5 Things to Consider When Buying Used Forklifts

Material Handling Best Practices, Tips, Information and More from Toyota

New vs. UsedBuying a used forklift can be a very wise financial move. However, you need to take a bit more caution buying used than you would when buying new from a dealer. Of course, the best way to buy used is to buy certified used from a Toyota Forklift Dealer, but if you’re purchasing from a previous owner, watch out for these five warning signs:

  1. A Seized Forklift: If the forklift has been seized, chances are good it hasn’t been properly maintained. Though it may be a good deal, it could cost you in the long run. No matter which unit you are considering, always have a Toyota Certified Technician inspect.

  2. Any Signs of Improper Maintenance and Abuse: If there’s one sign of improper maintenance, there are probably more. If you’re counting on your forklift purchase lasting, improper maintenance is a huge red flag, so look for evidence of the type of “Maintenance Life” the unit has had. For example is there fresh grease on all grease fittings? Are there up-to-date hour meter readings on the air and oil filters? Are there large “gaps” between the lift chain links? Is the counterweight centered and mounted straight...not off to one side?

  3. Leaking Fluids: Leaking fluids are a good sign there’s something wrong with the forklift. It can be an early indicator of a performance issue or a potential unknown safety problem. Remember ...a qualified Technician can help reveal the true condition.

  4. Models Out of Current Production: Though an outdated forklift may be less expensive, finding parts can pose additional challenges and possibly increase ownership costs or you may not be able to source replacement parts at all.

  5. An Engine That Doesn’t Start Easily: If you notice issues right away, you should move on. It may seem like the deal is so good, you could spend a bit to have the forklift repaired, but you could end up spending a lot more money than you thought you would at the time of purchase.

A used forklift can be a great investment, but that’s only if you’re sure you’re getting a well maintained forklift that won’t end up costing you a lot of money down the road.


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