Before purchasing a forklift truck, you should make certain that it is correctly inspected and given a test run. This applies particularly to trucks being obtained on the Web. It is important to detect potential issues with trucks obtained from companies on line.
Starting the engine from cold is a good idea. Note whether there is too much smoke and the ease with which the engine turns over. This is especially essential with trucks which have IC engines.
The test run must include an inspection of the truck's performance in challenging situations. A trained operator could maneuver the truck in forward and reverse, up the ramp.
You can inspect an IC engine truck yourself. On a clear part of floor, run the truck around for a few minutes while a skilled operator tests the hydraulic functions. After that, examine the ground beneath for signs of fluid leakage. Even seemingly minor leaking can result in serious problems that would be very costly to fix later on.
A qualified person should check the chains and masts. Check with and without a load that the mast operates well. Watch for 'binding' or sticking of the mast. A warning indication is play in the mast channels or between the fork carriage and mast. Another is creeping down or creeping forward of the mast when loaded. These can be signs of issues 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 adhere to the rating plate on a truck. Check that the sideshift is not sticking when loaded.
Looking closely at the thickness of the heel for wear or damage should be included in the inspection. The manufacturer of the truck specifies minimum thickness. A loose fit can mean the carriage or hanger points are worn. Watch for cracks on the arms at heels and mountings.