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What are the Checklist for Buying Used Forklifts?


Checklist for Buying Used Forklifts:

The used forklift shines, is washed and polished to its fullest glory, the price is right – a real bargain. Really?

More than when buying new equipment, it’s buying a used forklift, so a thorough inspection should be done. You don’t know how many kilometers the machine has traveled in the course of its life, how it was treated by the previous owner, and what quirks are hidden under the body.

The remedy for this is our checklist for buying used forklifts. With nine criteria you can inspect the used machine of your choice yourself.

Forklift service testing by an expert:

One important question you should ask yourself at the outset: Is a forklift really the right equipment for your application? Does it adapt to your local conditions? Observe passage heights and widths of working aisles! Ask an expert to verify your operational needs

Have the parts been replaced?

Next, take a look at the nameplate and the residual load capacity diagram. Are they installed correctly? Do they really refer to the existing mast and any other attachments? Confirm that parts or the entire mast could have been replaced.

Operation manual and service reports:

You should also receive the operation manual. Above all, warning stickers must be present in the correct language. Is there a current FEM test report with no fault record that certifies that the forklift has been tested in accordance with accident prevention standards?

Testing the Engine:

Visual inspection on a forklift is one thing, but it doesn’t replace practical testing. Perform a test run! If your choice is equipment with a combustion engine, do the test during the cold start: is there an increase in smoke emission? For Forklift rental Click here

Testing the mast:

The mast also requires special testing: Check for clearance between the mast profiles and the fork carriage! Do the mast and fork give way with the load?

Check the forks:

Next, we recommend that you look closely at the forks and their supports to identify possible cracks. Locks must be present and working properly. Measure the thickness at the “bend” of the fork!


Check the direction! Does the forklift move stably on the road?


Brakes must also be intact and act evenly on both sides. Are the parking brakes working?


Now check the lighting. Do all bulbs and headlights work? Cables and connections must be perfect, junction boxes and headlights must not contain moisture.


Next, if it is an electric forklift: check the condition of the lead-acid battery. Green and white crystals at the poles indicate and if the cells are bent outward, it is an indication of old age. Both can lead to battery failure.


Tire wear is always a problem. Check the tires! Are they damaged? Are there cuts or damage? Is the so-called wear mark (tire wear indicator) still clearly visible?


Now the body is the focus. Is it possible to identify corrosion damage? Did you find bulges or deformations? Don’t forget: Warranty. What does the seller offer you – for example: How long and for what features/parts/equipment is it valid?

Test at the place of Use:

A test drive at the seller’s yard is not a substitute for usability testing. At best, the seller gives you the opportunity to test the equipment in your own facility. This is the best way to check the condition of the forklift.