You are currently using an outdated browser. For the best viewing experience, please upgrade your browser here.
Need more information? Call 1300 LIFT IT (1300 5438 48)


1300 LIFT IT (1300 5438 48)


74 Ricketts Rd, Mount Waverley (03) 8540 4000


4 Dupas St, Smithfield (02) 8786 5000


88 Pearson Road, Yatala QLD 4207 1300 5438 48


B4, 101 Port Wakefield Rd, Cavan 1300 5438 48


16 Graffin Cres, Winnellie 1300 5438 48


46 Sorbonne Cres Canning Vale 1300 5438 48

    Enquiry Form

    Enquire now

    Forklift Buying Guide

    18 Nov

    Buying a second hand forklift is a big decision!
    It can be difficult to know how to spot a good quality machine, so we’ve put together with a list of items to look at when examining a forklift.

    If you choose to purchase a second hand unit from Waverley Forklifts, our experienced staff are available to guide you through the entire process.

    What to look for when buying a forklift                   


    Before inspecting a second hand forklift, it’s important to make sure the machine will suit your needs.
    Here are some key questions to answer beforehand:
    • Is the lifting capacity enough for your load requirements?
    • Will the forklift be working outdoors or indoors (or both)?
    • Will the height clearance and/or width of the forklift be suitable?
    • What type of fuel do you need to use – diesel, LPG or battery electric?

    First Appearances

    Once you’ve determined the answers to the above questions, have a close look at the forklift. What does it look like at first glance – is the paintwork chipped and worn away? Is there any rust? Are the panels straight, without any dints? Some damage may just be superficial, but it could hint at underlying issues that can’t be visually seen.

    Seat and Operator Compartment

    Inspect to see if the seat has any noticeable rips. It’s also important to check to see if there is a seat belt fitted and that it works correctly. Sit on the seat and confirm you can reach all of the functions.
    Test the steering wheel movement and then sound the horn to see if it is working. It’s also necessary for you to ensure there is a load rating/data plate fitted and that it is legible.


    Examine the tyres for any cuts or tears, and inspect to see if the wear on all four tyres is even. For pneumatic and solid tyres, look for the amount of tread remaining. Pneumatic tyres should also have the tyre pressure checked.

    Fuel Options

    For diesel forklifts, check the fuel lines and ensure a fuel cap is fitted. The gas lines on LPG units should be free of kinks and the connector to the bottle must be in good condition. For battery electric models, check the battery for damaged leads, missing caps and acid leaks. Check to see if the charger for the forklift works. If required, ensure a watering gun is supplied.

    Start It Up!

    After your visual inspection, it’s time to turn the forklift on. Listen to see how it starts; it shouldn’t struggle to start up, and it should be smooth when it begins to idle. Open the engine cover and have a look at the engine while it’s running – are there any oil leaks? Also check the exhaust to ensure no coloured smoke is being produced.

    Mast & Hydraulics

    Now check the mast and hydraulic operation. You’ll need to raise the carriage to full height. Make a note of how the mast functions – does it move easily, without any jerking and is the lifting speed consistent? And do the controls to direct the mast move without any hesitation? Inspect the hydraulic hoses on the mast to see if there are any leaks. Move the mast and check to see if leaks appear when the hydraulics are under pressure.

    Lights & Reversing Buzzer

    Check to see if there are lights fitted to the forklift. At a minimum, there should be a flashing light fitted. Other lighting is optional, but always a bonus. Also enquire if the light/s are original or if they have been fitted recently. Put the forklift into reverse and listen for a buzzer or a beeper – there should always be one installed.

    Driving / Operation

    When driving the forklift, it’s important to check both forward and reverse. Direct the forklift into a tight turning circle and see how the forklift handles. Make sure you use the accelerator, inching pedal and brake a number of times. Then observe the dash and make sure all of the features are working – the hour meter, the fuel gauge and any other indicators that may be fitted.

    Benefits of buying from Waverley Forklifts

    Choosing to buy a second hand forklift from Waverley Forklifts is a decision you won’t regret.
    We are proud of the quality of the forklifts we sell, as our Toyota and Manitou used equipment comes directly from our rental fleet and we can provide a full service history from the time the machine was purchased. We service our rental forklifts every three months for preventative maintenance and compliance purposes, which ensures our forklifts are in excellent condition when they become available for sale. Our forklifts are also sold with a three month major component warranty to give you peace of mind regarding your purchase.

    Whether you are looking to power your forklift with diesel or electricity or want something that can survive all terrains –  Waverley Forklifts has you covered. 

    If you’re interested in finding out more, contact us on 1300 LIFT IT or head over to our Used Equipment page to see our current range of second hand forklifts.

    Back to News