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The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Forklift: What Business Owners and Warehouse Managers Need to Know


Purchasing a used forklift can be a smart investment for business owners and warehouse managers looking to enhance their operations while staying within budget. However, buying a used forklift requires careful consideration to ensure that you get a reliable machine that meets your needs. This guide will provide you with all the essential information to make an informed decision.


Why Consider a Used Forklift?


1. Cost Savings: One of the primary reasons to opt for a used forklift is the significant cost savings. Used forklifts are generally much cheaper than new ones, allowing businesses to allocate funds to other critical areas.

2. Immediate Availability: Unlike new forklifts, which may have long lead times for delivery, used forklifts are typically available for immediate purchase and use.


Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Used Forklift


1. Assess Your Needs


Before starting your search, it’s crucial to understand your specific needs:

- Load Capacity: Determine the maximum weight your forklift will need to lift.

- Lift Height: Consider the height your forklift will need to reach.

- Operating Environment: Think about where the forklift will be used (indoors, outdoors, narrow aisles, etc.).


2. Research Brands and Models


Not all forklifts are created equal. Research different brands and models to find out which ones are known for their reliability and performance. Komatsu Forklift remains a strong favourite in the used forklift model! As a matter of fact, Komatsu Forklift won an award for the highest retained value forklift


3. Check the Forklift’s Maintenance History


Is the previous owner taking care well of the forklift? A well-maintained forklift will have detailed service records. Regular maintenance is a good indicator of a machine’s reliability.


4. Inspect the Forklift


A thorough inspection is critical to ensure you’re getting a good deal. Pay attention to the following:

  • General Condition: Look for signs of wear and tear, rust, and any damage.

  • Engine and Transmission: Check for any leaks, strange noises, or issues with starting.

  • Hydraulics: Ensure the hydraulic system is functioning properly without leaks.

  • Mast and Forks: Inspect the mast for cracks or bends and ensure the forks are straight and not worn out.


5. Working Condition


Certain working condition is very, very bad for forklift! For example, any place that’s exposed to sea water (shipyard dock) is not good for forklift. Why? The salt from the sea water speeds up the rusting process! The forklift may look ok from the outside, but is rotten on the inside!


6. Working Hours


When purchasing a used forklift, you need to know the number of hours it has been in service. On average, forklifts last around 10,000 hours before a major overhaul (gearbox or engine) needs to be performed. To estimate the hours driven, inquire about the types of shifts the forklift was used for by previous owners.

  • A shift is typically eight hours per day.

  • A single shift operation adds approximately 2,000 hours per year to a forklift.


7. Test Drive


At last, please test drive it first before buying! Always take the forklift for a test drive to assess its performance. Pay attention to the ease of operation, the responsiveness of controls, and the overall handling.


Buying a used forklift can be a wise decision for many businesses, offering significant cost savings and immediate availability. However, it’s essential to thoroughly assess your needs, research options, inspect the machine, and evaluate the seller to ensure you get a reliable and efficient forklift that meets your operational requirements. By following this guide, business owners and warehouse managers can make informed decisions and secure a valuable asset for their operations.


Why Choose Scantruck?

When you buy a used forklift from Scantruck, we will do the checking list we mentioned earlier! At Scantruck, we have years of experience in the industry, having bought and sold  thousands of pieces of used material handling equipment. Our expertise allows us to provide a seamless and efficient process for both buyers and sellers. 


Our team is capable of assessing the quality of the forklift and deciding if there’s still some life span left in the forklift to be used by another company. We have the expertise to bring it back to life again! When you choose Scantruck, you benefit from:


  • Quality Assurance: Scantruck offers 6-months warranty on all parts (excluding wear and tear) and ensures that the forklift is in a good, workable condition. 

  • Expertise and Support: With extensive industry knowledge, Scantruck provides expert advice and support to help you choose the right forklift for your needs. It may be best for you to get a used forklift, or it may be best for you to get a new one.  It all depends on your needs and requirements, and we can help you to make an informed decision.

  • After-Sales Trust and Reliability: Scantruck’s reputation is built on trust and reliability, ensuring you receive a dependable machine and excellent customer service. The most important parts of buying any equipment, especially a used forklift, is the after sales. Is the service team reliable? You don’t have to worry about after sales when you buy from us.


When you are considering getting a used forklift, Scantruck is your go-to source for high-quality used forklifts. Our extensive network, expert advice, and commitment to quality ensure you get the best equipment for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings and how we can help elevate your material handling operations.




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