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Precautions to Take When Looking for Used Material Handling Equipment

Any place that handles large quantities of material, like a factory or warehouse, is similar to an orchestra. Every component and system must work in sync to keep the operation harmonious. Anything out-of-tune will jeopardize the entire workflow with jarring delays and cost overruns.

Material handling equipment like forklifts and conveyor systems help workers perform their respective tasks with ease. With increasing automation in all types of environments, their need is only going up. Purchasing them is a no-brainer.

Their cost and an exhaustive list of features might intimidate buyers from pushing forward with a purchase. For such situations, the second-hand market will be a good alternative. Suppliers like American Surplus have a bevy of such equipment that will suit every application’s needs well.

The Safe Way to Buy Second-Hand Equipment

It is normal to have concerns about purchasing second-hand equipment for any job. The grueling nature of the jobs performed by material handling equipment further adds to the apprehensions. Suppliers like American Surplus understand such concerns and help with assuaging such fears in many ways. Knowledge of what to look for in a potential purchase will further assure you of a good one.

Usage Hours

Material handling equipment is used typically for long hours, including 24/7. Such continuous usage takes a toll on it. The more the number of hours its usage, the more will be the number and severity of problems.

Check for the number of hours of the equipment’s operation in total before purchase. The lower the number, the better will be its condition. It will also allow you the freedom to use it more if your needs demand it. You will save on maintenance and replacement costs if your purchase has fewer hours on it.

The Environment of Previous Use

Used material handling equipment can come from a host of environments. They could’ve been used indoors or outdoors. They could’ve been subjected to caustic vapors and chemicals due to spillage or otherwise. They might have had to weather the elements when being used outdoors.

Every such handling practice will have affected the equipment’s condition. It could be in the form of rust and corrosion, reduced efficiency, frequent malfunction, etc. You should survey its usage history and inform yourself about the kind of environment it previously functioned in. You will get a clear picture of the potential problems that could plague it in the short or long term.


The age of the equipment can have a significant bearing on its service capabilities. Even if the equipment’s usage might not have been intense, natural aging will have played a role in damaging it.

Ensure that its manufacturing details are present on the equipment itself. Don’t buy equipment that has such vital information missing on its body. Insist on seeing its associated documents like service record and purchase invoice. You must have the guarantee that it is as old as it is claimed to be.

Get It Inspected By an Expert

It could be impossible for you to check everything about every piece of equipment yourself. You might not have the time or know-how to do so. It helps to enlist an expert in such circumstances.

These professionals will know the ins and outs of the equipment they inspect. Their experience will help spot flaws with ease and save you the trouble of a bad buy. Alternatively, you can rely on quality suppliers of such equipment to the inspecting for you.

They will have an in-house team of technicians who will do a complete checkup of the equipment’s overall condition and generate a report.

Purchasing second-hand material handling equipment can have risks due to the large investment it is.  Suppliers like American Surplus can mitigate any apprehensions you might have and get you the best one for your needs.