  Internal combustion engine trucks (LP, Gas, Diesel) can be refilled immediately, whereas electric trucks require charge time and battery cool down time (recommended 8 hours charge and 8 hours cool down) Keep this in mind when making a decision.


Forklifts don’t have shocks or suspension, so extensive wear and tear on the tires is a valuable clue as to the previous use of a forklift.


You may not be able to find a used forklift that includes all the features you’re looking for, so ask about available parts and attachments.

Inspection and Test Drive

​​Do a visual inspection of the forklift, or have a mechanic do it for you. Pay special attention to the forks and mast, lift chains and frame. Always take the forklift for a test drive to get a first-hand look at how it operates.


​Depending on the age of the forklift, there may be time remaining on the original warranty. If not, warranties are sometimes offered on used forklifts, but they’re more limited so be sure to examine them carefully.


Do you do your own maintenance on your forklifts?  You might be better off having a reputable dealer handle this for you. With technology increasingly becoming part of forklifts some of the components can be very difficult to troubleshoot or repair if you are not trained properly.  If you perform your own maintenance make sure you are familiar with the control systems on a used truck before you purchase it.

You can find some of our Used Forklifts on our website. If you want to learn more  contact us today for more information. Stay tuned for our next article next month. Do you have a topic for an article? Comment down below.

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