Should I Buy Used Forklifts? Part III

Approved used trucks offer flexibility, reliability, and quality. (Courtesy: Toyota Material Handling at flickr.com.

Approved used trucks offer flexibility, reliability, and quality.
(Courtesy: Toyota Material Handling at flickr.com.)

I have now written two in a series of three articles on whether or not you should buy used forklifts. In my first story: Should I Buy Used Forklifts? Part I, I discussed how you should evaluate your business situation to determine if it is feasible for you to buy used lifts.

In the second story: Should I Buy Used Forklifts? Part II, I discussed how a warehouse manager or forklift fleet manager should inspect used forklifts to assure that he is not purchasing a lemon.

In this article I will cover how you should deal with the period after the sale.

Once the purchase is done you need to immediately consider five things to prepare for the future use of your so-called new forklifts. They are:

· Closing the deal.
· How you will get rid of your old forklifts.
· How you plan to service your “new” lifts.
· How to assure that the “new” lifts are covered by a warranty.
· Creating a maintenance plan.

Once you’ve committed to purchase a used forklift or fleet of used forklifts, then it is time to close the deal. However, don’t be in a rush to pack up the lift or lifts so that you can ship them back to your warehouse. There are still a few things you need to do.

· Carefully read the whole contract so that you understand what your obligations are and to assure that you agree with all the conditions.
· Make sure that all the specifications in the contract concerning the lift or lifts are correct.
· Make certain that the contract includes only what you have agreed to and does not include any surprises.
· Make certain that you understand the return policy and procedure should such a thing become necessary.

Next you will need to determine whether you will self-maintain the equipment or source it out.

You can also take some preventative measures to assure that your lift or lifts are ready to take on the load. They include:

· Keeping the lift fully lowered when not in use.
· Give the lift or lifts a good cleaning once a month.
· Store the lift or lifts in a dry place to prevent rust, peeling paint, and seat rotting.

Other things you need to do to be certain that the machine works properly and will last for a long time is to:

· Allow it time to warm up.
· Keep engine oil at the proper level.
· Don’t lift a load that weighs more than the recommended safe working load.
· Make certain that the tires are properly inflated.
· Create and stick to a battery maintenance schedule.

The bottom line is that it is your obligation to make certain that the lift or lifts are prepared to perform properly for the long haul. If you need help to assure that you have come up with proper maintenance schedules and know how to perform the actual maintenance, consult with the dealer from whom you purchased the lift. If your operation can’t make a total commitment to perform the best maintenance possible, then consider outsourcing the job.

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