Should You Test Drive a Used Lift Truck?

You’ve contacted or visited a licensed dealer regarding your interest in a lift truck purchase (or two, or several) for the year ahead. You’ve looked over your available options, and you’ve settled on a specific make and a range of model years you’d be willing to consider. You now know your dealer has at least one truck available that fits your parameters. So, what next? Should you simply review the documentation on the truck, check its maintenance history and your financing options and then call it a day? Or should you block out some time, go the dealership in person and drive the truck yourself?

When it comes to taking a test drive, our answer is simple: Yes! Always test drive a used lift truck before you make your decision. And as you do, keep these thoughts in mind.

Treat the process like a car purchase.

If you’re test driving a car, you’ll most likely have access to an authorized dealer who knows something about cars—specifically the car you’re thinking of buying. Your authorized, licensed forklift dealer should also provide you with access to an accommodating, knowledgeable expert who can tell you why your chosen lift truck makes a noise when you put it in reverse, or why one of your instrument panels seems to be poorly calibrated. As you test drive the truck, ask them as many questions as you can.

Put the truck through several paces.

Let the dealer know in advance you’d like to take a test drive, and make sure certain test features are available, like loaded pallets, inclines and sharp turns. Don’t rest until you’ve tested every feature and put the truck through every one of the conditions your employees will need to deal with in your warehouse or workshop.

Test drive more than one truck. 

Again, take the same steps you would take before buying a car or truck for your business. Have more than one option in mind before your appointment, and drive both or all the trucks that may be contenders. Lean heavily on weak areas, for example, if a certain model is known for poor cornering or sensor problems, check them; then check again.

Approach your lift truck purchasing process armed with all the information you need to make a smart decision. Contact the experts at Liftow for help and guidance.