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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Home Sponsored Scoring Deals on Pre-Owned Forklifts

Scoring Deals on Pre-Owned Forklifts

When you need a forklift for your warehouse or worksite, going the brand spankin' new route sure sounds appealing. That new forklift smell, the smooth operations, all the latest bells and whistles. But you know what's even more inviting? Saving a boatload of cash by considering used options instead.

The market for pre-owned and reconditioned forklifts is absolutely massive. Companies are always unloading gently used and well-maintained units to upgrade their fleets. With a little hunting, you can find some real steals on capable lifts with years of life left in 'em.

Types of Used Lifts 

So what kinds of used gems can you expect to find out there in the wild? The two main categories are:

Former Rental Units 

As you'd expect, big rental operators are constantly cycling out their rental fleets to put newer units into rotation. That means a constant supply of recently-retired rental Lisman Forklifts hitting the resale market.

These are typically pretty young lifts, like 3-5 years old with just a few thousand hours under their wheels. But because that first depreciation hit has already been absorbed when new, they can be had for 50% off the original price or more.

Rental companies also keep impeccable maintenance records, which helps give buyers peace of mind.


Then you have privately-owned Used forklifts being resold by businesses and individuals. These can be a bit older, with higher hours and miles on the chassis. But if you find one-owner units with detailed service histories, they can make excellent bargains.

Picture scoring a well-built Hyster forklift from the early 2010s with 6,000 hours for $10,000. Bang for the buck is hard to beat there.

Used Buying Process 

Alright, so you're intrigued enough to go bargain hunting. What's the smart process here?

  1. Research Everything Determine your capacity and lift height requirements. Look for reputable name brands with long production histories like Yale, Toyota, Crown, and Hyster. Read up on expected longevity for different forklift classes and types.
  2. Set Your Search Perimeters Based on your usage needs, determine the age and hour range you're comfortable with. Define your target prices and brand/model preferences. Cast a wide net for listings across resellers like Garmor Inc, TopLift, certified used sites like Toyota Forklift, and general marketplaces.
  3. Pre-Purchase Inspection For any units you're serious about, request extensive photos and service records. Ideally you'd also inspect the forklift in person. Things to check - operations, leaks, component wear, hour meter codes, emission levels, etc.

If needed, you can even bring in a qualified inspector to really go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

  1. Negotiate Hard On promising units, negotiate HARD. It's very common for used forklifts to sell 20-30% under initial asking price. If a seller won't budge much below fair market pricing, be willing to walk away for a better deal.
  2. Certification and Maintenance Plan Once you land your new-to-you used forklift, prioritize recertification to confirm safety and operating condition. This official documentation kicks off a new maintenance plan for ongoing care.

Well-kept forklifts should deliver 10,000+ hours of service life, so investing in long-term upkeep pays off.

Patience Pays Off 

Yes, the used forklift process takes a bit more due diligence than clicking "Purchase New" on a site. But putting in that extra homework is well worth the investment.

With just a bit of patience and persistence searching, chances are high that you can find a gem - a modern, decently-specced used forklift for 50% or less of new pricing. Your wallet (and accountant) will thank you!

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