Category: Blog
Date: June 11, 2024

A used or previously owned forklift may be an attractive alternative, for start-ups, fledging and growing firms who need a cost-effective machine for the job. When companies want to expand their fleet but at a lower upfront cost, they may also consider buying a used forklift. Since a previously owned forklift has been used by another owner, knowing how to inspect it for damage, is critical. To make sure that the used forklift you want to purchase is in good working condition, consider the following factors: 

Inspect the forks for damage 

As forks provide a stable platform to lift pallets and other materials, checking them for damage is essential. During the inspection, look for any major signs of wear, like cracks or bends. In addition to that, examine the fork blade’s heel thickness. Ideally, it should be the same as the thickness of the upright fork shank. In case it’s not, the forks have most likely experienced wear. 

Examine the engine 

Start the forklift and use it for a few minutes, to test if the engine is operating efficiently. Now, switch it off and open the engine. Take a good look at the hoses and see if there are any leaks or cracks. Next, check the engine oil using a dipstick. If the oil level is too low, it could be a sign of engine leakage. Lastly, make sure the engine air filters are clean, and the belts are tight and well-lubricated. 

Check the condition of the lift chains 

Lift chains attached to the mast are responsible for lifting/lowering the forks along with the loads on them. Hence, it is important to look for any cracks present in the lift chains which might cause them to break easily. Additionally, check the middle area of the mast for corroded or missing parts, like pins, links, etc.  

Look at the battery’s condition 

As the hours left on the battery of the forklift on which it operates are not tracked, make sure to ask the previous owner about its usage. Knowing how long the engine has been working, along with the number of shifts the machine was employed in a day, can help you get an idea of how much battery power is left. After reviewing the battery’s power, check its general condition. Look for signs of corrosion, acid leaks, and other forms of damage. You can also consider opening the battery’s cells to check if there is enough water.  

Check for leaks 

Any leakage around the forklift is a major sign of damage. Some of the areas you must check for leaks are the radiator, transmission, and mast cylinders. Make note of any leaks you notice around these areas as they might lead to additional repair costs if you decide to make the purchase. 

Make sure the mast functions smoothly  

The mast should safely raise as well as lower materials from the forklift. To check if it operates efficiently, ask the previous owner to raise the forks in front of you. If the forks don’t raise smoothly, the reason could either be a damaged link chain or worn-down mast rollers. During the inspection, you might also find out whether or not the previous owner maintained the mast rollers properly. 

Check the odometer reading 

The odometer reading of a used forklift can show how much it has been used, giving you an idea of how long it will last if you buy it. By comparing the number of hours you see on the odometer reading to how long a forklift generally lasts. You can also verify if the odometer has been reset by the previous owner. If the odometer displays a low reading despite lots of wear on the forklift, chances are that the previous owner has tampered with it. 

Evaluate the condition of the tyres  

Check the forklift’s tyres for signs of chunking (the tyres look as if a bite has been taken out of them). Also, look for signs of other forms of damage, like punctures or cracks. Besides that, make sure the tyres of the forklift have a lot of tread left on them since low tread implies that you will have to get them replaced soon.  

Make sure the safety features work properly 

Inspect the used forklift thoroughly to ensure that the seat adjustments, brakes, levers, seatbelt, lights, and horn work properly. You must also check the overhead guard frame for damage to ensure the operator’s safety. 

In addition to keeping in mind these key considerations with regards to purchasing a used forklift, make sure you also look for a reliable used machines dealer like Al-Bahar. With us, you can always feel confident that you are buying a top-quality, durable forklift that can provide you with unbeatable performance. Serving a wide diversity of industrial sectors, Al-Bahar, features an excellent selection of both new and used Cat® forklifts at the most competitive prices. Contact us for more info!