When buying a used forklift instead of new equipment, a buyer is faced with the dilemma of picking a reliable unit. How can you differentiate between two similar used forklifts for sale, especially when they are being sold by different sellers?
Choosing a Used Forklift
Begin your used forklift comparison with the dealership’s quote proposal, reviewing it for details such as a stock number, serial number or hour meter reading. If this information or other items are not provided, ask if the actual forklift can be viewed at the dealership’s site or if the quote is based on a sample unit.
Used Forklift History
The history of a used forklift gives insight to the conditions and environment in which the unit operated. Request the seller provide you with known information about the forklift. Some questions to ask:
- Was the unit used indoors for loading and unloading only or was it operated for three shifts a day?
- Is it an off-lease forklift or rental retirement for the dealership?
- Was the dealership previously responsible for servicing the forklift and if so, which items were repaired during the last 12 months?
Forklift Service Evaluations
In addition to seeing and test-driving the physical unit, being aware of recent service evaluations and repairs will help explain differences in purchase price when looking at more than one used forklift. A dealership should provide you with the current status of the forklift, including proof of any promised repairs. Most importantly, the forklift must be safe to operate; however, for long-term use you may need to plan for more upgrades. Understanding the additional service or parts that are needed, and how to prioritize the repairs, will help you to evaluate the used forklift’s overall cost.
Hour Meter Accuracy
Hour meter readings can be deceiving because they are not regulated like odometer readings of an automobile. If the forklift hour meter was broken at its original location, a false read of hours will result. Inquire if the dealership can provide a repair history of the forklift that proves continuity in the hour meter reading. Additionally, review pump and drive motor hours when applicable.
Used Forklift Warranty Options
Most dealerships will provide you with warranty options for used forklifts and at times, a warranty can be upgraded for additional security. Compare warranty coverage on each unit under consideration for purchase to find out what is included should an issue arise. Purchasing a used forklift without a warranty option, often called “As Is”, offers a cheaper purchase price but increases your risk for needing immediate service repairs. This should be taken into consideration when setting a maintenance budget.
A forklift salesperson is the point of contact for the dealership and has been trained on multiple forklift models, fuel types and attachments. The salesperson’s main focus is to help you select the best equipment. Rely on this insight by inviting the salesperson to your facility for a site survey to review the daily application, products being moved, pallet racking aisle width and other important details.
Unfortunately, you can put in the time to research used forklifts and still discover the unit selected isn’t a good fit. For additional buying security, learn what purchase guarantees are offered by the dealership and if it can the lift be exchanged or returned.
Searching for a used forklift? View ProLift’s current inventory or request a quote from an equipment specialist. ProLift is a full-service forklift dealer serving customers in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia.