Buying a used forklift can be a great idea for your business but it can also be a tough decision. There are several benefits to buying new, but there are also some disadvantages. A forklift will always be a valuable asset to your business, whether it has been purchased from new or not. However, deciding to buy a used forklift can make your budget stretch further. For example, you may have a set budget for buying a forklift that you want to spend. In this instance buying used will mean that you’re able to buy a better model than you would if you bought a brand new machine. If you do decide to go for a used forklift then you must know what to look for. This guide will provide you with everything that you need to know about buying a used forklift for your business.
What to look for when buying a used forklift – is it suitable for the environment?
First, it is essential when you are buying a used forklift that it is suitable for what you need it for. This means choosing a truck with features that you need and that is appropriately sized for your needs. For example, it’s no good buying a large outdoor forklift if you’re looking to use it for efficiently transporting goods around a warehouse. If you are looking for a forklift for warehouse use, then you’ll need to be sure that the turning circle of the model that you choose is flexible enough to negotiate the aisles and small spaces in your premises. Furthermore, you should ensure that the mast can adequately reach the highest spaces in the warehouse that you want to move goods from. The model that you choose will also need to be suitable for lifting your stock in line with your business needs. This means you need to be sure of the average weight of the loads that you wish to move with it and choose a model with a maximum weight limit that will allow for this.
There are additional factors to consider in regards to the environment that you will be operating your forklift in. For example, many people forget to take any restrictions regarding pollution into account. This doesn’t simply mean fumes, but also any restrictions around noise pollution that are in place at your site or in the surrounding areas. The pollution that forklifts produce can vary greatly depending on the model that you choose. Some models will be much quieter than others and will operate using rechargeable batteries, these are generally suited to warehouses and other indoor areas. If you do choose an electric forklift, then you must be aware of the power levels and safety features that can come with an electric model. Electric forklifts tend to have a lower maximum lift load than fuel-burning models. Using a fuel-burning model indoors can be very dangerous in regards to the fumes that it produces, so you should ensure that you choose a model that is both safe to use in the environment that you wish to use it, and complies with the appropriate regulations.
Make sure that the truck is in full working order
A reputable used forklift seller will always make sure that any model that you buy from them is in safe full-working order. You should, however, make sure to inspect any used forklift that you are considering buying. Usually, the best way to do this will be to test-drive the truck. If the seller is reluctant to let you test-drive the machine before buying then this is a red flag. All legitimate used forklift sellers will have no issue with you wanting to test drive any machinery before you commit to buying. You may also want to bring an experienced forklift driver with you to look out for any issues that a less-experienced member of staff may miss.
Although a test drive will allow you to identify any obvious faults, you should also be sure to inspect and test all features of the forklift. This means making sure that the forklift operates as it should and will be suitable for the tasks that you require it for. Some used models may have minor issues with them but these should be pointed out by the seller. If you feel as if the seller is trying to cover up any faults then this is a sign that you should avoid them. When you inspect the forklift, you should also look for cosmetic damage to the exterior of the vehicle, this includes any chipped paint, cracks, or patches of rust. Although a small amount of rust is unlikely to affect the operation of the forklift, any large areas could lead to problems in future. Furthermore, any large cracks can also mean that the machine may be unsafe.
Check that the forklift hasn’t been illegally imported and has the correct documents
Although it is unlikely, there are a fair amount of illegally imported forklifts in the UK so you should know what to look for to ensure that you’re buying a legal vehicle. Having an illegal import can mean that if the vehicle is involved in an accident, your insurance may be invalid and you may have a legal battle on your hands if any staff members are injured as a result of the accident. In addition to this, an illegal import will be very difficult to source spare parts for and even harder to sell. You should look for a CE mark on the forklift and also make sure that the identity plate and accompanying documents are all written in English.
Aside from checking that the forklift hasn’t been illegally imported, you should also request to see additional certification verifying that the vehicle is safe and compliant with PUWER and LOLER regulations. You should be sure to ask for the Certificate of Thorough Examination which is a legally required document, similar to an MOT on a car. Every forklift must have one of these documents to be able to operate legally, and once you have purchased the truck it will be your responsibility to hold this. Therefore, it’s a good idea to request to see this before purchase.
If it’s electric then you’ll need to check the battery life
Many people are unaware of how much value is held in a forklift battery. In fact, the battery can make up around 40 per cent of the value of the truck. This highlights the importance of checking the battery life. Checking a battery isn’t a complex process but you should be aware that a forklift battery generally lasts around 1,200 charges before being replaced. A full charge should lead to approximately five hours of operation, which means if you divide the clocked usage hours that are on the truck by five, you should have an idea of how much life is left in the battery.
Choosing a truck with a poor remaining battery life could mean you find yourself paying out for a new battery much sooner than you expected, which can be very expensive.
Does everything add up?
The clocked hours on the forklift will give you an understanding of how much use it has had. However, some untrustworthy sellers may be able to tamper with these, giving you a false reading of how much use the machine has had. Therefore, it’s recommended that you check the clocked hours on the forklift add up with those that are detailed in the service history.
Discuss warranty options
A fair secondhand forklift seller will provide you with some kind of warranty on any vehicles that you buy from them. Depending on the age of the truck, it may still be under the manufacturer’s warranty. You should make sure that you discuss the warranty information and any options available to extend the warranty. Furthermore, you should familiarise yourself with what the warranty covers and what it doesn’t, to avoid disappointment in the future.
Why we are the perfect choice for secondhand forklifts
Our professional sales team will visit your premises and conduct a site survey to ensure that the machines you are interested in are appropriate for your business needs. We provide this service free of charge and it is a way for us to fairly quote you and recommend forklifts that are best suited to your operating environment.
We only provide customers with quality machinery
We understand the importance of buying quality machinery and we believe that buying a used truck should be equally as reliable as a new one. This means we go the extra mile when selling secondhand machines to our customers, ensuring that they are put through thorough testing. All of our used trucks are put through a high level of testing through our workshop programme before they are allowed to leave our workshop and be sold to customers. We provide customers with a new 12 months Loler/Thorough Examination certificate to assure peace of mind. Our highly skilled engineers make sure that you are always provided with a quality vehicle.
We are experienced and family-run
We have been been in the forklift industry for more than 45 years and have satisfied a large number of customers with our skills, knowledge, and honestly when selling used forklifts. We are proud of our reputation and wouldn’t do anything that may negatively affect it, so you can be sure that you’ll always get the best service.
You can contact us for more information on our used forklift sales or anything else. We’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have or organise a no-obligation site survey of your premises.