5 Tips for Finding the Right Used Forklift for Sale

A used forklift can be a smart investment for a company, but just like buying new or renting, you have to shop smart. Ask yourself a few questions before settling on a specific machine.

used forklift warehouse

Know Your Shop

The first question to ask yourself is where you're using this forklift. If you've got a smooth concrete floor and are only carrying loads from one part of your warehouse to another, you'll need a very different forklift than if you would be taking it outdoors, on rougher terrain. Don't forget height, either; remember that the machines entire job is to move heavy objects up and down, and that changes the center of gravity constantly. Don't buy one you'll be pushing to its absolute limits; choose one that holds more weight than you anticipate.

Know Your Costs

Another factor is long-term costs. For example, if you buy a used propane forklift, you'll need to have a place to store the fuel bottles, a service to remove and recharge those bottles, and of course you'll need the propane itself. Electric forklifts will need a charging area that delivers a certain amount of volts at a high enough level of amps to correctly charge their batteries. When considering a used forklift for sale, talk this over with who you're buying from and ask what they recommend.

Try One Out

If possible, ask around and see if a licensed operator in your shop, preferably the person who will be operating the machine, is willing to go with you to test each unit. Something as simple as mirror placement or difficulty seeing out the back might rule out what looks like a good forklift on paper.

cargo used forklift

Study Brands

Just like any other product, there's a wide variety of forklift types and manufacturers, and the products they turn out vary in quality and how well they perform the job they're designed for. Some companies are better at building electric forklifts for warehouses, others are better at building giant diesel lifts for hauling cargo containers. Before committing to any unit, look closely at each brand and what people are saying about them. Ask your team what forklifts they used and what they did and didn't like about them. Consult with sales staff to find out the strengths of each brand and model you're considering.

Look For A Place With Options

In these situations, it's often tempting to just go with the nearest place with a For Sale ad and get this purchase over with. Instead, you'll want to buy from places that have as many options as possible so you can weigh them against each other and buy the forklift for sale that's right for you. A used forklift is a smart purchase as it will make your shop faster, cleaner, and more efficient. But remember, only you know which model is right for your shop. See our forklift buyer's guides to get started on finding the right used forklift for sale.