Buying Used

The following are some quick industry tips to consider when buying used forklifts:

  • Manufacturer - Focus your search on brand name equipment that a local dealer can support.
  • Equipment Condition - This is much more important than equipment age.
  • Capacity - Make sure to buy equipment that can lift your maximum load.
  • Inspect - Engine, Brakes, Transmission, and Tires.

Forklift Classifications

  • Class I - Electric Motor Rider Truck
    Class I forklifts are electric-motor rider trucks, either stand-up operator or seated three-wheel units. Rider units are counterbalanced and may have cushion or pneumatic wheels.
  • Class II - Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Truck
    Class II forklifts are electric-motor trucks for narrow aisle or inventory stock/order picking applications. They may have extra reach or swing-mast functions.
  • Class III - Electric Motor Hand Truck
    Class III forklifts are electric-motor trucks, either walk-behind or standing-rider operated. Automated pallet lift-trucks and high lift models are often counterbalanced.
  • Class IV - Internal Combustion Truck/Cushion Tires
    Class IV forklifts are rider fork trucks, with cabs and seated controls, internal combustion engines, and solid or "cushion" tires. They are typically counterbalanced
  • Class V - Internal Combustion Truck/Pneumatic Tires
    Class V forklifts are rider fork trucks, with cabs and seated controls, internal combustion engines, and pneumatic tires. They are typically counterbalanced.
  • Class VI - Electric and Internal Combustion Tractor
    Class VI forklifts are sit-down rider, tow tractor lifts. They are supplied with electric or internal combustion engines.
  • Class VII - Telehandler
    Class VII forklifts are designed for use on rough terrain. Typical applications include agriculture, logging and construction.
  • Class VIII - Hand Pallet Truck
    Class VIII forklifts include personnell and burden carriers.

Forklift Glossary of Terms

  • Mast - the vertical assembly made up of interlocking rails that does the work of raising and lowering the load. It may be mounted to the front axle or the frame of the forklift.
  • Carriage - the component to which the forks or other attachments mount. It is mounted into and moves up and down the mast rails by means of chains or by being directly attached to the hydraulic cylinder.
  • Air Pneumatic Tires - relatively larger tires filled with air or foam that are meant for use on rougher surfaces and outdoors.
  • Solid Pneumatic Tires - relatively larger tires that are solid rubber that are meant for use on rougher surfaces and outdoors.
  • Cushion Tires - relatively thinner tires that can be smooth or treaded. Meant for use indoors on smooth surfaces.
  • Overall Lift Height - the maximum height the forks can lift to.
  • Lowered Height - the overall height of the machine when the carriage and mast are completely down.
  • Sideshift - an attachment that allows the operator to move the carriage back and forth using a hydraulic lever.
  • Fork Positioner - an attachment that allows the operator to move the forks back and forth using a hydraulic lever.
  • Overhead Guard - a metal roof supported by posts at each corner of the cab that helps protect the operator from any falling objects.
  • Load Backrest - a rack-like extension that is either bolted or welded to the carriage in order to prevent the load from shifting backward when the carriage is lifted to full height.
  • Tilt Cylinders - hydraulic cylinders that are mounted to the truck frame and the mast. The tilt cylinders pivot the mast to assist in engaging a load.
  • Counterweight - a mass attached to the rear of the forklift truck frame. The purpose of the counterweight is to counterbalance the load being lifted. In an electric forklift the large lead-acid battery itself may serve as part of the counterweight.

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