Purchasing a used forklift can save your business a considerable capital investment. But choosing the wrong forklift can end up costing you more than you saved in lost productivity, repairs, maintenance and accidents.
What to Look for in a Reconditioned Used Forklift
If you are considering a reconditioned forklift, odds are it already has experienced a lot of wear and tear. So, you shouldn’t expect a used forklift to have the same quality as one that has just rolled off the production line. A reconditioned forklift is a good option if it is only going to be used for one shift per day. It should be used no more than five hours continually per day, if it will used no more than five days per week, and if it’s not going to be operated at top capacity nonstop every time it is used.
How to Select the Correct Used Forklift
Selecting the Best Equipment for Your Needs is vital. Engine-powered reconditioned forklifts have been used, on average, for seven years prior to being traded in. Electric-powered units typically are between eight to ten years old. But the calendar age of the forklift won’t tell you the whole story.
When considering a reconditioned forklift, check the record of how many hours it has been operated. If it is more than 2,000 hours per year, you may want to consider a forklift with lower hours. Any reconditioned forklift should have an extensive record of which parts have been repaired, replaced and altered in preparation for resale.
Another thing you should look at is how well a unit has been maintained. If there are maintenance records, this can tell you if routine maintenance has been performed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. If there are no records available, make sure the unit receives a thorough mechanical inspection before signing on the dotted line.
Perform a Complete Vehicle Inspection or ask the dealer to supply an inspection report
Start by checking the mast operation, both without a load and with the unit’s fully rated load. Look especially for binding or lack of smooth operation. Check to see if there is more than 3/8-inch play between the mast channels when tilting it forward and back. Also, watch out for excessive side carriage play.
Check for leaks on the tilt cylinders, radiator, engine, differential and transmission. If there are leaks, they may not be evident unless the forklift has been running for a while. Check the brakes with a full load. At 5 mph, the forklift should be able to stop within 15 to 30 feet. Finally, conduct an extensive test drive. If it handles sloppily or has trouble accelerating or stopping, you might consider another model.
To avoid later problems, only select a reconditioned forklift after you are completely satisfied with its condition and performance.
Here at Diamond Forklifts we have a selection of quality used machines to suit any application or budget. Why not call us and let a member of our team find the correct used forklift for your application.