Understanding the Pros and Cons of Purchasing a Used Forklift

Atlantic Coast Toyotalift can help you decide if a used forklift is right for your needs.

Photograph of used forklift for sale in Winston-Salem

Whether you're in the market for a new or used forklift , or just looking to rent or lease one, ACT is your one-stop resource. With ACT Forklift, you don't have to determine your project needs for yourself. As soon as you call or come in, we can assess your needs through a series of questions about your particular need. It's our way of creating a personal relationship with you; offering service before, during and after the sale or lease of our equipment.

Because ACT is all about providing business solutions, we'll help determine your best approach to the job facing you. And while used forklifts can be ideal for many jobs, even on the same level with new forklifts if kept well maintained, we'll first want to make sure a forklift is actually the best equipment for the type of project you're tackling.

Consider these things before purchasing a used forklift.

  • What is the nature of your material handling need?
  • What kind of materials will you be lifting?
  • How much weight will you be lifting?
  • What estimated height will you be lifting to?
  • Where and what kind of surface are you working from?
  • How many hours will the equipment be used on an average week?
  • How wide is your most narrow aisle?
  • What is the lowest clearance area the equipment must travel through?

Through the answers to these and other questions we can help you better assess the complexities of your material handling need, which in turn helps us to steer you towards the best, most economical choices.

What would make purchasing a used forklift a wise choice?

Let's get the most obvious benefit out of the way: a used forklift is significantly less expensive than a new forklift. So you would definitely want to consider that in a choice between purchasing a new or used one. Going further, the option of purchasing a used forklift has its own pros and cons. Based on the above questions, here are some things to consider: if the nature of the work is relatively rugged, and the work encompassing many hours a day, you may need to consider the durability of a used forklift. Some used forklifts are remarkably well-maintained, and those lifts may be able to sustain rugged work for an extended period of time. But some used forklifts would not hold up under consistently harsh working elements. In contrast, under less-intense workload conditions, a used forklift could prove ideal. And again, ACT Forklift is able and ready to help you make those distinctions.

When is purchasing a used forklift an unwise decision?

As mentioned above, if the job is on the heavy side, then you need to really assess the durability of an older, or used forklift. Using an older forklift for heavy jobs could result in more wear and tear, high maintenance costs and repairs, and possibly even complete breakdowns. Fortunately, ACT offers warranties on our new and used equipment purchases, so you will have some peace of mind there. But also, being partnered with our customers keeps the confusion and potential equipment misuse out of the equation. Our clear communication and conversation with you will allow us to determine the right material handling equipment for your particular job, and eliminate the uninformed purchase of under-performing equipment.

Quick tips to keep in mind when considering a used forklift.

If you are looking at a used forklift, without the expert on-hand benefit of an ACT professional, be sure to do a thorough, in-person examination of the lift. You need to be sure you're looking at a well-maintained machine and that will involve looking in areas that aren't depicted in pictures alone. Write down the model and brand of the forklift you are considering purchasing so you can research its reviews and potential issues. If it's an older model, no longer in production, you may have a harder time with maintenance and service on it, especially if you end up needing replacement parts. Is it an internal combustion forklift, or an electric forklift? Do you know which one would be best for you? If you choose to talk to an ACT professional, you will enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that all of these areas will be addressed and your needs will be met, as well as the needs of the forklift that you purchase from us. We offer service after the sale and a warranty agreement, even on used forklifts, and part of that service involves regular maintenance check-ups of all equipment acquired from us. Below is a Gold Level used forklift preparation checklist for both types of used forklifts we carry - internal combustion and electric:

Used Equipment Gold Level Prep Checklist for Internal Combustion Forklift

Warranty – 45 day full, 180 day power train

  • Drain engine oil, inspect, and replace with new oil, and replace engine oil filter.
  • Replace air filter.
  • Inspect engine performance at idle and while accelerating and adjust accordingly.
  • Inspect fuel system for fuel leakage.
  • Inspect fan belt tension, looseness and damage, and replace if necessary.
  • Inspect transmission operating mechanism function and looseness.
  • Inspect power steering for oil leak and looseness of mounting and linkage.
  • Inspect for damage of power steering hose.
  • Inspect parking brake operating force, and adjust tension, if needed.
  • Inspect brake reservoir tank for leak, flush brake system with new fluid.
  • Inspect mast channels and carriage for deformation and damage of each part and for cracks at welds.
  • Inspect chains for tension, deformation and damage.
  • Inspect hydraulic cylinder operation and check for oil leaks and damage. Inspect hydraulic tank for leak.
  • Inspect wiring harness for damage and condition of fuse.
  • Inspect safety equipment to verify it meets OSHA requirements.
  • Inspect tires for cuts, damage, uneven wearing, and proper air pressure. Replace tires to customer order type.
  • Inspect tires for loose rim and hub nuts and tighten.
  • Replace spark plugs / plug wires and adjust ignition timing, if needed.
  • Replace distributor cap and distributor rotor, if needed.
  • Use LPG regulator rebuild kit, if needed (over 3,000 hours since last rebuild).
  • Replace PCV valve, if applicable.
  • Inspect transmission and differential for leaks. Drain and refill transmission and differential.
  • Inspect rollers for wear, damage and rotating condition.
  • Inspect side shift slides and replace as needed.
  • Flush cooling system and refill with fresh coolant. Check radiator hoses for degradation.
  • Inspect brake drum wear and damage.
  • Inspect brake shoe operating condition.
  • Adjust brake shoe clearance to drum.
  • Drain hydraulic tank and clean strainer.
  • Replace hydraulic oil filter and hydraulic oil.
  • Verify equipment has the owner’s manual as well as accurate and readable manufacturer data tag.

Used Equipment Gold Level Prep Checklist for Electric Forklift

Warranty – 45 day full, 180 day power train, 180 day battery warranty

  • Inspect transmission operating mechanism function and looseness.
  • Inspect differential for leaks, drain and refill differential.
  • Inspect electric motor brushes and replace as needed.
  • Inspect power steering for oil leak and looseness of mounting and linkage.
  • Inspect for damage of power steering hose.
  • Inspect brake reservoir tank for leak, flush brake system with new fluid.
  • Inspect mast channels and carriage for deformation and damage of each part and for cracks at welds.
  • Inspect chains for tension, deformation and damage.
  • Inspect hydraulic cylinder operation and check for oil leaks and damage.
  • Inspect hydraulic tank for leak.
  • Inspect wiring harness for damage and condition of fuse.
  • Inspect safety equipment to verify it meets OSHA requirements.
  • Inspect tires for cuts, damage, uneven wearing, and proper air pressure.
  • Inspect tires for loose rim and hub nuts and tighten.
  • Inspect side shift slides and replace as needed.
  • Inspect transmission and differential for leaks.
  • Drain and refill transmission and differential, if needed.
  • Inspect mast and carriage rollers for wear, damage and rotating condition.
  • Replace transmission oil filter.
  • Inspect brake drum wear and damage.
  • Inspect brake shoe operating condition.
  • Adjust parking brake cable tension.
  • Adjust brake shoe clearance to drum.
  • Drain hydraulic tank and clean strainer.
  • Replace hydraulic oil filter and hydraulic oil, if needed.
  • Replace tires to customer order type. If non-marking tires, verify and add static strap as needed.
  • Verify equipment has the owner’s manual as well as accurate and readable manufacturer data tag.
  • On battery powered equipment, if used battery is included in sale, recondition battery including new cables, connector, paint, acid adjustment, and testing.
  • On battery powered equipment, if used charger is included in the sale, set voltage to match customer input voltage, test charger for proper operation.

Communication gets the job done right.

With ACT, you can rest assured that your forklift purchase will be assessed through our clear communication with you. We'd be happy to visit your site to make this decision alongside you, again based on your particular needs and at the most affordable price. As a Toyota forklift dealer, as well as a forklift dealer for many other name brands, we have access to a large network of forklifts and other equipment. This means that even if you need a very specific piece of equipment, from lift trucks to floor scrubbers, we can find it for you. That's what makes ACT stand out among the rest and we want to share that distinction with you.

Give the experienced pros at Atlantic Coast Toyotalift a call today or click here to use our contact form. Or visit us at one of our convenient locations listed below, or online, where you'll find a complete section on ACT forklift products and much more.

Atlantic Coast ToyotaLift
Winston-Salem, NC

355 Business Park Dr.
Winston-Salem, NC 27107

Phone: (856) 611-0366

Atlantic Coast ToyotaLift
Wilmington, NC

3001 Boundary St.
Wilmington, NC 28405

Phone: (856) 611-0366

Atlantic Coast ToyotaLift
Roanoke, VA

1301 Rockland Ave. NW Suite 100
Roanoke, VA 24012

Phone: (800) 849-5438

ACT Construction Equipment
Asheville, NC

103 Westside Drive
Asheville NC 28806

Phone: (800) 462-2447

ACT Construction Equipment
Charlotte, NC

10925 Metromont Pkwy
Charlotte, NC 28269

Phone: (800) 462-2447

ACT Construction Equipment
Raleigh, NC

31 Sadisco Road
Clayton, NC 27520

Phone: (800) 462-2447