There’s absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a used forklift – if you do it correctly. Don’t be
a sucker and fall prey to dealers looking for fast money. Instead, do your homework so you’re
prepared to buy the best used forklift for your company.
Let’s be honest: this is the number one factor in why someone would buy a used forklift. Like
any product, new models are more efficient, powerful, etc. However, used forklifts can provide a
valuable resource to your company – if it’s the right price.
Before going to a dealer or auction, do some research. Understand the type of forklift you need
and compare some prices. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. The more knowledge you have coming
into a potential deal, the better off you’ll be when it comes to purchasing that perfect used
The following three topics can greatly impact the cost.
Forklift Wear and Tear
Yes, you want to buy a used forklift. But how used is it? Be sure to see how many hours it has
been used. While proper maintenance and service can extend the life of a forklift, they still do
have a life expectancy. No sense in buying a piece of equipment that is on its last legs.
The first thing to check is the frame because every other forklift part is reliant on a sturdy frame.
Does it show physical damage? What about rust? New brakes, tires, and forks don’t mean
anything if the frame is faulty.
Speaking of wheels and tires, be sure to inspect them. Do you need pneumatic tires or cushion
tires? How’s the tread on them? If you have to purchase new tires within a month of buying the
used forklift, you may not have received a great deal after all.
The same goes for forklift attachments and extensions. The reason you’re purchasing a lift truck
is to, well, lift stuff! Check for cracks in forks, dents, bends and more. If the attachments can’t
perform up to standard, that’s more money you’ll have to spend in the near future.
Whatever you do, DO NOT purchase a used forklift without first inspecting the brakes, steering
and engine. These three are some of the most costly fixes. In fact, if you have to replace all
three, you could actually spend more money than the entire forklift! If you’re working with a
reputable dealer, they will gladly let you test drive the equipment.
Expected Forklift Usage
Buying a forklift is a business investment. Don’t expect a used forklift to last you 20 years – that’s
just not plausible.
The best way to approach this is to understand how long you need the forklift to last. Do some
research and see how long certain models last (with proper maintenance and service). If the
forklift you’re looking at has already exceeded that time frame, it’s probably not wise to think it
has five years left in it.
Also, keep in mind your daily lift truck usage. Understand that if you plan on using the
equipment for eight hours per day, the life expectancy is going to come up much quicker than if
you only used it sparingly throughout a day.
Finally, where do you need the forklift to operate? Indoors, outdoors, perhaps both? Will it be
traveling across rugged terrain or mostly flat surfaces? Will rain and other precipitation affect
your equipment? These factors can impact the life expectancy of a used forklift.
Forklift Financing and Warranty Options
Certified dealers (seems to be a common theme) usually offer financing and warranty options
for used forklifts. Financing is valuable, but be wary of high-interest rates and other
cash-grabs. Warranties are also important because dealers must stand behind the products
they’re offering. Again, used forklifts can be extremely valuable and last long with proper
maintenance and service. Many dealers keep track of regular service appointments and can tell
prospective buyers how often a piece of equipment has been serviced.
There aren’t many car services that are more appreciated that roadside assistance. Think about it: if you break down, how can you get your vehicle to a shop to get it fixed? Towing costs are expensive, and you don’t dare drive.
What about house call doctors? They let you stay in the comfort of your own home and provide treatment and medicine to get you back on your feet.
The team at Sunbelt Industrial Trucks consisted of certified technicians and more, aims to do the same when it comes to forklift parts and service. How many forklift companies in the Dallas area can say the same? (hint: not many!)
On-Site Forklift Repair & Service
Do not continue to use a forklift or other industrial equipment that needs repair or service! Doing so can result in employee injury, inventory damage, and much more.
Instead, call your “roadside assistance.” That’s right. Sunbelt will come directly to you to inspect and document any equipment that needs repair. Then, our technicians will provide efficient forklift maintenance right in front of you. We’ll give you the green light to keep working as soon as possible.
Emergency forklift repairs help you meet strict deadlines. Rather than wait for your dealer or national service provider (who can take weeks), give Sunbelt a call.
On-Site Forklift Parts Delivery
Our inventory of forklift parts holds over $1 million worth of products. Sunbelt provides OEM forklift parts, meaning we have parts for every major brand, make and model! Our prices are the best in Dallas, as is our customer service team. They’ll help you decide which part is perfect for your needs to keep your equipment running smooth.
Even better? We provide on-site delivery and bring the forklift parts directly to you! Whether you’re at your warehouse, at home, or on the job elsewhere, Sunbelt wastes no time to ensure you can get the job done as efficiently as possible.
Sunbelt provides on-site delivery of OEM forklift parts and forklift repair service to not only Dallas, but also most of Northeast Texas, including:
- Fort Worth
Not sure if we service your area? Give us a call! Chances are that our technicians can make it to your place of work today!
Quit waiting for your national supplier of parts who can take weeks to deliver a part. Instead, choose a local Texas forklift parts and service supplier. Choose Sunbelt!
It’s no secret that buying a forklift is an important investment for any business. Here at Sunbelt Industrial Trucks, we like to educate our customers as much as possible prior to their purchase. Here are some of the most common questions we’ve been asked, along with their answers!
Should I buy a used forklift or a new forklift?
This is probably the most frequent question we get asked. In short, it depends on your usage rates. If you plan on using the forklift all day, every day, it’s best to go with a brand new forklift. If your lifting needs only call for an hour or two a day, choosing a quality used forklift is your best option.
Your budget also comes into play. While purchasing a new forklift presents a larger upfront cost, it actually can save you money long-term with proper maintenance. On the other hand, if you only plan on needing a forklift for a year or two, a used lift truck will do just fine.
Here is an entire blog post on things to keep in mind when choosing a used forklift.
Should I rent a forklift or buy a forklift?
Ah, the second-most asked question we get. This, like the answer above, depends on usage rate. Will you use it enough to get your money’s worth?
Like any product rental or purchase decision, you have to seriously plan for the future. Don’t tell yourself “Well, if we buy it, we’ll definitely use it.” And then it sits in the corner collecting dust for the next year…
Instead, figure out how often you will need to use the forklift. Do you plan on expanding your inventory or adding new products to your warehouse? If so, purchasing the forklift is definitely a viable option.
If you only need a forklift for a limited time – let’s say a few weeks, renting is your best bet. Just be careful – renting a forklift for a week 10 times during a year (less than once a month) could be more expensive than buying the equipment!
How much does it cost to maintain a forklift?
Like any other piece of heavy equipment, you can expect to spend money on forklift maintenance. Like cars, forklift tires, batteries and more don’t last forever!
Depending on the forklift dealer, you may have a few options when it comes to maintenance. Some dealers offer included maintenance, which is either figured into the sale cost or billed monthly. Another option could be scheduled maintenance appointments, which is like the sticker you get after an oil change with your car. These are suggestions, not commitments, on when to get your forklift serviced.
Other expenses could be lights, fuel, battery charger, tools for simple DIY fixes, oil changes, and more.
The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to forklift maintenance? Regular service will keep your machine running longer and more efficiently. Neglecting maintenance can lead to buying a new forklift, inventory damage, and employee injury.
What forklift attachments do I need?
Forklift forks, buckets, lifting beams, hooks, booms, buckets, clamps, rotators… Don’t feel embarrassed if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of forklift attachment options.
Choosing a forklift extension or attachment depends on what you need to move, and where you need to move it. There are different attachments made specifically to achieve each task.
Whether you need to move 500 pounds across your warehouse or lift 200 pounds 30 feet in the air, our experts can help. Contact us and we’ll help you decide which forklift attachment is perfect for you.
How do I choose which type of forklift tires I need?
The two most basic types of forklift tires are pneumatic tires and cushion tires. Think of these in terms of car tires: cushion tires are like basic tires while pneumatic tires are like all-season or winter tires.
Cushion tires are actually solid rubber, meaning they are not air-filled. These are best for indoor use, especially indoor facilities with smooth, even flooring. Forklift operators enjoy increased maneuverability and find it easier to navigate tight spaces with cushion tires.
Pneumatic tires are air-filled tires, designed to perform on nearly any terrain. Forklifts with pneumatic tires are suitable for outdoor use. They are able to navigate across gravel, cement, grass and more. There are even solid pneumatic tires for environments that could lead to wheel punctures.
Should I buy a gas or electric forklift?
There are advantages and disadvantages for each of these options.
Gas Forklift Advantages:
- Cheaper upfront cost
- Ability to use almost non-stop
- Lift efficiency is greater
Gas Forklift Disadvantages:
- Gas isn’t cheap!
- High maintenance costs
- Emissions can be harmful in tight spaces
Electric Forklift Advantages:
- Charging costs less than fuel
- Eco-friendly with little to no emissions
- Quiet and efficient in the warehouse
Electric Forklift Disadvantages:
- Larger upfront cost
- Forklifts must be charged and cannot be used during charging
- Not ideal for extreme outdoor use
Does it matter where I buy my forklift from?
Would you trust Joey Bag Of Donuts to sell you a car? Then why would you trust him to sell you a forklift?!
First off, find a forklift dealer who can answer the questions in this article. Did they talk about their general maintenance schedule and help you choose the right attachments? Or did they simply try to sell you the newest forklift on the lot for the most money?
There are many certifications and training classes forklift dealers can undergo to prove their value to customers. They can even become a certified dealer for a specific brand or brands, meaning their team has great experience working with that specific manufacturer.
Be sure to ask about their customer support and service levels. Will they be available 24/7? Forklift issues can occur at any time and you need a dealer who will be there to support you.
Some forklift dealers offer financing options to help customers afford the equipment they need. An extra step like this can go a long way when a customer is making a buying decision.