Before purchasing a forklift truck, you should make certain that it is correctly inspected and given a test run. This applies especially to trucks being acquired on the Web. It is really important to detect potential issues with trucks acquired from businesses online.
Be certain to start the engine from cold, and note the ease with which the engine turns over and whether there is too much smoke. This is especially vital with IC engine trucks.
Testing the performance of the truck in tough situations must be included in the test run. An operator who is qualified can drive the truck in forward and reverse, up the ramp.
You could carry out your own inspection of an IC engine truck. On a clear part of floor, run the truck around for several minutes while a skilled operator tests the hydraulic functions. Then, examine the ground beneath for signs of fluid leakage. Even seemingly insignificant leaking can lead to serious problems that would be very costly to fix later on.
The chains and masts must be inspected by a trained person. Check with and without a load that the mast operates well. Watch for sticking or 'binding' of the mast. A warning indication is play in the mast channels or between the mast and fork carriage. One more is creeping down or creeping forward of the mast when loaded. These could be signs of problems with valve, seals or ram.
The mast might have been changed at some time if the truck is used. Make sure that the mast and any fitted attachments follow the rating plate on a truck. Make certain that the sideshift is not sticking when loaded.
When checking the forks, look closely at the heel thickness for damage or wear. The truck's manufacturer specifies minimum thickness. A loose fit can mean the hanger points or carriage are worn. Watch for cracks on the arms at mountings and heels.