Yale forklift before and after

When you buy used equipment, you want your investment to be well-maintained and able to provide you with many hours of service. Knowing what to look for when purchasing a used forklift is essential to ensure it offers you the best value for your money. With this used forklift buyer’s guide, you’ll have the tools to navigate your pre-owned forklift purchase successfully.

What Are Used Forklifts?

A used forklift is a pre-owned machine that has typically worked multiple hours for its previous owner. Companies often sell their existing forklifts when they renew their fleet, purchasing a new machine and selling the old one as a used forklift.

The machine’s condition depends on the level of upkeep employed by that owner. You may find forklifts from one to 10 or more years old on the market. The used forklift market allows those with a limited budget to purchase a forklift at a lower price, improving business productivity with a more affordable investment.

Pros and Cons of Used Forklifts

When you’re aware of the pros and cons of buying a pre-owned forklift, you’ll be better prepared and can avoid any unwelcome surprises after the fact.

What Are The Pros of Buying Pre-Owned Forklifts?

Buying a used forklift offers the following benefits:

  • Save money: Good quality pre-owned forklifts can be as much as 50% less expensive than brand-new ones.
  • Enjoy more options: Buying used equipment offers you more options concerning the machine’s specs when your budget is limited.
  • Avoid a learning curve: Your operators may be more comfortable with older models and can avoid potential additional forklift operator training that’s sometimes required with newer models.
  • Find parts easily: It’s often easier to find parts and spares for older models than for newer forklifts. 

What Are The Cons of Buying Used Forklifts?

Take note of these potential downfalls associated with purchasing pre-owned forklifts:

  • Lose out on a warranty: There’s little to no chance you’ll receive a warranty when buying a used forklift unless you purchase one through a reputable dealer.
  • Expect visible wear and tear: Scratches and dings are part and parcel of machine wear in busy work environments and will likely be visible on a previously owned forklift.
  • Forgo the ergonomics: This depends on the age of your forklift, but older models generally offer less comfort than newer, more ergonomically improved models.
  • Forget the financing: Unless you buy through a trusted dealer, you may find financing an older model forklift hard to come by.

What to Know About Buying a Used Forklift

To ensure you get your money’s worth, you must consider several factors when on the hunt for your pre-owned forklift. 

Essential Considerations

These are some of the most vital aspects to think about before you start looking at used machines:

  • What kind of forklift do you need — how and where will you use it?
  • Should you opt for an electric forklift or prioritize fuel-powered forklifts?
  • What can you afford in the range of $4,500 to $16,000 for a good quality used unit?

Used Forklift Buyer’s Checklist

When viewing potential forklifts, follow this checklist to ensure the machine is a sound investment:

  • Determine the machine’s previous function and how many hours it worked daily to avoid buying a forklift that worked hard under rough conditions.
  • Ask for a copy of the forklift’s service history to ensure a regular maintenance record and pinpoint significant repairs.
  • Make sure the forks are free from bends, cracks and excessive wear.
  • Ensure the lift chains have all their links intact.
  • Check for signs of welding, cracks or leaks along the mast.
  • Ask to see the forklift in operation to ensure it is running and lifting smoothly.
  • Ensure the tires still have good tread and are free from chunking.
  • Find out how much battery life is left, considering that forklift batteries typically last for five years when used for four to six hours daily.
  • After running the forklift, check for leaks, examine the oil level, inspect the brake and transmission fluid and ensure the belts are taut and lubricated.
  • Keep an eye out for smoke and a gas-like smell, which spell trouble.
  • Ensure everything functions properly on the machine, especially features related to keeping the operator safe.
  • Double-check the odometer reading to ensure it aligns with the machine’s condition.

Secure Premium Pre-Owned Forklifts With Barclay

At Barclay, we have your used forklift needs covered by providing high-quality units, many of which come from our rental fleet. Serving New Jersey and New York, we provide the best forklift brands on the market and a vast selection of affordable options. 

Our experienced team will guide you through the buying process and include a 30-day bumper-to-bumper warranty. You’ll also have the option to test your forklift before you commit to purchasing it through our “try to buy” program.

Contact the Barclay team to discuss how we can help you with your used forklift needs and get a quote.

Pre Owned forklift CTA