Adaptalift Hyster Forklifts

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Pros and cons of buying a used forklift

There are many aspects that need to be weighed up when considering purchasing a used forklift. Below is a list of reasons for and against purchasing a used forklift:


  • Not used on a regular basis
  • Small budget
  • Eliminates large depreciation expense faced within the first year or two of buying a new forklift (balance sheet)
  • Large selection of parts available (if not discontinued)
  • Variety of forklifts to compare and select from
  • Low cost of a used forklift will keep manufacturing costs low (balance sheet, setting price)
  • No regular payments of a lease/rental plan (assuming purchased)


  • Not a new forklift
  • Aethetics
  • Will not include latest features, attachments or technology
  • Won't have the latest safety features and equipment installed
  • More prone to breakdown or damage
  • Warranty near expiry or already expired
  • Repairs may cost more than the units value

Research tips when buying a used forklift

Researching your purchase is an essential first step before you purchase a used forklift. There are four main steps in the research process:

  1. Learn the basics
    • Learn and understand basic forklift teminology
    • To gain a general understanding of forklifts and terminology, visit our blog
  2. Understand your requirements
    • Create a detailed list of criteria any potential used forklift must meet
    • Example criteria include: budget, vehicle age, load capacity, vehicle dimensions, attachments, fuelt type, usage requirements and site restrictions
  3. Research as many available options as possible
    • Use as many resources as possible create a shortlist of forklifts you are interested in enquiring about
    • Example resources include: online websites, newspaper classifieds and trading post
  4. Contact the dealer with your preferred vehicle
    • Contact relevant dealers to enquire about forklifts on your shortlist
    • Ensure you have a pre-prepared list of questions to ask the dealer
    • Examples questions refer to: year of manufacture, service history, acccidents and previous work environment

When completing step 4 it is always recommended that you purchase from a trusted dealer. A trusted dealer should be able to provide you with accurate information regarding the used forklift, this will remove any reservations about the purchase you may have. A trusted dealer should be able to provide evidence that answers questions such as:

  • Where and/or how the dealer purchased the forklift?
  • Is the forklift from ex-rental stock or was it a trade-in?
  • Are the stated hours on the hour meter genuine?
  • Has the hour meter been replaced?
  • Has the dealer completed the appropriate safety checks?

Adaptalift Hyster Used Forklifts

The Adaptalift Group have over 30+ years’ experience supplying a full range of materials handling vehicles across a number of industries. All our vehicles are supplied with genuine metered hours and complete safety check completed on every used vehicle. We offer full turn-key solutions for all materials handling needs including servicing, spare parts and fleet management. All our servicing is completed by highly trained technicians and we endeavour to provide customers with genuine Hyster spare parts at all times. Backed by our Australia wide network of branches and service centres, Adaptalift is your complete materials handling solution provider.

So when considering your next forklift purchase please contact us.

Inspecting a used forklift

Once you have decided which used forklift you wish to purchase, it is recommended that you have the vehicle physically inspected. Below are some recommendations to consider pre-inspection:

  • Ensure a full service history is available
    • If records are lost or unavailable; ensure the inspection is carried out by a forklift specialist
  • Ask about warranties
    • How much time is left on the manufactures warranty? Can an extended warranty be purchased?
    • Be aware what the warranty covers (i.e. parts, labour or are there any hidden costs)
  • Is a forklift service plan available for ongoing maintenance and servicing of your forklift?

The physical inspection is your final chance to evaluate the used forklift you intend to purchase; you need to ensure that all parts, attachments and features are functioning up to a standard that suits your needs.

It is recommended that a mechanic is present to provide a clear evaluation of the forklift.

Some of the essential aspects you should physically inspect include:

Hyster Forklift

Test driving a used forklift

As part of any physical inspection the forklift should be taken on a test drive. Ensure that the individual conducting the test drive has a valid forklift licence. When operating the forklift, evaluate its manoeuvrability, is it up to your standards when it:

  • Turns
  • Accelerates and reverses
  • Stops – in a timely fashion
  • Lifts – at the correct speed and height required
  • Lowers – at the speed and minimum height required
  • Tilts – to the correct angle required to support its payload

When test driving try to lift loads that would represent a normal load the forklift will lift as part of routine work.

Once you have selected your used forklift there are some final criteria you may need to consider before finalising your purchase, these include:


If you have an existing machine you should look into your disposal options before you purchase your new unit. Discuss with your forklift dealer If your old forklift is worth trading in. Alternatively it may be worth a little extra work and selling it privately. If your forklift can’t be traded in and is ready to be scraped, you could ask if your forklift dealer can dispose of your old forklift for you when they drop off your new one.


Without proper servicing and care your forklift may breakdown and unexpected costs may arise such as repairs, maintenance and loss of revenue (MIA). It is advisable to have a forklift service plan in place to avoid these extra costs. When deciding on a service plan, do prior research to ensure you’re spending your money wisely. Look at a few different companies and plans to see what their servicing includes and what it costs. When purchasing a used forklift the dealer may offer a special discount on a servicing plan.


When dealing with warranties, it is always essential to know what you’re covered for. Be sure you are aware of what you are and aren’t covered for under your warranty, and it doesn’t hurt to ask about things that may not be covered.

Contract and Purchase

Once you have found the right machine and you’ve made your decision to purchase, before signing off make sure you double check it thoroughly. You need to ensure:

  • You agree with the whole contract
  • The specifications of the machine is correct
  • Everything agreed upon is included and nothing unusual has been added
  • You’ve read all the terms and conditions
  • You’ve checked the return policy/procedures