Things to Consider When Purchasing a Used Forklift

Used Forklifts

If you are looking to buy a forklift for your business, it makes sense to purchase a used model. Requiring a significantly lower financial outlay than buying new, used forklifts are often a more viable option for businesses of all sizes. However, there’s a few things you need to look for to ensure the used forklift you buy is a worthwhile investment that will be reliable for many years to come. Damoli has grown to become one of Victoria’s largest independent forklift hire and sale companies. Read on for a few important things to check when you are looking to purchase a used forklift.


Look for a used forklift with a new paint job or original paint that is in good condition. A few scratches and scrapes are ok, however, extensive rust, large dints and obvious impact damage is not. Forklifts featuring decals are better for resale value too.

Forks and Mast

Check the forks for any cracks or significant bending caused by overloading. Large, deep cracks can make it unsafe for a forklift to lift a load at full capacity. Check the fork heels for signs of wear – the thickness of the heel forks should be a similar thickness to that of the upright fork shank. Inspect the mast for any cracks or welds, and ensure the mast pins, and tilt and side-shift cylinders are secure. It is also important to check for signs of excessive wear on mast rollers, and signs of damage on the lift chains or anchor pins.


Start the engine of the used forklift, it should start easily and idle smoothly.

  • Check for engine oil leaks, dirt build-up or cracks on hoses.
  • Check that belts are tight and not worn or cracked.
  • Rev engine hard in neutral and check the tailpipe for blue or black smoke. Exhaust should be minimal if LPG, and free from excessive odour.
  • If electric, also check that all battery connections are in good condition.

Lifting Gear

Check lifting speed is steady and constant. Move back and forward at full extension, the engine should not stall. When lowering, movement should be smooth and steady, all stages should move seamlessly with no jamming.


Check all visible hoses for leaks. If you notice any greenish or golden hydraulic oil under the forklift this may be a cause for concern. Move mast to full tilt and check for leaks again while under pressure. Levers should move easily and operation should be smooth for all controls.


Take the forklift for a drive. Move around in a tight circle, backwards and forwards. Check the brake and accelerator. Flashing lights on the roof and the reversing beeper should be in proper working order.


All tyres should be evenly worn, with enough usage left on them. Solid and cushion tyres should be free from major tears and damage. Pneumatic tyres should have adequate air pressure.

This is a guide only, there are other components that may need to be inspected and if you are unsure, it is best to seek a professional option before purchasing.

Also keep in mind when shopping for a used forklift, that you will have to consider your budget. If your budget is on the low side, you may have to make allowances for a machine that will not meet all of the above criteria. However, for any minor problems ask if they can be fixed prior to purchase, to put your mind that ease that your new investment will be a reliable and safe addition to your workplace.

Looking for a Used Forklift? Get in Touch with Damoli

Our experts are here to help you choose the right forklift for your needs and budget. Whether it’s electric, LPG or diesel powered, or a new or used machine, we have huge range of reliable forklifts for sale at highly competitive prices. Browse our forklifts for sale online or contact us for more information.

Damoli Forklift Services offer one-stop shop for forklift hire, sales and servicing. We have a wide range of gas, diesel and electric forklifts ranging from 1 tonne right through to 45 tonne container handlers. We also have high reach forklifts and specialised scissor lifts available.