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An Essential Visual Inspection Checklist Before Purchasing a Pre-Owned Forklift

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When looking into the prospects of buying an item that's above and beyond your usual budget, you might consider investing in a pre-owned one. Used products tend to be reasonably priced and affordable. Buying a used forklift can be a wise investment and an ideal solution for load handling requirements for small business owners. 

Whether you want to use it for moving pallets, stacking shipping containers or lifting heavy valises, inspecting a used forklift is essential before committing to buy. Here's an essential visual inspection checklist to help you find the best pre-owned forklifts for your business:

Forks and Mast

Assess the forks for potential bends, cracks or any distortions. That helps you determine whether the forks have suffered excessive overloading or incorrect use. If there is insignificant damage, you can quickly have it fixed. If the forklift handled full capacity loads before, the chances are that it has suffered significant cracks, which can ruin mast integrity and operability. 

During an inspection, consider checking the fork heels for potential wear and tear. It's vital their thickness matches closely with that of the up-right fork shank. After determining that, assess the hydraulic cylinders that control the mast. Check for any signs of leakage and the lubrication condition. Besides, remember to check whether the mast pins, side and tilt-shift cylinders are appropriately secured. 

Overhead Guard and Frame

The operator's compartment requires thorough scrutiny. Check to see whether there are any bends or damaged guards. Avoid purchasing used forklifts with visible welded or repaired overheads. That's because they might have been structurally compromised and unsafe. When considering forklifts with enclosed cabins, check whether both windows and panels are secured and damage-free. Additionally, when assessing overhead guards, thoroughly assess the tyres to determine whether all bolts are secured well. 

Operator Controls and General Functions

Other essential aspects to consider might include the operator controls. Hop in the operator's seat and fasten the seat belt to see whether it latches and unlatches properly. Find out whether the seat is secured firmly and ergonomic. If it's torn or worn out, you might require replacing it to enhance the operator's movements. It might be a costly replacement, but pretty essential. 

Counterweights, Exhaust Guard and Engine Compartment

Finally, open the forklift's hood and check the engine compartment to determine whether everything is working correctly. Check for cracks, leaks and defective hoses. Like you would any vehicle, check for oils and fluids. Furthermore, assess the forklift battery and air filters to ensure everything is in perfect working condition. 

These are the four crucial aspects you must keep in mind when inspecting a pre-owned forklift before buying. They will guide you in making an informed decision when purchasing a used forklift