When choosing a pre-owned forklift, many buyers worry about getting saddled with a lemon. It’s unfamiliar territory, nearly everyone knows things to look for in the vehicle, but have you thought about a forklift? It’s a costly purchase that you need to be reliable for years to come. The following is a simple checklist you should search for when shopping for a second hand forklift.
Please be aware: This informative article covers physical inspection of forklifts for sale. For tips on selecting a forklift size and type, please visit this informative article.
It used to be a chore, being forced to drive from one factory to another (often widely spaced in various suburbs). Now obviously we have now the world wide web to assist. Most forklift sellers will have a website (much like this one!), and being able to see upfront what type of units can be found is a massive way to save time. When checking websites, it’s still smart to ring the retailer and check that there are no unlisted forklifts, often we sell forklifts just before they could be listed on the site.
When checking forklifts on a website it can be difficult to view details but you need to look for that following:
No obvious impact damage (scrapes and scratches are ok)
Minimal or no rust
Tyres that aren’t broken down
At your location inspection
As you now have selected a number of retailers or units to think about, make and appointment and go have a look. Here is where you may really get a better consider the used forklift in question. When you are shopping using a low budget in your mind, you should make allowances for a unit that can not meet every one of these criteria, but seek out any problems and ask the salesman specifically if they can be fixed prior to purchase, especially items that might develop into a safety hazard or stop the device from working.
Please remember that this is a guide only, and depending on the age and cost of the unit, you might want to compromise. The most important thing is always to A:Get good good value and B:Have a reliable forklift
Try to find new paint or paint in great 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 enormous dints usually are not. Check plastics (if any) for cracks or splits.
Open the bonnet and commence the engine. It should start easily and idle smoothly (it will likely be more noisy compared to 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 possible). Check lifting speed is steady and constant. Rev engine to boost lift speed then run in idle to make sure it is constantly raise. Tilt back and forward at full extension, engine should never stall. Shims in tilt mechanism should never move an excessive amount of, carriage really should not be sloppy. Drop down, movement ought to be smooth and steady, all stages should move in turn with no jamming.
Check all visible hoses for leaks. Look beneath 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 should be smooth for those controls. For hydraulic drive forklifts (Linde), drive back and forward, operation should be quick and smooth.
Drive the used forklift around inside a tight circle, backwards and forwards. Use brake, inch and accelerator to full extension, check seating position and controls are found.
Seat and Lights
Seat must be clear of large rips and tears. Seatbelt (if component 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 needed. Engaging reverse should trigger beeper or buzzer
All tyres should be evenly worn, with sufficient usage left to them. Solid and cushion tyres must be free from major tears and damage, Solid tyres ought to 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. Make certain seals work, no smell our sound should originate from pipe. Check pipe for abrasions or marks. Check tank clips for damage, insert and take away tank to make sure it is actually held firmly.
Tynes must be able to slide on carriage, but be held securely in place when clipped in, and not flop about. Check tynes in the used forklift for bending or excessive wear, especially about the ‘heel’ (bend) from the tynes
Battery (Electric only)
Inspect battery for missing caps or damaged leads. Any visible acid needs to be very small, no long term buildup. Check water system (if installed) for leaks. Activate charger and be sure it works, check outlet plug for damage.
Notes on buying on the internet with no inspection
If you reside interstate in the used forklift involved or have been in a rural area, you may be forced to purchase over the internet. There is nothing wrong using this type of approach, you only need to be 74dexmpky careful. When emailing a supplier, ask for extensive details and heaps of photos, especially close ups from the motor and mast/carriage. When possible prove to them to a friend or relative with mechanical knowledge. Check against other suppliers for price and condition of units a similar price. Ask about warranty availability, it is usually restricted for interstate purchasing but ensure that the salesman knows that you expect reliability and good shape and are willing to return the forklift if it doesn’t meet your expectations.