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Used Forklifts Tips – Buying Guide |  Avoid Buying A Lemon: Part 1

Filed under: Used Forklifts

This is part one of our used forklifts buying guide; in this series we will provide you with some basic tips and advice when your looking to purchase a used/secondhand forklift.

no lemon

When looking for a used/secondhand forklift, at the beginning you may think it’s a matter of picking a forklift, inspecting and buying it and that’s all. However there is more to it, and it may start to become a little overwhelming.

We will start by breaking down each key stage of the process to make it simple, time efficient and risk free. In turn, it will assist you in buying a forklift that will last without facing those extra costs. The series will cover stages from the initial research right through to purchasing a used forklift and will touch on post purchase elements.

Currently on the used market, many forklifts look like they have seen their last days. So how can you tell which one is the diamond in the rough? There are reasons for and against purchasing a used forklift. Being in the right state of mind by being realistic with your expectations when in all stages of the buying cycle is essential. Below are several reasons for and against purchasing a used forklift.


  • Not used on a regular basis
  • Small Budget
  • Eliminates large depreciation expense faced within the first year or two of buying a new forklift (balance sheet)
  • Large selection of parts available (if not discontinued)
  • Variety of forklifts to compare and select from
  • Low cost of a used forklift will keep manufacturing costs low (balance sheet, selling price)
  • No regular payments of a lease/rental plan (assuming purchased)


  • Not a new forklift
  • Aesthetics
  • Will not include latest features/attachments
  • Won’t have the same level of safety as a new forklift does
  • More prone to breakdown/damage
  • Warranty near expiry/expired
  • Repairs may cost more


The research stage will vary from person to person according to your approach and how much knowledge you have about forklifts. If you are completely new to forklifts please read our previous forklift terminology blogs (blog link) as they will help you understand the basic forklift types, features and terms.

There are four steps to the research stage:

  • Learning the basics - Learning about basic forklift terminology.
  • Your Requirements – Create a detailed list of what you need in a used forklift.
  • Search - Use as many resources as possible (online, newspapers, trading posts, ect.).
  • Call – Call a dealer with a list of questions concerning the used forklift you believe is appropriate.

Next week we will look at the 4 stages of research in detail. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below. If you’d like to be the first to know about our new blog posts, subscribe now!

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Next entry: Used Forklifts Tips – Buying Guide | Research: Part 2

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