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Clark vs Hyster/Yale 15k forklift


Aug 26, 2007
I've wanted a 15k forklift for a while, Yale or Hyster seem to be the most popular with riggers. I have a chance to check out a Clark which I may be able to get for a reasonable price. Any thing to watch out for or is there a reason why they don't seem as popular in that list capacity than the other brands? Probably late 80's early 90's vintage.
Are you looking at 'rigger type' short mast ? I have had Clarks, TCM's Mit, Yale, and, Hyster lifts. I would not exclude the Toyota, Nissan, Taylor, or Allis Chalmers. Are you looking for hard tire or pneumatic?

Yale and Hyster do have a big share of that size market in the older lifts. Clark made a lot of lifts in that size range for the military in the 1960's~70's I have a 20K Hyster all my other lifts are smaller 8K or under. Condition and specs for your needs are most important. Parts for any of these are out there, as they get older some odd parts are harder to source.
There are 2 clarks available, both are hard tire, neither is running. One has dual fronts- I've never seen dual fronts in hard tire lifts. From the photos I've seen the front tires look smaller in diameter than the hysters too..The masts are the same height as the overhead guard when down.I should have more info after I go look in a few days
There are 2 clarks available, both are hard tire, neither is running. One has dual fronts- I've never seen dual fronts in hard tire lifts. From the photos I've seen the front tires look smaller in diameter than the hysters too..The masts are the same height as the overhead guard when down.I should have more info after I go look in a few days
Post some pics if U can
Went to look at these today. They are both three stage mast short chassis tall counterweight solid tire clark model c500-s100, so only 10k lifts rather than 15k as advertised, probably 1989 or so. The one I thought was dual tire appears to have two tires pressed on to each wheel. Both machines are in pretty bad shape, one also has a mast leak and poor chrome (but not pitted) on the tilt cylinders. They both have Perkins 4 cylinder LPG engines. I'm still interested; are parts still available for these engines? rebuild kit? what does a mast cylinder cost to reseal? They have the short center cylinder with two tall outer cylinders and side shift. Neither runs or has brake pedal resistance, of course, but there was oil in the engines and some coolant in the radiator, and one or both need starters, tires, batteries & have had rodents work on the wiring. The one I'd prefer has 6xxx hrs on it (5-1/2' forks, mast about 7' down, 161" lift, stamped 5700lbs at 42"LC which I guess would be around 9900 at 24", the other has only 24xx hrs, 6-1/2' forks, mast 96" down, 189" lift, stamped 8350lbs at 24" lc. What's the "'I'd have to be an idiot to not buy it" price? I can fix anything, and I have the time, but if there is a red flag on any potential parts required either from a no longer available (or priced that way) perspective I'd like to know...and buying both is not out of the question if it would be worth it to restore one for resale and keep the one I want. thoughts?
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The Perkins gas motors Ive seen are the 4/236 type ......from recall ,the simplest way of repair would be a swap for a diesel 4/236...........i dont know your location,but I sometimes buy good 4/236 diesel motors for $500 .............what I dislike about Clarks is how hard fixing the wheel brakes is in the under 4 ton size .....the bigger ones,like 160s and bigger have truck type brakes ,with IIRC planetary reduction hubs?
I'd prefer to keep it LP. If it needed the engine to come out anyway rebuilding it would not be too much of a problem unless parts are not available or unreasonably expensive.
They are just big dumb iron chunks on wheels with some hydraulic stuff. If there really is something you can't get anymore, you just adapt something similar.

The only thing that might do them in is a trashed diff or mast.

Hydraulic seal kits aren't usually more than $150/cyl. It's the work to pull mast cylinders that causes it to be put off.

I would say a grand each is a no brainer price. I wouldn't pay much more than scrap value for them not running.

You can easily put more into parts fixing them than you can go buy a good one for.
As far as I know the gas engines simply have pistons topped off to reduce compression,and an adaptor on the injector pump drive for a distributor............the plugs fit into the injector holes.....Perkins diesel spares are cheaper than dirt (for some motors).....just so you steer clear of the V8s.
As Garwood mentioned, these things can be like boats, lifts that have been run hard with many failures is not a good starting point. I rebuilt a Continential flat head six a couple years ago, close to 3000. all said and done plus a rad flush. This was for my Hyster H70 that is maybe worth that to the right buyer? It is old and old forklifts are cheap. Personally I would pass unless you HAVE the parts to fix them. There are too many other running lfts out there.
My point would be if you want a 15,000 lb lift,dont buy an 8,000.........incidentally something has happened here (inflation?) and any kind of old lift with dual wheels and 8 ton capacity is $20,000 or more .
yes, same here, big money. The low for anything running under 8000lbs was about 75 cents/lb. more now. and much more for heavy lift.
Don't just search local, I bought my big forklift three states away. The prices are high and the machines sit for months/years. Like the old time machinery dealers thinking every old lathe or mill was worth three times its value. Start looking at auctions also, Richie, Purple Wave, and Auction Time are all big on material handling
I've been looking on and off, on line over quite a large area and watched many go for stupid money at auction (I guess its not stupid if that's what they are really trading for, stupid for me to pay that much though or more accurately it wouldn't make sense based on how much I would be using it. At a point it makes more sense to rent). These are 10 minutes from home and were listed as 15k lb lifts, unfortunately not the case.
Well, I bought both of them for 1/2 of what they will bring for scrap, so if I can get one running with the parts from both I'll be pretty happy! Now I need to get them the 12mi to home..
I have a bunch of clark service and parts manuals send me a pm with model # and email and I will fwd on to you.

I just rebuilt the detroit 3-53 out of a c500-155 and a bit of chassis work. They're a good lift

. Brakes might be siezed bring a hammer.
To get to the brake shoes have to take the final drives off and the split rims if you have. Decent amount more work. My one had the same master cylinder as my 70s binder with a remote bendix hydrovac. Pretty straight forward probably master cylinder leaking from piston
Got the lifts home yesterday, a friend had a heavy duty rollback that worked well for one at a time. The right drive wheel on both machines were frozen so you were right about the brakes, but they slid right up the ramp without too much trouble, I think just the parking brakes are stuck. Haven't had a chance to take a close look yet but I at least need to get a starter solenoid, plugs, plug wires, distributor cap and a battery, then clean up some wiring and see if I can get one or both running before I get to the brakes as I'll need to use some blocks up under the mast and tilt it to get the front wheels up in case I need to get the drive axle ends off. Looks like rain tomorrow & probably next week until I have parts in hand anyway.