When you’re looking to buy a forklift, the first thing you’ll ask yourself is, should I buy new or used? Many companies shy away from buying used because they think it’s much riskier. But the truth is, when you know what you’re looking for, buying a used forklift is just as easy as buying it brand new.

Of course, you have to be careful. If the forklift hasn’t been properly cared for, it could end up costing more money with repair and maintenance. Always ask to take a look at how many hours have been logged on the equipment, as well as its history of repairs and maintenance, if available. However, it is a possibility that this information won’t be available, in which case, you may not want to take the truck.

As with other used products and equipment, it all depends on who you buy it from. Getting a used forklift at an auction or off the Internet carries a high risk, because you can’t see the equipment in any kind of detail for yourself. At least when you buy from a dealer, you can see if the basic parts are in working condition.

There are independent forklift dealers that specialize entirely in used forklifts acquired from auctions, business, leasing companies, and dealers. The problem is that these companies also have a difficult time verifying the age and working hours of the equipment. OEM forklift dealers can be the lowest risk option, but you still need to protect yourself. Work with an OEM dealer with a good reputation, and ask for service records as well as a good, written warranty.

Just remember to go with your gut. If you feel like you’re being lied to, or there isn’t any history available on the truck, walk away. An informed, honest sale is the way to go when buying used.