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Used Forklifts Tips - How To Avoid Buying A Lemon Part 4: Sealing the Deal

Filed under: Used Forklifts

Welcome to our final post on “How to Avoid Buying a Lemon”. We hope you’ve found this series helpful so far and are following the steps to buy the best used forklift possible. Part four will contain some tips and tricks on the final stages of purchase and post purchase maintenance of your used forklift. Today’s post will be divided into specific sections including:

  • Trade-In/Disposal
  • Servicing
  • Warranty
  • Contract and Purchase
  • Post Purchase Maintenance

To set you and your used forklift up for the future, you can’t just purchase it and expect everything to be done and dusted. You need to dispose of your old forklift (if applicable), organise a servicing plan & ensure a warranty is in place. The main aim of buying a used forklift is to save money, not to pay additional costs after purchasing it.

Trade In/Disposal

trading in a used forklift

If you have an existing machine you should look into your disposal options before you purchase your new unit.  Ideally discuss it with your forklift dealer and see if there is a trade in option, and whether it is in fact worth trading in or if it’s worth a little extra work to sell yourself. Additionally if your forklift can’t be traded in and is ready to be scraped, it wouldn’t hurt to ask if your forklift dealer can dispose of your old forklift for you when they drop off your new one.


Although your new forklift might currently be up to your standards, just because you haven’t got a lemon now doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t turn into one. Without the proper servicing and care your forklift will break down and unexpected costs may arise, such as:

  • Repairs
  • Maintenance
  • Loss of revenue (MIA)

It is advisable to have a forklift service plan in place to avoid these extra costs. When deciding on a service plan, do prior research to ensure you’re spending your money wisely. Look at a few different companies and plans to see what their servicing includes and what it costs. When purchasing a used forklift the dealer may offer a special discount on a servicing plan.


When dealing with warranties, it is always essential to know what you’re covered for. Be sure you are aware of what you are and aren’t covered for under your warranty, and it doesn’t hurt to ask about things that may not be covered.

Contract and Purchase

Once you have found the right machine and you’ve made your decision to purchase, before signing off make sure you double check it thoroughly. You need to ensure:

  • You agree with the whole contract
  • The specifications of the machine is correct
  • Everything agreed upon is included and nothing unusual has been added
  • You’ve read all the terms and conditions
  • You’ve checked the return policy/procedures

Post Purchase Maintenance

In addition to a the recommended service intervals performed by your mechanic, to reduce your servicing and repair costs, there are a few additional measures you can undertake regularly yourself to ensure your forklift is in good condition. Self maintenance of your machine is very important and regularly overlooked.  Most of the time common sense will prevail when it comes to self maintenance.

Here are a few preventative measures you can take to ensure your forklift is up to scratch:

  • Always keep forks fully lowered when not in use (this will reduce strain on the mast)
  • Ensure you give the forklift a good clean once every month (depending on use) to avoid build up of dirt and oil in small places which will increase wear and fatigue on the machine
  • Store it in a dry place to avoid:
    • Rust
    • Paint peel
    • Seat rotting
    • Give the machine time to warm up (longer if it is a cold day)
    • Keep engine oil at a suitable level
    • Don’t lift a load that is above the recommended safe working load (SWL)
    • Ensure tyre PSI is correct and fully inflated
    • Have a battery maintenance schedule in place

If you need a more detailed plan according to your specific workplace and type of forklift, ask the used forklift dealer that you purchased from, they may be able to give you a few specific tips, or perhaps write down a small self maintenance plan. When in doubt, always consult a qualified forklift servicing agent.

That concludes our four part series of how to buy a used forklift. If you have any questions or comments concerning any of the four parts of the “How to Avoid Buying a Lemon” series please feel free to leave them below.

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