Purchasing machinery for construction work, or any heavy duty transportation, is no joke. Just imagine wheeling a palette of something fragile on a regular cart. Nope. Whether you need to move a crate of ceramics or a load of bricks, a forklift is a good, secure, universal choice.
It can be a fairly pricey toy, though, so your best option would probably be to find a used one in good condition and buy that. If you just google for “used forklifts near me” you will probably find plenty of vendor. One of these pros agreed to share some things that you should ask about before sealing the deal.
Ask why they are selling the forklift
This is always the first thing that you should inquire about, because it is honestly the most critical point. If somebody is selling their forkie because it is malfunctioning weirdly, you want to stay away.
The last thing you need is to buy a machine that seems to be all fine and dandy on the spot, only to take it home and discover that it features problems – problems you now have to fix, meaning you have to spend more money, totally beside your budgeting scenario. Now, we are aware that not everybody is a walking lie detector.
However, there are some telltale signs that you can keep an eye out for. Is the seller getting flustered and nervous? Are they being unclear as to their reasons, giving you vague answers? These are major red flags.
This kind of behavior typically means hiding something in the lift’s history, and if so, you had better not risk it. Thank them for their time and move on. Check out this useful link for a basic step-by-step guide to buying a used forklift.
Ask about its hours
Now, this is something you probably already know, but we should still put it out there. Always check up on the machine’s hour meter rating. The overall number is a good indicator of how long this particular unit has been in active use. This is important information. The more used it is, the more “ragged” it will be – you want a good balance between “seasoned” and “healthy”.
Ask about the abilities of the forklift
You are looking to buy a tool, so you should know what it will be capable of doing for you. In other words, you are interested in the “work abilities” of your new forkie. To be able to properly gouge those, you need to keep a few things in mind.
You have to have a clear idea of what the lift will be used for, regardless of whether you are purchasing it for your company or for your own needs as an individual. You need the know the size and weight of the intended load, minimum and maximum. Will it be just lifting things or transporting them over some distances as well? You certainly do not want to make a purchase only to realize it cannot rise to the intended tasks. So make sure you know what you need, and make sure you are indeed shopping for the right thing. If you need to brush up on how forklifts work and what they are capable of, check out this link: https://sciencing.com/forklift-works-5398671.html
Once you have those specifics all figured out, inquire about them with the seller. Ask about the max load capacity of the machine, about its max lifting height, and its functional width.
Ask about current and future maintenance costs
You are buying used, so the machine has a history. Is it a bad one? Did it often break down or malfunction? How frequently did they have to repair it? A fragile forklift will mean great expenses for you, which could multiply your initial purchase expenditure. Also research what spare parts you will need and how available they are.
Ask about attachments that might be available
Many forklifts come with additional tools to enable handling specific load types, like cable rolls. See if they are included in your deal, or available as a related purchase. If possible, get one with several attachments for greater versatility.