Buying a used forklift requires careful consideration to ensure you're getting a reliable and suitable machine for your needs. Here's a checklist to guide you through the process:

1. Determine Your Requirements:

  • Identify the type and capacity of forklift you need.
  • Consider the maximum lifting height and load capacity requirements.

2. Inspect the Forklift's Overall Condition:

  • Check for visible signs of damage, rust, or excessive wear.
  • Examine the tires for wear and tear.
  • Check under the forklift for leaks of engine oil or hydraulic fluid

3. Review Maintenance Records:

  • Request maintenance and service records to assess how well the forklift has been maintained.
  • Look for regular servicing and any major repairs.

4. Check the Forklift's Hours of Operation:

  • Similar to a car's mileage, the number of operating hours gives an indication of usage.
  • Low hours don't always guarantee good condition, but it can be a positive factor.

5. Inspect the Forks and Mast:

  • Check the condition of the forks for any bending or wear.
  • Inspect the mast for smooth operation, making sure it doesn't bind or jerk.

6. Test the Controls and Hydraulics:

  • Operate all controls to ensure smooth and responsive handling.
  • Check hydraulic systems for leaks and proper functioning.

7. Examine the Engine and Transmission:

  • Check for leaks, unusual noises, or exhaust smoke.
  • Test the transmission through all gears.

8. Verify Safety Features:

  • Ensure that safety features like lights, horns, and seatbelts are functioning properly.
  • Check for a valid safety inspection certificate.

9. Evaluate the Battery (if electric):

  • For electric forklifts, inspect the condition and performance of the battery.
  • Check for proper charging and any history of battery replacements.

10. Consider the Manufacturer and Model:

  • Research the reputation of the forklift's manufacturer.
  • Check the availability of replacement parts for the specific model.

11. Test Drive the Forklift:

  • If possible, take the forklift for a test drive to assess its performance.
  • Pay attention to acceleration, braking, and steering.
  • Ensure you check the parking brake on an incline.

12. Verify Legal Compliance:

  • Ensure the forklift complies with local safety and emissions regulations.
  • Check if the forklift has a valid inspection or certification.

13. Negotiate Price and Warranty:

  • Negotiate the price based on the forklift's condition and market value.
  • Inquire about any available warranty or return policy.

14. Get a Professional Inspection:

  • Consider hiring a certified forklift technician to conduct a thorough inspection.
  • Their expertise can identify potential issues that may not be apparent during a regular inspection.

15. Research Resale Value:

  • Consider the resale value of the forklift for future transactions.

Remember that buying a used forklift involves a balance between cost and reliability. Taking the time to thoroughly inspect the equipment and gathering relevant information can help you make an informed decision. At Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales we take all these factors into consideration when buying forklifts for our use or for resale. Click on the photo below to shop forklifts. 


Forklift Machinery