5 Tips for Buying a Used Forklift

While a brand new, polished piece of equipment is tempting, do you need it? A new truck can come with a hefty price tag.  If you aren’t going to run the truck constantly, a used piece of equipment could be the way to go. With these tips to help you shop smart, you can get a quality piece of equipment that won’t break your budget. 

5 Tips for Buying a Used Forklift:

1. A price that’s too good to be true probably is too good to be true. If the price on a truck seems unusually low, take the time to do some research. Look for other sellers with the same make, model, and similar specs to see what the truck is going for on average.  By cross referencing, you can decide if the price is the real deal, or if you need to ask the seller more questions about the possible issues the equipment has.
2. You need more than just a pretty paint job. A good-looking truck is always a plus, but scuff marks don’t matter when it comes to the heavy lifting. If possible, inspect the truck in person. What is happening under the hood? A good-running truck is what you want.
3. Be specific about getting the specs. Getting all of the information you can about your prospective lift ensures that you get what you need. Here are the basics:

What is the capacity of the equipment?
- What are the fully-lowered and fully-raised mast heights?
- What are the dimensions of the truck itself?

- Does it come with attachments or are they sold separately?

Asking questions like these and knowing the ins-and-outs of the truck will help you decide if it really fits your needs.

4. Do your hour and history homework. High hours on a forklift are the equivalent to high miles on a car—the higher the hours the more work the lift has put in. Just like a car, hour meters can be reset. Knowing the serial number, the year, and the model can help you determine about what the hours on the truck should be. Don’t discount the truck’s history. When the hours on a truck seem skeptically low, ask for a summary of where and when the truck was run. Some trucks are abused in their lifetimes; others are used sparingly and well taken care of.
5. Get to know your seller. There are more sellers in the used forklift business than just dealers. Knowing who you are buying your truck from will prepare you for dealing and help you create your own expectations.

- Dealers sell new and used equipment. They will know the history of the truck you are looking at because it more than likely was their truck to begin with. It could be a trade from another customer who updated their model or a retired truck from their rental fleet.
- Wholesale companies deal in used equipment exclusively. They often buy retired rental equipment, inspect it, fix any serious issues, and then sell them "as-is." While you more than likely won’t have a spiffy paint job, you will know what—if anything—is wrong with the truck up front. A reputable wholesaler will give this information willingly.
- Brokers buy used equipment from wholesale companies. However, this doesn’t mean that the broker has seen the lifts they are selling to you. When choosing to deal with a broker, consider the location of the broker in relation to the equipment you are going to purchase from them. A broker that buys from a local wholesaler is more likely to have seen their product than one who is five states away. In some ways, the distance can create a game of “forklift telephone.”

Now that you have some tips on buying used equipment, let our experienced sales team at Greyson Equipment answer any questions you have during your truck search and purchase. Just contact us here to get started.


3 Need-to-Knows for 1st Time Forklift Buyers

Your product is moving so fast that you can’t keep up. You’ve noticed that what was once a small outbuilding of 8 to 10 pallets has grown in a full-blown warehouse. Solution? You need a forklift, but where do you start?

Before you decide to go out and look for a lift, make sure that you consider 3 things: your facility, your product, and your environment.

YOUR FACILITY.  If a buyer doesn’t take the time to know the measurements of their facility, they might find that their new truck isn’t the right fit. Make sure you have measurements for the following:

      1. Door height and width. Often, we are too busy thinking about how to operate the lift within the confines of the building and not thinking about getting the lift in and out of it. Knowing the width and height of your doors will ensure that when your truck arrives, it can go where it needs to. This includes knowing the standard size of freight trucks you might be loading. 
      2. Rack height.  This one can be a little tricky. If you’ve put in new racking and you know that new racking stands 188” at the top shelf, you might be tempted to buy a lift that has a 188” fully-raised mast.  Remember, your product is sitting on top of that 188 inches, so you want a lift that can go beyond your tallest racking.
      3. Aisle width.  Knowing your aisle width will help you determine what kind of truck you need.  If you have 12-foot aisles, you may get the most use out of a 4-wheel, sit-down forklift. But, if your aisles are narrower than 12 feet, you might consider another option such as a reach truck or order picker.

YOUR MATERIAL. The second need-to-know when deciding what kind of lift to purchase is your needs when it comes to the heavy lifting. Asking yourself the following questions can help you determine the specs of the lift you need.

      1. What is the heaviest load you have in your warehouse? Knowing how much your product weighs helps you determine what capacity your truck needs to be able to handle.
      2. What are the dimensions of the material you’ll be handling? When you know the dimensions (width, length, height) of your product, you can choose a lift that will securely handle any product in your warehouse.
      3. How often will you be using the truck? Will you be running this equipment for full shifts? Or, do you only intend to use it a few hours a day or once or twice a week? This question helps you determine which option is most cost effective in the long run.

YOUR ENVIRONMENT. Lastly, you need to consider where you and your equipment will be working. Are you going to be inside all of the time? Primarily outside? Is your workload split between the two? The environment you will be running your equipment in is a large factor in deciding what fuel and tire you want your lift to use.

      1. Indoor. When running equipment indoors, LP (liquid propane) and electric trucks are most common. Electric trucks are emission-free and can handle tighter spaces than most LP trucks. Beyond fuel type, tires are an important consideration. For indoor use, consider cushion tires. They work best on smooth surfaces and help with handling in smaller spaces because of their smaller turn radius.
      2. Outdoor. If you are going to run your lift outside, you will more likely want a truck that runs on LP, compressed natural gas, or diesel. Again, tire consideration is a big factor here. Pneumatic tires are recommended for outdoor use. They are more versatile than cushion tires because they grip uneven surfaces and aren’t hindered in most weather conditions.
      3. 50/50 Split.  In an indoor/outdoor warehouse, choose the more versatile tire. Pneumatics are always preferred if you know you will be running in and out. The bigger consideration in this case is your fuel type. Liquid propane is preferred, as diesel equipment should never be run indoors for an extended period of time.

        **A NOTE ON TIRES: When purchasing a lift, remember that cushion tires can’t be replaced with pneumatic tires later. Tires are specific to the truck.

Purchasing the best lift for your facility can be complicated. There are different factors that come into play for every owner. This article is just to get you started. You’re sure to have more questions.

Our experienced sales team at Greyson Equipment can help you through every step of your truck search and purchase. Just contact us here to get started.