Prior to purchasing a forklift truck, you must make certain that it is correctly checked and given a test run. This applies especially to trucks being acquired on line. It is really vital to find possible problems with trucks purchased from companies online.
Starting the engine from cold is a great idea. Note whether there is excessive smoke and the ease with which the engine turns over. This is specifically essential with trucks which have IC engines.
Testing the performance of the truck in tough situations should be included in the test run. A driver who is qualified can operate the truck in forward and reverse, up the ramp.
You could perform your own inspection of an IC engine truck. On a clear area of floor, run the truck around for a few minutes while a qualified operator tests the hydraulic functions. Afterward, look at the ground beneath for signs of fluid leakage. Even seemingly minor leaking could result in serious issues which will be expensive to repair later on.
A skilled individual should check the chains and masts. Check with and without a load that the mast operates smoothly. Watch for 'binding' or sticking of the mast. A warning sign is play in the mast channels or between the mast and fork carriage. One more is creeping forward or creeping down of the mast when loaded. These can be signs of problems with ram, valve or seals.
If the truck is used, the mast might have been changed at some time. 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.
Looking closely at the thickness of the heel for damage or wear must be included in the inspection. The manufacturer of the truck specifies minimum thickness. A loose fit might mean the hanger points or carriage are worn. Watch for cracks on the arms at mountings and heels.