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Vimar/ATF Forklifts.....any comments or insight on them?

Mcgyver

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Location
Toronto
I need a new forklift and am thinking of this Chinese brand.

Experience for decades has conditioned me to think made in China = low quality. Lately there's been some challenges to my bias, a branded camera gimbal and 3D printer have both been excellent. (I've maintained that once Chinese firms start branding, they become stakeholders in quality and things will change....with some things, that seems like it is happening)

Anyway, I can't ignore the price difference. New and even used developed world ones are bloody expensive. Does anyone have any experience with this make? They have a Nissan motor which I think is good.

3.5ton LPG Forklifts Manufacturers & Suppliers China - Price - VIMAR

Go for it or run away?

thanks
 
How many of them in Toronto? All of Canada? The thing I would be concerned about is support and part availability. I have Cat/Mits and Hyster lifts, a guy from the dealer in Wichita told me last month that production is out to 14~18 months on new machines. The market is nuts for everything lately. That kinda explains crazy pricing on used equipment, that said, you are rolling the dice on a unknown.

The Chinese copy stuff but make changes like thread pitch on fittings and such, a seemingly common part could be a bastard. That is particularly relevant to stuff they make for domestic production. It may just be a knock off of another lift feature for feature you gota get more info on what is the nuts and bolts of construction.

Steve
 

Mcgyver

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Location
Toronto
The points you guys are making is why its not a no brainer for me.

There is a local dealer. The China plant was TCM, TCM merged with Nissan became UniCarriers and moved production to Chicago where they had capacity in an old Nissan plant (all as the story was told to me). The plant in China reopened as Vimar. I just talked to a guy who has a couple, gave a pretty good report and says he would by another.....local guy I know so don't think it was out and out shilling.

One thing I like is no electronics; its all mechanical links, no sensors etc. I don't want sensors and BS and $2 boards that cost $3000 when they go.
 
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Mcgyver

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Location
Toronto
lots of blame for chaos to go around, isn't there? I agree on the evilness of the deranged P-word, but disagree on your assumptions about China's role/position or that the nation or Vimar forklifts currently deserve boycott. No decision made yet but the goal is to buy the best value for the business I can, full stop. Lets keep the politics to the nutbar forum.
 
I had a TCM forklift 30 years ago, it was OK nothing special but it did the job. The parts were not as common but, that was long ago. Sounds like it may be a good option? None of my forklifts 4 of em are electronic in any way short of the distributors. The basic machines are really simple so unless the cheap out on hoses or seals not much to go wrong?

Steve
 

packardbill

Cast Iron
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Location
central Pa., U.S.A.
I say buy a Toyota. Now the newest Toyota I have experience with is 2018's. Their ECM's are/were bulletproof. Very ergonomic and maneuverable. Parts support is excellent. You'll have to have your operators test drive the chi-com unit to experience the ergonomics and maneuverability, or lack thereof.
For a business you are going to depreciate/write-off the expense. I'd go for a better machine. Just my ,02. PB
 
You can't go wrong with a Toyota, good luck with warranty work and parts on the one you are thinking about. Divided we fall, united we stand, its not just a catchy slogan.

While I agree with your sentiment that is based on apples to apples. The other thing is, it is easy to spend someone else money. That lead time I mentioned above of 14+ months delivery on new lift trucks is industry wide in material handling. Unless there is a truck on the floor that is unsold, very unlikely then it is over a year to get one from Toyota, Mits, Nissan etc. That in turn has caused the used market to get stupid like the used cars. If Mac can get the lift in a timely manner it is better than paying a premium for a truck that is off lease.

The world has been going from one calamity to another the last few years. The newest is compounded by the last to the extent that what was isn't and what is, is nothing like we are accustom to. Then again how different is it that one machine came from China and the other sends it profit to Japan? The notion that this is going to sway international trade is a red herring, the crap people buy as consumer products are the real issue with Chinese trade imbalance.

I think we all need to realistic about current events when talking about industries that are struggling to regain production.

Steve
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
Yep,Chinee is half the price.......I bought a rider mower coupla days ago...its 100% Chinee,.....yet ...its branded as "Made In the USA" over a Flag "...made by Midland Tool and Die,makers of Cub Cadet,Troy Built,MTD ,and numerous other good ole Yankee brands.....buuut.....they all look the same as each other,all 100% Chinee.....The last local mower maker finally gave up the struggle in 2017,product was twice the price,and while it was a quality machine,how much quality can you afford?
 

jeff76

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Location
Ohio USA
Yep,Chinee is half the price.......I bought a rider mower coupla days ago...its 100% Chinee,.....yet ...its branded as "Made In the USA" over a Flag "...made by Midland Tool and Die,makers of Cub Cadet,Troy Built,MTD ,and numerous other good ole Yankee brands.....buuut.....they all look the same as each other,all 100% Chinee.....The last local mower maker finally gave up the struggle in 2017,product was twice the price,and while it was a quality machine,how much quality can you afford?

If you are referring to MTD products it most likely was made in the USA. They have two plants near where I live in Ohio and I know several people that work there. I believe that Black and Decker bought out this privately owned company not too long ago but the 2 factories near me are still producing product.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
If you are referring to MTD products it most likely was made in the USA. They have two plants near where I live in Ohio and I know several people that work there. I believe that Black and Decker bought out this privately owned company not too long ago but the 2 factories near me are still producing product.

Where specifically ?

One was across the street from McKean Machinery, and it's on the ground now.
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
That lead time I mentioned above of 14+ months delivery on new lift trucks is industry wide in material handling. Unless there is a truck on the floor that is unsold, very unlikely then it is over a year to get one from Toyota, Mits, Nissan etc. That in turn has caused the used market to get stupid like the used cars. If Mac can get the lift in a timely manner it is better than paying a premium for a truck that is off lease.
Doosan was about 6 months out on new trucks last I checked. I bought a new Doosan 5K LP pneumatic lift truck about 3 months ago for $29,000 delivered. It was possibly the last "in stock" Doosan of similar size east of the Mississippi. I actually wanted a new 3500 lb LP cushion tire truck* none in stock anywhere (none to be had in 3K or 4K size either) and the price was so close and delivery so long I bought the 5000 lb pneumatic instead.

Now I notice quite a few ads where 12 year old 5K LP pneumatics with 7,000 hours (Hyster, Toyota) are priced at $30-32,000... insane...

IMG_1791.jpg

*If curious why I'd have preferred a lesser capacity "on pavement only" truck... don't really need more capacity as I have a 15,500 forklift for the heavier iron, and tight on space so prefer smaller frame. But the pneumatic probably way better for future resale value.
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
I just looked at ebay, 270 listings for forklifts, prices start at $3500, but if it has to be..
"prices start at..." is meaningless. The problem is that nice late model low hour units are often priced higher than new. And even some antiques like this 1994 Toyota with mystery hours are nuts high ....

Toyota 7FGU25 1994 LP Forklift 3 Stage 5000lb Capacity Side Shift Pneumatic Tire | eBay

over a quarter of a century old..with dents and rattle can paint job.... and no "make offer" box... plus $2000 shipping if 400+ miles away

And then probably 80% of the forklifts listed on eliftruck.com are vaporware....already sold..
 

dalmatiangirl61

Titanium
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Location
BFE Nevada/San Marcos Tx
"prices start at..." is meaningless. The problem is that nice late model low hour units are often priced higher than new. And even some antiques like this 1994 Toyota with mystery hours are nuts high ....

Toyota 7FGU25 1994 LP Forklift 3 Stage 5000lb Capacity Side Shift Pneumatic Tire | eBay

over a quarter of a century old..with dents and rattle can paint job.... and no "make offer" box... plus $2000 shipping if 400+ miles away

And then probably 80% of the forklifts listed on eliftruck.com are vaporware....already sold..

Like anything else, when buying used it requires some time. Sure, some sellers are trying to get more than what they paid for used forklifts (and trailers), because you know "pandemic pricing" and "supply chain" issues:rolleyes5:, but there are still deals to be had, if not today, maybe tomorrow. No shortage of auctions on Bidspotter either, some even in Canada.

From a business perspective, I'd rather buy something used that I know you can get parts and service for, than a mystery machine, but its not my money being spent.
 

matt_isserstedt

Diamond
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Location
suburbs of Ann Arbor, MI, USA
I have to say it depends on duty cycle.

Pure and simple, in my estimation and experience, forklifts get abused by people trying to work fast unloading and loading semi trailers, and it can be a 3 shift x 7 day operation in a freight terminal or large factory.

Guessing you aren't that being here :) but who uses it is also a critical factor. There are the functional equivalents of surgeons and the functional equivalents of butchers who sit in the seat and all fall into under the label of "forklift operators".

In short, if you are going to run it hard, I would look for an easily accessible parts and service base.

Another critical piece of info might be the ability (or lack thereof) to get parts lists, exploded views, maintenance manuals with the machine up-front as part of the deal. If those documents are guarded its going to make life considerably tougher.
 








 
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