When choosing a used forklift, many buyers worry about getting tied to a lemon. It’s unfamiliar territory, nearly everyone knows things to look for in the vehicle, but have you considered a forklift? It’s a costly purchase that you should be reliable for years to come. This is an elementary checklist you should look for when searching for a used forklift.
Please be aware: This post covers physical inspection of used forklifts. For guidance on picking a forklift size and type, please visit this informative article.
It used to be a chore, the need to drive from one factory to a different one (often widely spaced in different suburbs). Now needless to say we now have the world wide web to aid. Most forklift sellers have a website (exactly like this particular one!), and being able to see upfront what sort of units are offered is a massive way to save time. When checking websites, it’s still smart to ring the retailer and check that you have no unlisted forklifts, often we sell forklifts before they may be listed on the site.
When checking forklifts on a website it can be difficult to discover 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 exhausted
Now you have selected several retailers or units to think about, make and appointment and go take a look. This is where you may really get a good glance at the used forklift in question. If you are shopping having a low budget in your mind, you should make allowances to get a unit which will not meet every one of these criteria, but try to find any problems and ask the salesman specifically if they can be fixed just before purchase, especially stuff that might turn into a safety hazard or stop the machine from working.
Please take into account that it is a guide only, and dependant upon the age and cost in the unit, you might need to compromise. The most important thing would be to A:Get good value and B:Obtain a reliable forklift
Search for 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 are not. Check plastics (if any) for cracks or splits.
Open the bonnet and commence the engine. It will 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 look tailpipe once warm for blue or black smoke. Exhaust should be minimal if LPG, and free of excessive odour.
Raise Carriage to full height (move forklift outdoors if necessary). Check lifting speed is steady and constant. Rev engine to improve 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 must not move too much, carriage really should not be sloppy. Drop down, movement must be smooth and steady, all stages should transfer 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 view for leaks again while under pressure. Levers should move easily and operation ought to be smooth for all controls. For hydraulic drive forklifts (Linde), drive back and forward, operation must 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 ought to be clear of large rips and tears. Seatbelt (if a part of original equipment), must be functional. Flashing light on roof must be working, other lights if fitted must be working however they are not essential unless road use is necessary. Engaging reverse should trigger beeper or buzzer
All four tyres should be evenly worn, with sufficient usage left upon them. Solid and cushion tyres ought to be totally free of major tears and damage, Solid tyres should have tread. Pneumatic tyres ought 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. Check that seals work, no smell our sound should originate from pipe. Check pipe for abrasions or marks. Check tank clips for damage, insert and take off tank to make certain it really is held firmly.
Tynes should certainly slide on carriage, but take place securely into position when clipped in, and never flop about. Check tynes on 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 should be really small, no long lasting buildup. Check water system (if installed) for leaks. Activate charger and ensure it functions, check outlet plug for damage.
Notes on buying online with no inspection
If you are living interstate from your used forklift involved or happen to be in a rural area, you could be made to purchase on the internet. There may be no problem using this approach, you simply need to be 74dexmpky careful. When emailing a supplier, demand extensive details and loads of photos, especially close ups in the motor and mast/carriage. When possible show them to your friend or relative with mechanical knowledge. Check against other suppliers for price and condition of units exactly the same price. Enquire about warranty availability, it is usually restricted for interstate purchasing but ensure that the salesman understands that you anticipate reliability and great condition and are prepared to return the forklift if this doesn’t meet your expectations.