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Tips for Buying a Used Forklift



Forklifts and other types of plant machinery can be costly to invest in. This is the main reason people choose to purchase used forklifts when they need an extra one. You can save a considerable amount of money doing this, but it is important to check that the forklift is in good condition before you buy it.

Here are a few things to look for when purchasing a used forklift.


Check the forks


Often, the forks are what sustain the most damage on a forklift. Since this is the main functional part, you need to be careful that you don’t purchase a lift with faulty forks. In addition to looking at the main area of the fork, check the heel, where it is attached to the plate. The thickness should show the same width as the upright shank and should not be excessively worn.


Watch for bent or cracked forks, as well, since these are more likely to require replacement and this will cost more money.


Look at the battery


You may need to replace the battery if it has been used for too long. Find out how many shifts the forklift was used for and how long it’s been since the battery was replaced. Normal batteries will last around five years if they are used for one shift per day, so you can calculate how much longer it will last. However, you should also look at the battery and ensure it is in decent condition and that there is no acid leaking out of a lead-acid battery.


Test the mast


Ideally, the mast should be flawless. It will be evident if any cracks have been welded and you should avoid these forklifts. Check the mast function by having someone raise the forklift to its maximum height and watch to see if it moves smoothly or if it has hesitations.


In some cases, the pauses may be caused by worn mast rollers, or they may not be lubricated. Either way, this indicates that the machine was not properly cared for. This is also a good time to look at the links on the chain and ensure they’re all there.


Check for leaks


A leak can come from many different places, but they all indicate there is a problem. Look at the mast cylinders and along the mast to determine if there is a leak there. Then check the transmission and radiator for any possible issues.


On diesel engines, you may notice a strong smell when the forklift is running, which could indicate a regulator or catalytic converter leak.


You will always want to take careful note of any potential issues on a used forklift. It’s often best to purchase from a reputable company that knows what they’re doing. The team here at Rocket Rentals and its subsidiary company Rocket Material Handling will be able to provide you with the highest quality forklifts, even after they’ve been used. We adhere to the highest standards to ensure that the equipment we supply is expertly maintained, safe and appropriate to your application. Contact us today to find out more.

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