It is possible to save money on the purchase of a forklift by buying a used model, but it will be important to inspect the unit carefully to ensure it is in proper working order. Even after an inspection, buying a used electric forklift will not guarantee savings on overall costs, since used models are likely to have wear and tear that will eventually lead to necessary repairs. Before you go shopping for a used electric forklift, draw up a budget so you know how much you have to spend and how much you have set aside for potential repairs.
Decide how you will use the used electric forklift most often before committing to purchasing a specific model. Forklifts are generally rated by how much weight they can safely lift, as well as the maximum height of the lift, so be sure to take careful measurements in your warehouse or factory space so you know how high you need to lift pallets. Think about the maximum weight you will routinely load onto the lift as well; this average number may indicate that you need to consider a larger lift or a more powerful one that is gasoline or even diesel powered.
Think carefully about what style of used electric forklift will work best for you. Some forklifts take the form of a truck that the user can drive from a cab, while others feature a yoke or handle behind the machine, with the user walking behind the unit during operation. Each model is suitable for different purposes, and you will need to consider how narrow the aisles of your establishment are to figure out which lift will work best for you.
Always carefully inspect the used electric forklift for obvious signs of damage or neglect. Take note of any damage that will require immediate repairs, and ask the seller for records on past repairs or incidences involving the forklift. Whenever possible, test drive the forklift to ensure it starts quickly and easily, runs smoothly, and operates well. Raise and lower the used electric forklift blades, use all other functions, and if possible, lift a heavy pallet with the unit to test its function and durability. Take special note of the maneuverability of the unit as well; tighter storage spaces will require a forklift that can quickly and easily negotiate corners and tight spaces, so test the forklift around corners if possible.