If you are in the market for a forklift for your commercial or industrial business, you might be thinking about buying used. As with many types of equipment sales, buying a used forklift can be a great way to get a quality piece of equipment for a fraction of the price. However, you have to be careful to ensure that you don't purchase a worn-out forklift that hasn't been properly cared for. Otherwise, you could end up spending a lot of money on repairs in the future. One thing that you will want to look out for is whether or not the forklift has been overloaded on a frequent basis, which can put unnecessary wear and tear on various parts of the equipment. These are a few things to look for to make this determination.
1. Damaged Forks
Some of the most important parts of a forklift are the forks themselves, so make sure that you give them a careful inspection before purchasing a used forklift. If the forks are bent, it could be a sign that the forklift has carried too-heavy loads. Minor bends can often be repaired but can be a red flag, so you'll want to look carefully at the age of the forklift when determining if this is acceptable; minor bends might not be a big deal on an older forklift that is reasonably priced, but you may want to avoid buying any newer-model forklift that has bent forks, even if the bending is minor. More serious bending or cracks are no-nos, and if you notice these issues with a used forklift that you are thinking about buying, you may want to move on to your next option.
2. Overly Worn Chains
Even though you might not expect for the chains on a used forklift to be shiny and new-looking, chains that are overly worn—especially in comparison to the age of the forklift—can be a sign that the equipment has not been properly cared for. For example, chains that are missing links or that have links that are bent could be an indication of overloading. In addition to looking for signs of overloading, you can also look for rust, which can be a sign that the forklift has not been kept out of the elements as it should have been. Even though replacing the chains might not seem like a big deal—and it often isn't—chains that are in excessively poor condition can be a sign of the overall condition of the forklift itself.
3. Bent Frame
A forklift with a bent frame should be looked at more closely. Frame damage can be difficult to repair and can be the sign of either overuse with overly heavy loads for the size of the forklift or collisions, both of which could be indicative of other issues with the equipment itself. It is smart to reconsider your decision to purchase a forklift with a bent frame, unless you are getting a really good deal on it and don't mind doing a bit of work to it.
Buying a used forklift can be a smart move for any commercial or industrial business, but it's important to be careful when doing so. Luckily, looking at these three things can help clue you in to potential overload-related problems.