Buying a Used Forklift: How to Inspect this Equipment Before Purchase


Choosing to buy a used forklift can actually save you and your company thousands of dollars when purchasing this essential heavy equipment. However, if you are unfamiliar with the process of inspecting a forklift before committing to the purchase, you could find yourself dealing with some expensive repairs shortly after buying your used equipment.

Take the time to work your way through the inspection checklist below can help you to avoid this issue and ensure you are buying a high quality machine.

Step 1: Check for Leaks

Begin by running the forklift on a solid surface, such as a warehouse floor or paved parking lot. This will allow you to quickly see any fluids that may be leaking from the forklift. This step should be completed even if you are looking to purchase a forklift for use on rough terrain as it can be difficult to spot leaks when fluids are quickly being absorbed by the dirt.

Step 2: Check the Hydraulic System

While the forklift is still idling, attempt to use the machine's hydraulics. If this system does not work properly while the forklift is in the idling position, there is something wrong with the hydraulic pump. Fixing this type of damage can be extremely expensive. Therefore, you should never purchase a used forklift without first verifying that the hydraulic system is in good working order.

Step 3: Check the Tires

While replacing the tires on your forklift is not a very expensive task, severely worn tires can be an indication of a much larger problem. This is especially true in cases where the wear pattern is uneven. If the tires are excessively worn on the outside of the tire, this could be an indication of a bad axle or accident damage.

Step 4: Check the Fork

Without a solid fork, a forklift will be unable to do its job properly. Begin by checking to ensure the fork is straight and free of any cracks. Next, you will need to inspect the entire length of the crack for any signs of welding. If the fork has been welded together, this is a good sign that the equipment was in an accident and has been subsequently repaired. This is not a machine that you will want to purchase.

Step 5: Recheck Everything with a Load in Place

While the forklift may seem to operate perfectly without the weight of a load, this does not mean that the equipment will perform well when used as intended. In order to ensure that you will get the high quality performance that you are looking for, you will need to complete each of the steps above for a second time with the weight of a load in place. This will allow you to determine whether or not the equipment can stand up to the riggers of daily use.

For more information to purchase used machinery, consult resources like Westminster Lift Trucks.


7 April 2015

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