Does anyone have any advise on buying a used forklift? I know what to look
for in a used car, but I don't have the slightest idea about what to look
for in a used forklift.
I've been looking for a sit-down 3000-5000 pound model. But there are so
many models to choose from and such a wide price range--less than $1000 for
a beat-up old one from a classified newspaper ad, around $5000 for one with
a new paint job from a dealer, and around $10,000 for a factory rebuilt one.
Which brands are good? Some are made by automakers (Toyota, Nissan,
Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Daewoo) and construction vehicle companies (Komatsu,
Caterpillar). I assume these are probably good. But what about companies
like Yale, Clarke, Hyster, etc? I've never heard of them. Are there brands
to stay away from?
Is there any advantage to getting an electric model instead of a
It seems that dealers like to specify the number of run hours instead of the
model year. What is a reasonable figure?
What is a side shifter? I realize it moves the load side to side, but in
what direction? If I were sitting in the seat and activated the side
shifter, would it move the load parallel or perpendicular to my shoulders?
If I get an electric model, is there any advantage to a 3-phase charger over
a single-phase charger? (Yes, I have 3-phase power.) Can electric
forklifts be charged indoors? Do the batteries give off hydrogen gas like a
I realize cushion tires are intended for indoor use on a concrete floor.
But can they be used occasionally on asphalt (for example if I need to go
outside to unload a truck)?
My forklift will sometimes sit unused for extended periods of time. I know
that gasoline and diesel fuel can grow a fungus when left to sit. Does this
apply to propane? I also realize that I can rent forklifts (and even have
them delivered). But I can't always predict my needs in advance and so I
want to have one available when a need arises at the last minute.
A long, long time ago when I was in high school, I worked at a grocery store
and occasionally drove a stand-up electric forklift when no one was looking.
I remember the forks could be tilted vertically (ie. tilting the load and
either causing it to hit the rack, or slide off the forks). Generally
speaking, can the forks on a sit-down forklift be tilted too?
Are there places that give lessons on how to drive a forklift safely? The
dealers? (But I wouldn't go to a car dealer if I wanted to learn how to
drive a car.)