How to Inspect Used Forklifts for Sale


When you need a good forklift to keep your worksite or warehouse functioning, you know you can realize significant savings by looking at used forklifts for sale. But how do you know whether the forklift you’re considering is a great deal or a serious lemon? One way to find out is by doing a thorough inspection of the used equipment for sale. Here are some insights and tips of what to check in the process:


How to Inspect Used Forklifts for Sale

  1. Start out by doing a basic walk-around if possible, or look at pictures from multiple angles. Are the mast, frame, forks and canopy in good repair or do they have issues with cracks, bends or poorly-welded repairs? Are the fork heels about the same depth as the upright shafts or have they been worn down? Is there any fluid on the ground underneath the forklift that could indicate leaking fluids, whether from the engine compartment or the hydraulics? Is the cab in good repair or has it been abused, potentially compromising safe operations?
  2. Inspect the lifting system. This includes the mast, rails, lift chains, cylinders and hydraulic system. Are there any leaks? Is the mast able to extend fully? Can it be moved in all the directions it should be able to? Are the chains and rails in good repair or worn? Is enough pressure going through the hydraulic system to allow it to operate properly?
  3. Duck under the hood. What shape is the engine compartment in? Does the forklift start easily or does it need significant cranking time, suggesting a battery or engine issue? Are the fluids in good condition or are there metal filings, debris or other pollutants in the reservoirs that can shorten the expected lifespan of the equipment? Check any belts or hoses for dry rot or signs of degradation.
  4. Take a solid look at the cab and try out all the features. Beyond simply figuring out whether they work or not, try to determine whether the forklift has a reasonable amount of wear for the hours on the meter. If the cab is excessively abused or the controls show signs of excessive wear, either the forklift has been abused as a whole or the meter has been manipulated to show a lower number of hours. In either situation, you’ll want a solid explanation of this occurrence before making a decision to purchase.
  5. Check the paperwork. With the economy still in recovery mode and construction financing being harder to obtain, many businesses are using their equipment to obtain loans or secure financing for projects that are being completed. You’ll want to make sure the business has the legal right to sell the equipment in the first place without legal and financial encumbrances from a bank or other finance company. Another item to check for is whether there is a lien on the property, which in some locations can be extended to equipment.

By following these simple inspection steps, you can ensure that purchasing used forklifts for sale can ensure you’ll get quality used machinery that will provide you with exceptional service for years to come. If you’re ready to look at what’s available, take a look at our online equipment auctions to see what would work for your business. At, we only deal in used equipment, ensuring you’re getting the information you need before the auction is done.


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