About Us  |  Blog  |  My Account  |  Login

Forklift Buyer’s Guide

We’ve compiled a list of the best used forklift buying tips below.  Use these tips when purchasing your next used forklift as it just may save you time, energy and money!

• Verify that the weights or measurements that relate to your products or facility are accurate.  Never assume you know them.

• Have an experienced forklift professional survey your facility before asking for a recommendation.  Dealers and manufacturers offer a variety of forklift options that can benefit the owner, substantially reducing the total cost of ownership for the life of the truck and this can only occur with the proper evaluation.

• Don’t assume that you can replace your old forklift’s capacity with the same capacity in a newer forklift.  Gross chassis capacity is rarely the actual net lifting capacity at the forklift’s full lifting height, especially when an attachment is installed.  When you ask a dealer to bid on a 5,000 lb capacity forklift, the full lifting height capacity is usually less than 5,000 lbs.  The difference in some cases is significant.  Also, a truck’s rated capacity is affected when adding attachments to a forklift.  Only an experienced forklift professional can provide you with additional factors that can impact lift capacity.

• Before replacing your current equipment with a similar product, evaluate and consider new technology like electric forklifts.

• On every new or used lift truck acquisition, evaluate whether it is less expensive to rent forklifts long term (12 months or longer), lease or buy.

• Just because your staff is telling you they can’t keep using the forklifts they have, doesn’t mean you need to get another one.  An experienced and professional Forklift America consultant understands the specifications of the forklift truck and what’s appropriate for your application.  Our consultants can analyze your forklift fleet to help you determine the right mix and quantity of trucks to maximize productivity and give you the best possible return on investment.

• Stick with a good dealer.  The dealer who gets back to you quickly is one to keep.  When lift trucks go offline, you start losing money.  You should stick with dealers who are responsive and get fixes done quickly.

• Before buying a new or used forklift, you should understand your after-the-sale costs for items like labor rates, travel time, shop supplies, fuel surcharges, environmental waste oil and filter disposal charges, parts pricing, planned maintenance program details, operator and / or instructor training costs and short term rental costs. Also you should consider technician response time and their proximity to your location, after hours service policies, possible overtime charges that may apply, technician training and tools on board their van, dealership reputation, financial strength and their service invoicing system. Better to have the dealer’s commitment on the issues that are important to you before you sign on the dotted line.

• Track and control all forklift maintenance costs after the purchase. Paying attention to this aspect of cost control can save your company thousands of profit dollars.

• Take your time when selecting the right forklift that will be safe for all involved.  A forklift is only a glorified fulcrum or teeter totter.  An untrained operator driving the wrong forklift, handling loads that aren’t within the rated capacity is a recipe for disaster and the source of significant company liability.  Don’t let an accident resulting in injury or a fatality happen on your watch.