Used Forklifts – Expand Your Manufacturing Facility Organization With a Previously Owned Forklift Investment.

When selecting a pre-owned forklift, many buyers worry about getting tied to a lemon. It’s unfamiliar territory, nearly everyone understands what to consider in the vehicle, but how about a forklift? It’s a pricey purchase that you should be reliable for many years. This is a simple checklist you should search for when searching for a used forklift.

Please note: This post covers physical inspection of forklift for sale. For guidance on selecting a forklift size and kind, please visit this informative article.

First look

It used to be a chore, being forced to drive from one factory to a different one (often widely spaced in several suburbs). Now of course we have the world wide web to help. Most forklift sellers now have a website (the same as that one!), and being able to see upfront what type of units are offered is really a massive time saver. When checking websites, it’s still a smart idea to ring the retailer and view that we now have no unlisted forklifts, often we sell forklifts prior to they are often on the site.

When checking forklifts online it can be hard to discover details but you want to look to the following:

Clean paintwork

No obvious impact damage (scrapes and scratches are ok)

Minimal or no rust

Tyres that aren’t worn-out

On location inspection

As you now have selected a few retailers or units to check out, make and appointment and go have a look. This is when you can really get a good consider the used forklift involved. When you are shopping with a low budget under consideration, you should make allowances to get a unit that can not meet all these criteria, but seek out any problems and ask the salesman specifically when they can be fixed before purchase, especially things that might be a safety hazard or stop the unit from working.

Your Checklist

Please take into account that this can be a guide only, and depending on the age and expense of your unit, you might want to compromise. What is important is to A:Get good value and B:Obtain a reliable forklift


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


Open the bonnet and begin the engine. It should start easily and idle smoothly (it will be more noisy than a 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 possible). Check lifting speed is steady and constant. Rev engine to improve lift speed then run in idle to ensure it consistently raise. Tilt back and forward at full extension, engine should never stall. Shims in tilt mechanism should not move an excessive amount of, carriage really should not be sloppy. Drop down, movement needs to be smooth and steady, all stages should move in turn with no jamming.


Check all visible hoses for leaks. Look within the forklift for greenish or golden hydraulic oil. Move mast to full tilt and check for leaks again while under pressure. Levers should move easily and operation must be smooth for all those controls. For hydraulic drive forklifts (Linde), drive back and forward, operation should be fast and smooth.


Drive the used forklift around in the tight circle, backwards and forwards. Use brake, inch and accelerator to full extension, check seating position and controls are accessible.

Seat and Lights

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


All tyres ought to be evenly worn, with plenty of usage left about them. Solid and cushion tyres should be free of major tears and damage, Solid tyres should have tread. Pneumatic tyres needs 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. Make certain seals work, no smell our sound should come from pipe. Check pipe for abrasions or marks. Check tank clips for damage, insert and take off tank to make certain it is actually held firmly.


Tynes should certainly slide on carriage, but take place securely set up when clipped in, instead of flop about. Check tynes around the used forklift for bending or excessive wear, especially around the ‘heel’ (bend) of the tynes

Battery (Electric only)

Inspect battery for missing caps or damaged leads. Any visible acid ought to be really small, no long lasting buildup. Check water system (if installed) for leaks. Activate charger and be sure it functions, check outlet plug for damage.

Notes on buying online without having inspection

If you live interstate in the used forklift under consideration or are in a rural area, you may be made to purchase over the web. There exists nothing wrong with this approach, you just need to be 74dexmpky careful. When emailing a supplier, ask for extensive details and heaps of photos, especially close ups of your motor and mast/carriage. If at all possible prove to them to your friend or relative with mechanical knowledge. Check against other suppliers for price and condition of units exactly the same price. Find out about warranty availability, it is almost always restricted for interstate purchasing but be sure the salesman knows that you anticipate reliability and good condition and therefore are prepared to return the forklift whether it doesn’t meet your expectations.

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