If you're looking to purchase a used forklift as a way to cut down on your equipment costs, you've made a wise choice. However, how beneficial this purchase is has a lot to do with how selective you are during the buying process. Knowing what to look for in a used forklift can be the difference between making the right and wrong choice.
Start At The Forks
The forks on a lift are considered one of its most important features, so they should be the first place you inspect. When looking at the forks, check for any bends or deep cracks. This type of damage is typically indicative of a unit that has been used to carry loads that far exceed its recommended weight capacity.
This type of use doesn't just increase the likelihood of the forks malfunctioning, but it also increases the likelihood of the internal mechanical components of the unit being overworked. As a general rule of thumb, it's typically best to avoid lifts with extensive fork damage as it can lead to costly repairs.
Take A Spin
You also want to get in the cab of the forklift and take a quick spin. When driving the forklift don't just drive in a typical forward and backward direction. You also want to make turns or even try to make a figure eight. Driving in a variety of directions helps you test the forklifts steering abilities.
Even with a used forklift, making turns should be a smooth process. If you notice the forklift stalling or jerking when you try to turn, this could be a sign of steering system malfunction. In this case, it would be wise to have the transmission inspected before purchasing.
Let It Run
After driving the forklift briefly, don't just power it off. Allow it to run for several minutes so you can get a better idea of how it will operate when you need to actually use the forklift to perform a job. After the lift has been running for a while, back it up and look on the ground for any signs of a leak.
If there is any oil on the ground, you should probably walk away from the purchase until the seller can provide you with documentation that the oil leak has been repaired, as this is often a sign that the engine is not functioning correctly.
When it comes to purchasing a used forklift, it's important not to rush. Make sure you are taking your time to inspect any used heavy construction equipment for sale.