Forklifts are ideal for lifting heavy loads either on a construction site or in a warehouse. Unfortunately, this piece of heavy equipment can also be expensive. This can be a real problem for new or small businesses with limited capital. Thankfully, the option of buying a used forklift can help to reduce the financial burden that comes along with purchasing this equipment. However, before you purchase a used forklift, there are a few things that you should look for.

Inspecting The Fork

The first thing you will want to do when inspecting a used forklift is to check the fork itself. Do this by positioning yourself directly in front of the forks so that you can easily see if they are both even or if there are any bends in the forks.

Next, check for any cracks or evidence of welding. This could signify serious damage and may result in the forklift being unable to carry a full load. Therefore, you should always avoid buying a forklift that shows signs of cracking.

Finally, look at the heels of each fork. This is the bend at the rear of the fork. Be sure that there are no signs of damage or repairs in either heel. You will also want to ensure that the heels are approximately the same thickness as the rest of the fork.

Inspecting The Mast And Lift Chains

During the next part of the inspection process, you will need to check both the mast and lift chains. This is the area of the forklift that directly connects to the forks in the front.

Like with the forks, you will need to check this entire area for any signs of cracking or evidence of welding. You will want to avoid forklifts that show evidence of this type of damage.

Next, pay close attention to the lift chains in the center of the mast. Inspect the entire length of these chains for signs of rust, excessive wear, or missing links.

Inspecting The Cab

Finally, you will need to check the cab or operator's area of the forklift. Begin by sitting in the operators chair and ensuring that it locks firmly into place and that the seat belt works properly.

Once you are secured, begin checking the operational aspects of the forklift by turning the equipment on and listening for any sounds which may indicate a problem with the equipment's engine. Next, check the hydraulic controls by lifting and lowering the fork both with and without a full load.

If the forklift in question fails any of the three checks described above, it is best to continue your search for another used forklift. Companies like Westminster Lift Trucks can answer your forklift purchase questions.