Buying a Used Forklift: Important Features To Consider

Buying a Used Forklift: Important Features To Consider
Buying a Used Forklift: Important Features To Consider

Buying a used forklift can be an excellent investment that requires critical thinking. Various forklifts are available in the market today, and each model has advantages and disadvantages. Some are designed to lift loads weighing up to 3 tons, while others can handle up to 20 tons.

Forklifts are commonly found at construction sites or warehouses where the lifting capacity is needed to move materials around. Depending on their application, forklifts come with various options to choose from.

When looking for used forklifts for sale, consider these essential features.

1. Mast Height

For the mast height of the used forklift for sale, consider the collapsed, extended, and lift heights. The collapsed height is the distance between the top and floor when you lower the mast. This feature is essential if you will use your forklift in confined spaces.

Consider the extended mast height, the distance from the top of a fully comprehensive mast to the floor. Also, consider the lift height (maximum fork height). It is measured from the floor to the forks. The ideal used forklift for sale should have a lift height six inches higher than your highest shelf to ensure it can maneuver easily.

2. Mast Type

A forklift mast is the upright part of the forklift that does the work. The mechanical structure allows the forklift to lift loads to different heights. So, when choosing a used forklift for sale, check that the mast is intact and operates properly. Also, check the nested rails to ensure the mast functions well.

It’s advisable to choose a free lift mast type where the overhead clearance is low. The free lift forklift is perfect for confined spaces but affects visibility if it’s at the center of the mast. Also, you can choose a simplex mast type for outdoor tasks. This type has one channel with a higher extended height where overhead clearance is not a problem, and there is no lifting height limit.

For stacking and double stacking indoors, consider a duplex mast. This type provides better visibility since it doesn’t have mast sections blocking the driver’s view. Consider a triplex mast for more versatile applications and a quad mast if you need the highest reach.

3. Forklift Capacity

Used forklifts for sale have varying capacities, and your needs will determine the ideal capacity. This information is found on the forklift’s data plate. OSHA requires you only to handle loads within the forklift’s rated capacity. If the used forklift for sale has different parts attached to it, confirm each part’s capacity rating by checking its data plate. Also, consider the pallet’s distribution to the altered load center where the load is oddly shaped. It’s important to know that adding an attachment to your forklift significantly reduces its lifting capacity because of this additional weight.


When buying a used forklift, you want to ensure it meets your specific requirements. If you don’t consider these essential features, you might purchase something that isn’t worth your time or money.

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