6 Things to Consider Before Buying a Used Container Handler


After you make the decision to purchase a used container handler, determining the most suitable piece of equipment might prove challenging, particularly because there are many factors to consider. To help you make an appropriate choice, below are six things to consider before buying a used container handler.

  1. Your Usage
    According to Intermodal Equipment Exchange, your predetermined level of use is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a used container handler. Below is a general guideline about the best forklift based on level of usage:
  • Low usage:If you only have one or two employees, it is likely that you will use a container handler for 3-4 hours per week. A used forklift that is between 11 and 12 years old, one that as 15,000-20, 000 hours on it, would be a suitable option since it will most likely last you 6-8 years.
  • Medium usage:for a usage that is between three and five hours a day, look for an ex-rental unit since it is likely to have been well maintained and serviced. Ideally, it should only be between five and six years old, which means it has 8,000-15,000 hours on it.
  • High usage:If you will use your unit for more than seven hours a day, buying a brand new container handler or leasing a fully maintained unit for at least five years is advisable. You can trade in the one you bought brand new or swap over the leased unit after about five years of use.
  1. Size and Load Capacity
    Based on the requirements of your expected lifting, you also need to consider the container handler’s size and load capacity. Because the capabilities of forklifts vary from one to the other, keeping factors such as lift height, load weight, and work space in mind is of uttermost importance. For instance, diesel and LPG or petrol container handlers generally have a much larger load capacity than electric forklifts.
  2.  Your Budget
    Same as any other major purchase, being realistic when buying a used forklift is important. If you’re on a limited budget, you need to consider the fact that you might be constrained to a unit that might not have a lot of life left. Although it is not necessarily a reflection of quality, pricing usually counts when it comes to heavy machinery and vehicles. If your budget isn’t flexible enough to invest in a quality machine, then hiring one might be a better option for you.
  3. Type of Fuel
    Because every type of forklift is individually designed to operate and perform in a different manner, considering and comparing each option is of vital importance. Container handlers are currently available in three main power types:

    • Petrol or gas
    • Electric
    • Diesel

Although there are crossovers between these three, some defining factors make each type better for certain applications.

  • Electric forklifts:Apart from being unsuitable for outdoor applications, electric container handlers are a modern innovation. As such, finding a used electric forklift is all the more difficult. Although recharging takes up to eight hours, this type of forklift is ideal for use in small spaces due to its enhanced maneuverability, does not emit fumes, and is less noisy.
  • Gas or petrol forklifts:As the most versatile type of forklift, you can use gas forklifts both indoors and outdoors, just as long as the indoor space is sufficiently ventilated. Compared to the electric and diesel options, gas forklifts generally cost less upfront and are cheaper to maintain. In addition to being quick to refuel, they can maintain 100% power throughout the work day.
  • Diesel:Compared to the other types, diesel forklifts are usually more powerful, larger in size, and need much more space to maneuver. Because they emit fumes, diesel container handlers are unsafe for indoor use.
  1. Research
    Because buying machinery is a significant investment, the equipment’s reliability and performance should factor in your decision. Outlined below are a few things to find out about the machinery before you go through with the purchase.

    • Year of manufacture
    • Service history
    • If there are any previous accidents
    • The number of previous owners
    • The environment that particular unit was previously used in
    • How long it has worked
    • Any other question sparked by any of these steps
  1. Performance
    Although buying a used forklift often saves time, you need to ascertain its performance. As such, hiring a trustworthy mechanic to perform an inspection is important. You need to conduct a thorough evaluation, which means that apart from checking the tires, mast, and transmission, you also need to inspect its safety measures including the horn, lights, and seatbelt. Doing a test drive is also important since it confirms the condition of that particular piece of equipment.