Top tips for buying a used forklift in Birmingham

Top tips for buying a used forklift in Birmingham

How can you tell which one is the diamond in the rough?

Top tips for buying a used forklift in Birmingham


The materials handling element of many businesses is essential to the productivity, efficiency and safety working practices. Whether you have just one forklift or an extensive fleet of different machines throughout your chain of production and distribution, having the right, reliable machine is imperative. 

If you have budget restrictions, the extensive market for used approved forklifts can offers machines that are cost-effective, reliable and fit for purpose – if you choose wisely. Below we offer some guidance notes to assist you when making your decision as nobody wants to buy a Lemon!  


1. Choose a suitable type of forklift. Knowing what you want.


In order to choose a suitable type of forklift truck, you generally need to ask yourself the following questions:

“What is the maximum weight the forklift will need to carry?”

“What are the maximum dimensions of the load that the forklift will need to carry?”

“What height do we need to lift to?”

“Are there any restrictions on site (low height door ways)?”

‘In what kind of environment will the forklift need to be used (indoors/outdoors)?”

 All forklifts have a capacity plate which illustrates the safe working load at the various lift height.  There are also types of forklift that work best for indoor use, for example electric trucks; however, if you need a combination of indoor and outdoor use then an LPG truck might be more suitable.


2. Choose a reliable source to buy your used forklift: Buy Cheap Buy Twice!


The market for used forklifts is extensive with a wide variety of different types of sellers. There is a myriad of equipment available on internet sites like eBay – sometimes at tempting prices. Our experience on these matters is that you pay for what you get!

 Our advice is to buy from a reputable forklift truck dealer. A dealer is a more reliable source as they will be able to tell you the exact history and specification of the machine and will be knowledgeable to answer any questions you may have about whether the machine will be suitable for your business. 

 Furthermore forklift dealers can carry offer demonstrations of the truck (try before you buy), they can provide LOLER Certification and warranty – something that wouldn’t necessarily be available from a private seller.


3. Inspect the forklift, don’t be afraid to have a good look around.


A forklift is only as good as the sum of its parts. A trusted dealer should always tell you if any part of the machine is damaged or in need of repair, however, it is useful to know yourself what to look out for. It’s not just the large features such as the counterweight, frame and mast that should be inspected, you should also make sure the seatbelt, horn, lights and pedals inside the cab are functioning correctly too.

It’s also important to check the tyres of the forklift, as this will largely tell you a lot about the overall condition of the truck. Uneven wear of tyres is often a sign of axle misalignment and generally bad tyres spell out problems in the not too distant future.


4. Take the forklift for a road test


If you have carried out all the due diligence above, then the final step is to take your used forklift for a test drive. Providing that you are buying from a reputable seller, they should be more than happy for you to do so. If it will be a colleague who will be driving the machine, then perhaps it would be more suitable for them to carry out the test drive to ensure that they are happy and comfortable driving it. A good exercise to carry out during a test drive is to steer it through a tight figure of eight pattern in both forward and reverse gears; this will check the steering wheels response and tracking too.


To view our range of used trucks available to purchase, CLICK HERE


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