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Purchasing used forklifts can save your company a fortune, making it easier for smaller firms to fulfill their material handling requirements. With that said, used equipment comes with its own risks that could potentially cost you in the long run. Below are some key tips for navigating the pitfalls of purchasing secondhand machines.


Make Sure Your Truck is Suitable for Your Application.

To the average person, forklift trucks might all seem the same. However, they can vary greatly from model to model and according to how they are kitted out. Some key questions that need to be addressed to ensure that you are choosing the right truck for your purposes include:

· Will your forklift be used regularly?

· Will it be used indoors, outdoors, or both?

· What tasks will your truck be performing?

· How heavy will your loads be?

· Are you in an area that has environmental restrictions for fumes or noise?

· How much space will your forklift have to maneuver?

All of the above questions should be considered when picking the right piece of equipment. A reputable dealer will usually offer to inspect your site and application to make sure that the truck they provide you with fits your needs.

As their employer, the safety of the forklift operator is your responsibility. Getting machinery that does not work for your space can end badly in terms of fines, damage, accidents, and more.

Take the Time to Conduct a Visual Inspection

Buying a used forklift online can be tricky because you are only relying on the seller’s images and description. A visual inspection is far more ideal because you can identify any signs of damage, rust, or indications of an underlying issue (like repair welding, cracks, fluid leaks, etc.).

Take it for a Test Drive

Buying a secondhand forklift is a lot more serious than buying a used car. Used forklifts are complex pieces of equipment that have the potential to be dangerous – so much so that it is covered by strict legislation. Failing to ensure that the truck is working properly before making the purchase would be foolish. Therefore, you (or your operator if you are unqualified to drive a forklift) should always take the machine for a test drive prior to buying.

Be Sure to Inspect the Warranty

A good warranty is a critical part of buying secondhand equipment. It is extremely important to know how long your warranty period lasts, what it covers, and – most importantly – what it excludes. If you purchase a used forklift while it is still within a manufacturer’s warranty, you should contact the company to make sure the warranty is transferred. With that said, however, some warranties cannot be transferred upon resale.


Ask to See the Certificate of Thorough Examination

A Thorough Examination inspection ensures that vehicles comply with PUWER and LOLER regulations. It is important to note that this does not mean that everything will be checked, so you should not solely rely on the certificate when assessing a forklift’s condition. Every truck is legally required to hold a current Certificate of Thorough Examination and as soon as you take possession of the forklift, it becomes your responsibility, making it crucial that you have one.  If you have doubts about the condition of the truck’s health, it is okay to request that an independent thorough examination be conducted before you decide to buy.

Make Sure There is Still Life Left in the Battery

Forklift batteries are extremely expensive. In fact, a truck’s battery can be worth more than 40 percent of the machine’s total value. Therefore, it is really important that there is mileage remaining in the cells of any secondhand truck you are looking to purchase. When it comes to purchasing electric forklifts specifically, the rule of thumb is that the average battery will last about 1,200 charges, with each charge providing about five hours of run time. Consequently, you can divide the machine’s clocked hours by five to get a rough estimate of how much battery life is left.

Check the Clock Readings

Similar to how a car’s working life is measured through mileage, a forklift’s is judged through operating hours. Forklift experts estimate that one hour of truck use is the equivalent of driving a car 30 miles. With this logic, a truck that has endured over 3,000 hours of work is nearing the car equivalent of 100,000 miles. Unfortunately, clocks can be tampered with by untrustworthy dealers, so it is recommended that you check the stated hours against the service history.

If you are in the market for a used forklift (or a brand new one, for that matter), check out our large selection of high-quality trade in, off lease trucks and completely reconditioned forklifts. At Darr Equipment, we are committed to helping you find the right piece of equipment for the right price. Contact us today to learn more.

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