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  1. #1
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    Default Towmotor Forklift?

    I am hoping someone out there might have knowledge of old Towmotor forklifts.

    When I was a teenager, (20+ years ago...) I used to work for a produce broker who had a small Towmotor forklift. I think it was an LT35. I remember it was very unique in that the engine was placed next to the driver on the left. I drove that forklift every day in the summer for several years and I grew attached to it. I stopped working there in the mid 1980's and the produce broker died in the late 1990's. By this time I had gone to college and moved away. I later learned that his (only) son had no interest in the produce business, closed up the shop and sent the forklift and all the produce equipment to a scrap yard - which was a shame since his father was meticulous about maintenance and kept all his machinery in good shape. The old man even had a spare Continental engine for the forklift shrink wrapped in his garage. That too was sent to the scrap yard.

    Anyway, I was thinking of buying an old Towmotor as a keepsake for sentimental reasons, not because I need one or even use one, (I'm now an accountant). I found someone locally that has an LT40. It looks to be about the same size as the LT35, (at least in pictures) except the engine is not on the left, it's under the seat and the driver can access the machine from either side. The LT35 had a lifting capacity of around 2,000 pounds as I recall. I assume the LT40 is the same.

    Is anyone familiar with the LT35 or the LT40? Can anyone tell me specifications for either machine - especially the differences between the LT35, (which I am familiar with) and the LT40, (which I am not). I assume the LT35 is the smallest forklift that Towmotor made with a gas / propane motor. I don't see how a forklift with a gasoline engine could be made any smaller.

    As always, I appreciate the response. This site is a treasure trove of information!

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    Well.......dunno on the specs......but here's a video for ya....

    http://www.af.nl/prive/heftrucks/towmotor/towmotor/

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    I have an old Towmotor just like the one in this here thread, except for a diff seat as I had noted. I think his has been changed from original?

    I have no idea of the model number?

    I can pick 4000# if I'm choked up on it. 1 foot load center will pick 4000. Most are rated at 2' load center - so I would think this would be rated to maybe 3000#?

    I am assuming that you would use this to offload your money?


    Didn't git video to werk for me?




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    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Having worked for Towmotor Corp. from 57 to 63 when bought out by Cat, I cut my teeth on that series truck. The LT 35 was as you described and the "35" came from a 35" wheel base, ie c/L of drive whels to c/L of steer wheels. It was built as a 2015 or 2000# @ 15" load ctr. and a 2024 or 2000# @ 24" lc. ,the only difference being the counterweight. It used a Continental N62 , 4 cyl. watercooled flat head engine with a thermosiphon cooling system (no water pump.)It had a 2 speed standard tranny with engine mounted north/south with an east/west tranny connected by a u joint. The seat was beside the engine compartment. The gear shift was mounted on the cowl,The LT 40 had a 40" wheel base with a conventional engine/tranny setup and had a 3000 @ 15 or 24" load center. The older model had 2 gear shift levers coming up thru the floor boards and later series moved the levers to the cowl. Tha first one I rebuilt completely had a customer labor rate of $5.00 per hour and I thought that was terribly high.Oh how times have changed!I have literature on these somewhere but would probably take till my estate sale to locate it.

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    Bigais,

    Great info. I called Eastern Lift Truck, (suppossed experts on forklifts with offices throughout the USA) and they told me the model number on a Towmotor related to the lifting capacity of the machine. So, the LT35 could lift 3500 pounds and the LT40 could lift 4000 pounds. I told him I thought that was false because I was certain that the LT35 maxed out at 2,000 pounds, but he told me he was the expert....

    I am looking for collectible, not a daily driver. Something I could park next to the Rockwell Milling Machine and Atlas lathe (that I never use) and stare at when I have a bad day at work or the wife drives me nuts. So, to that end, which would you recommend, the 35 or the 40?

    BTW - Did all the LT35's have the engine on the side? Did Towmotor make any 35 inch wheel base machines with the engine under the seat? I've included a picture that's similar to the Towmotor I am going to look at. I "assumed" it was an LT40, but the wheelbase looks the same as the LT35. Is the wheelbase on this machine really 5 inches longer than the 35? I assume the 35 is the smallest machine Towmotor ever made.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails towmotor-1.jpg  

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    Default More pictures.....

    I found a few more pictures on the web, so I figured I would post them. To me, these machines all look like they have the same wheelbase. The LT35 is the machine I used to drive as a teenageer. You can see how the driver and engine sit side by side. It took a while to get used to steering with your left hand. I have a lot of good memories with that machine. I remember one year the old man that owned it rebuilt the engine over the winter. As I recall it was a flathead engine. Really cute.

    The other machine I assume is a 40, but I don't know, that's just a guess.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lt35.jpg   lt-35-2.jpg   towmotor-2.jpg  

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    I have one just like your first and last pics. I just ran a measure acrost it and I come up with 42" C/L's.

    IMO I would "recommend" that you fetch whatever one you can find first, closest, and cheapest. Other than that - possibly the smaller one would take up less space in the garage?

    I have been VERY pleased with mine!

    That said - I had an 8000# Towmotor that was a POS. (Juice tranny!)


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    Ox

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    Guage, The LT35 was a one-of -a-kind truck.The Lt40,Lt44 & Lt48 were a family of trucks that each had the next larger wheel base and more capacity. If you really want an LT35, don't settle for the larger family. There is no such thing as antiques in the lift truck business they are either servicable newer trucks or old ones worth scrap or a few hundred dollars.The only smaller truck than the LT35 in physical size is the Clark Trucloader Mod. TR1015 or 1024 which uses the same N62 Continental but is rated for 1000# @15" L.C. or 1000# @24" L.C. I have run across LT35's in scrap yards from time to time.Most of the people you will talk to were not in the business when those trucks were made, knowing the turnover in the lift truck business from "the good old days". As mentioned , I worked for 6 years for Towmotor Corp. and then 34 years for Clark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    I have one just like your first and last pics. I just ran a measure acrost it and I come up with 42" C/L's.

    IMO I would "recommend" that you fetch whatever one you can find first, closest, and cheapest. Other than that - possibly the smaller one would take up less space in the garage?

    I have been VERY pleased with mine!

    That said - I had an 8000# Towmotor that was a POS. (Juice tranny!)


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    Ox
    Ox: Your truck is a later model and should be an LT420 which replaced the LT40 to 48 series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigais View Post
    Guage, The LT35 was a one-of -a-kind truck.The Lt40,Lt44 & Lt48 were a family of trucks that each had the next larger wheel base and more capacity. If you really want an LT35, don't settle for the larger family. There is no such thing as antiques in the lift truck business they are either servicable newer trucks or old ones worth scrap or a few hundred dollars.The only smaller truck than the LT35 in physical size is the Clark Trucloader Mod. TR1015 or 1024 which uses the same N62 Continental but is rated for 1000# @15" L.C. or 1000# @24" L.C. I have run across LT35's in scrap yards from time to time.Most of the people you will talk to were not in the business when those trucks were made, knowing the turnover in the lift truck business from "the good old days". As mentioned , I worked for 6 years for Towmotor Corp. and then 34 years for Clark.
    I did a search for the Trucloader on the internet - just to see what one looked like, but I couldn't find a thing. It must have been a very rare machine.

    In the meantime, I going to keep my eyes open for the LT35.

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    Guage: The Trucloader was a popular machine used in the tobacco and appliance industry as they weighed less than 2500# and were great for older buildings that had weak floors and 2500# elevators where they could shuttle them between the floors to move lighter loads. They show up on Ebay every now & then.They are now getting pretty scarce.

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    Yes the truckloader is a great little machine I happen to own one it is set up like the towmotor 40 series machines you sit on top of the motor. Bill

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    I've got a towmotor 1951....something....can't remember the model number...probably a LT40.
    Motor under the seat....4000lb cap.
    I'll try to post some pics.....

    dk

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    I finally found a picture of the Trucloader.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails clark-trucloader.jpg  

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    Default Calling Bigais....

    I was hoping Bigais might be able to identify this machine for me. Owner says it was manufactured in 1948 and the model is 510PLP2024. It's rated for 2,000 pounds. Can you tell me anything about this machine? What's the wheelbase? I've included a picture:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails forklift-002.jpg   forklift-001.jpg  

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    Hi Gauge, I might be wrong, but I think that mod. should be a 501P,?It should be a 50" wheel base and if you had the next two numbers of the ser#, they would be the year. I see it is a 2 speed Std. trans., which is good,as you don't ever want to buy any that say "Tomotorq" as they were real slow slushboxes.that took forever to shift direction.If that unit does not have power steering , I recommend you take arm building exercises as you will need them for slow tight turning places. If it does have power steer it then used a Ross gear box and a Monroe steer Cylinder system which is obsolete and expensive to replace, if you can find parts. They were not a good outdoor truck as the small steer tires would sink and cause the drive tires to "chuck" and dig nice holes to plant onions in.I'm just giving you my opinion which is free and thats about all it is worth.I would keep on lookin.

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    Default Calling Bigais....again

    I apologize if I am boring people with this post, but I have no other way of communicating with Bigais other than this public forum and Bigais seems to be the most knowledgable person I have ever found on Towmotor forklifts....

    Anyway, the Towmotor in the pictures above is a 510. I've included a picture of the ID tag on the truck below.

    I have another question regarding a Towmotor which I hope you can identify. When I worked for the produce broker those 20+ years ago, I drove a Towmotor LT35, but the owner of the company also drove a Towmotor, which I recall was a little larger and newer. I would say the wheelbase was around 40 inches, (it was not much bigger than the LT35). Lift capacity was around 2,500 pounds. It was a 2 speed machine, with 2 levers to the right of the steering wheel to select forward/reverse and high/low. This truck came with a roll cage overhead. The propane tank was under the driver's seat and the engine was in front of the driver with the crankshaft pointing left to right, (much like a modern day front wheel drive car). The driver sat rather low to the ground relative to other machines I have seen. In other words, some machines you have to climb up into - sitting very high, but in this machine, the driver's feet were only 10 inches above the ground. That was a great little machine. Do you have any idea what the model of this forklift might be?

    Thanks so much for your help Bigais. You are a wealth of information.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails forklift-004.jpg  

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    I apologize if I am boring people with this post,
    When they git bored - they will (or should) quit opening this thread. So no worries mate!


    ------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Default Towmotor #'s

    Guage, This is the later model of the machine,and I can't see the # clear, but the 2 numbers after the mod. are the year. The other truck was either a 410S or 411S depending on the year. You may email me direct @ [email protected], I have no objection.

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    Default old towmotor for sale

    hi i have a very rare 1940s towmotor for sale do u no of anyone after one cheers dave my ph no in newzealand 09-4075101


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