Should You Buy A Used Forklift?


forklift equipment


Should You Buy a Used Forklift? The quick answer is "Yes." Buying a used forklift can be a very wise move if you are on a tighter budget as long as you do your homework and make sure you are getting a quality vehicle. If you don't need to use your forklift often and if you are committed to doing all that you can to save the environment, then buying used could be a good choice for you. You can get a lot of "bang for your buck" when you purchase used, especially if you go to a dealer that has carefully inspected and certified their vehicles and will offer you a warranty to ease your mind. If you are looking for a high quality, warrantied used forklift, contact Wayco today.


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Things to Look For In a Used Forklift


Used Forklift


You don't have to be nervous about buying a used forklift, especially if you know what to look for and what questions to ask to make sure that you are getting a good quality vehicle that still has a lot of hours of operation left in it. The following is a list of areas that you should inspect before purchasing used.

Inspect the Forks

The forks of a forklift are a key component; you want to make sure that they are sturdy and can handle the types of loads that they are required to carry. Things to look for when you are inspecting the forks are:

  • Cracks: Large deep cracks in the forks could make it unsafe for the forklift to lift a load at full capacity. Cracks can be a sign that the forklift was overloaded.
  • Bends: Bends can also be a sign of overloading. If the bend is minor, you could have the forks straightened, but be wary of major bends.
  • Fork Heels Wearing: Take a look at the fork heels to see if they are showing signs of wear. The fork heel should be about the same thickness as the upright fork shank. The fork shank is the part that is attached to the hanger.forklift forks


Check for cracks or bends in the forks

Inspect the Mast

The mast is the vertical assembly on the front of the forklift that does the actual lifting, lowering, and tilting of your load. It is also called an "upright".

When inspecting the mast, take a look at the following:

  • Mast Rails: Make sure that there are no cracks or welds in the mast rails.
  • Mast Rollers: Make sure that there isn't excessive wear on the mast rollers. If they are worn, then they will be more of a compressed oval shape instead of being round.
  • Lift Chains: Take a look at the lift chains to make sure that are no damaged or missing links and anchor pins. Check that the tension on the chains is equal as well.
  • Hoses: Look to see if there is any sign of leaking hydraulic fluid on the hoses that run parallel to the chains.


Check that the chains are not damaged


Inspect the Body and Frame

It is a good idea to take a closer look at the actual body and frame of the forklift by taking a walk around it and looking for any signs of damage.

  • Canopy: The canopy is the framed structure that surrounds the operator. Make sure that there are no bends or damage to the supports of this frame that would lessen its effectiveness in protecting the operator if there is a rollover or if the load is dropped.
  • Cab: If the forklift has windows, make sure that none are broken or missing.
  • Chassis: Look to see if there are any welds, cracks, or signs of modifications to the chassis.
  • Tires: Make sure that the tires are not missing any lug nuts and that they don't have any chunks of rubber missing on them.


forklift tires


Make sure the tires are not missing chunks of rubber

Inspecting the Cab

For this next part of the inspection, get into the cab itself and test out the different features to make sure they are working properly.

  • Seat and Seatbelt: Sit in the seat and make sure that the seatbelt fastens properly and that there are no signs of excessive wear. Move around in the seat to ensure that it is securely fastened to the floor.
  • Engine: Start the engine and listen for any unusual noises.
  • Hydraulic Levers: Try lifting and lowering the loading arms through its various positions to make sure that they are operating smoothly.
  • Test Drive: Start to drive the forklift forwards and backwards and in circular patterns, making various stops and starts to determine how well it steers and if the brakes are functioning properly.
  • Control: Test out all of the other controls in the cab to make sure that they are working properly too. Make sure that the rear back up alarm is working as well as the floodlights if that model has them installed.


Pneumatic Cushion Forklift


Take the forklift for a test drive to see how it steers

Inspect Under the Hood

After you have driven the forklift, turn it off and lift up the engine compartment and take a look inside.

  • Hoses: Make sure there are no leaks, dirt buildup, or cracks on the hoses in the engine.
  • Oil: Pull out the dipstick and check the level of the oil as well as the colour.
  • Belts: Look to see that the belts are tight and not cracked or worn out.
  • Filter: Make sure that the air filter is clean.
  • Battery: If you are looking at an electric forklift, inspect all of the battery connections to see that they are in good condition.
  • Propane: If the forklift is propane, take a look at the tank brackets and bolts to make sure that they are in good shape.


Pneumatic Cushion Forklift


Take a look under the hood and check the oil

Questions to Ask before Buying a Used Forklift

Is there a warranty and what does it cover?

When buying a used forklift, you will have greater piece of mind if it comes with a warranty. Make sure you find out exactly what the warranty covers and if the vehicle has any of the manufacturer's warranty left on it.

Forklift license in Ontario


Find out the maximum load capacity before purchasing


What is the work capacity of the forklift?

You can ask this question and take a look at the rating placard on the forklift to find out the maximum load capacity. It is strongly advised that you purchase a forklift that has a slightly higher load capacity than you think that you actually need. Find out what the maximum height of the forks is, as well as the weight and dimensions for the vehicle.


How much has the forklift been used?

When purchasing a used forklift it is important to find out how many hours it has been in use. The hours logged is similar to finding the mileage of a used car in that it will give you an idea of how much more life is left in the vehicle. There are several different hour meters on a forklift so be sure to read the traction or drive motor reading to get the reading that you want.


Can you tell me about the repair history?

Find out things like the amount of money they have spent on maintenance for the vehicle and the type of repairs that have been made. It is also good to know if spare parts are readily available and if they are expensive to purchase.

forklift inspections


Ask about the maintenance history of the used forklift

Why are you selling it?

If the seller simply wants to upgrade to a newer model then you may be getting a really good deal. If, however, they let you know that they have been having problems with the forklift then you probably want to avoid it.


Why Purchase a Used Forklift from Wayco

If you are looking for top quality forklifts, contact Wayco. We sell the best forklifts you can buy and our knowledgeable staff will be able to help you choose the perfect model that will best suit your particular applications. At Wayco, we purchase surplus equipment and we will accept your old forklift as a trade in. We also offer financing for both new and used forklift purchases. All of our pre-owned equipment is carefully inspected and certified with incredible warranties that will definitely ease your mind when you buy. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and we can even provide top-notch safety training for your operators. Contact Wayco today for all of your forklift needs.


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"I have used Wayco twice, and both times I experienced excellent customer service . They had the right forklift for my needs at a reasonable price. I will be using their services in the future and recommend you do as well." - Gabe Gartner

Read more testimonials here.



Wayco: For the Finest and Widest Range of Forklift Training in Ontario

If you are looking for the best and most effective forklift training in Ontario, contact Wayco today. Wayco offers national coverage, local service, and we train both individuals or groups at your facility or ours. Our training is so effective that we also have a 98% pass rate.

Our Safe Operation of a Lift Truck/Forklift Program is an excellent way for you to ensure forklift safety in your workplace. With our training you will experience:

  • Innovative training practices
  • Affordable pricing
  • Flexible and professional trainers
  • Comprehensive in-class and practical experience

Contact Wayco today to book your next session.