A forklift is a prerequisite to a warehouse, especially a commercial one. However, if your warehouse is new, then you are better off starting with a used forklift rather than buying a new one to keep startup costs low. Notably, you must bear in mind that operational safety is critical whether you are purchasing a new forklift or a used one. To get the best deal around, you must inspect the forklift thoroughly to ascertain its usability. For instance, always check the following aspects:
Forks -- These are the most important features in a forklift since they do all the carrying. Therefore, your inspection should ideally begin with the forks. Due to the nature of their jobs, forks are susceptible to bending and cracking, depending on the amount of weight placed on them. You should look out for any bends or cracks and the magnitude of each. If the bends are minor, you can ask the dealer to straighten them for you before you make a purchase. Alternatively, you could use the deformities as a bargaining chip to get a better deal than you anticipated and repair the bends yourself. The same goes for any visible cracks. However, if the cracks are too big, then look for another forklift.
Canopy -- The canopy houses the operator and offers protection from any falling objects. As such, the canopy's main supports should not have any bends or cracks. You want your driver to be safe even if the forklift rolls over. Any bends on the supports mean that the canopy has developed possible weak points; therefore, you should not purchase the forklift. If the canopy is a closed cab, make sure that all the windows, both the side windows and the windscreen, are in good condition.
Lift chains – These are responsible for the vertical movement of the forks during lifting and lowering of loads. Therefore, they should be in good shape to ensure basic functionality of the equipment. Check for any damaged links or anchor pins along the chain since any of these would compromise the proper functioning of the forklift. Additionally, ensure that the tension along the entire length of the lift chain is uniform. To do this, place a load on the forks and lift the weight as you pay close attention to the chains. Ideally, there should be no loose points along the chain; otherwise, some part of the chain would wear out faster than other points.
Contact a dealer that offers used forklifts for more information and assistance.