*THE* best small shop forklift
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  1. #1
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    Default *THE* best small shop forklift

    Guys, i'm trying to decide what forklift i should invest in for a very tight shop. I have read some threads about Clark clippers and Namco stand up units. I do not have a shop that will allow usage of anything with outriggers. It HAS to be a counterweighted unit. I have a lot of immovable stuff i need to navigate around. The shop space contains a lot of equipment that CAN move with vehicle hoists and whatnot that CANNOT move. On top of that, there's pallet racking all over the place that i need to fork things up onto. With probably either one of these type lifts, i'm probably going to have to swap a mast onto it that's short enough to get under things like hoists/pallet racking and still able to free lift up to the 13.5' ceiling. Tall order i know.

    So what say you guys?

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    Namco hands down, no competition.

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    What weight capacity do you need?
    I had an electric narrow aisle forklift that fit in some pretty tight spots and had a good capacity both in weight and height. It does have outriggers to the front, but the forks extended out from the mast to allow reaching into pallet racks. The forks can drop to the floor in front of the legs, or retract and fit inside them. It honestly didn't take up anymore room than my little 2K Datsun standard. The steer tires could turn past 90 if I recall. They are designed to pick a full size pallet from a rack where the aisle is barely bigger than the pallet. Mast height was a problem for me in my old shop, that is why I got rid of it, it wouldn't fit under a 7ft door. From what I remember from your shop, one of these would work, just can't go outside at all..

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    In my opinion, having sold lifts for almost 40 Yrs. if you have no need to go outside, A truck like a Clark SP30
    which is a Battery powered walkie reach truck that has a reach mechanism that allows you to reach out past the outriggers and at that time is about as long as a like model rider but when retracted becomes much shorter and can lift 3K @ 24" Load center and can be bought with about a 75" or so lowered ht. that will have a 153" lift ht. 3 stage mast. Not the easiest unit to find used but well worth the investment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macgyver View Post
    What weight capacity do you need?
    I had an electric narrow aisle forklift that fit in some pretty tight spots and had a good capacity both in weight and height. It does have outriggers to the front, but the forks extended out from the mast to allow reaching into pallet racks. The forks can drop to the floor in front of the legs, or retract and fit inside them. It honestly didn't take up anymore room than my little 2K Datsun standard. The steer tires could turn past 90 if I recall. They are designed to pick a full size pallet from a rack where the aisle is barely bigger than the pallet. Mast height was a problem for me in my old shop, that is why I got rid of it, it wouldn't fit under a 7ft door. From what I remember from your shop, one of these would work, just can't go outside at all..
    Probably 2000 would do it. Nothing huge. IF i have to move a 5000lb machine, i'm using toe jacks and dollies and moving to the door of the shop where the big outdoor lift can get it. My big forklift is just too big to move around inside anywhere but the 16' open door.

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    Clark Clipper would be ideal but old and not sure what kind of support is out there, they all seem to have a single tall cylinder without any free-lift in the mast. The Clark C500-30 (see orange thing-y at upper left) is more modern and would be ideal for a lot of shops, set of 42" forks for pallets and set of 60"forks for removing pickup truck beds and you'd be right there. Its a project too but a lot of parts support. Main thing is to get the manuals so you have some idea about what you need to buy ahead of time.

    Hyster S30 or the like would be very nice as well.

    Imo life is too short to be swapping forklift masts, it seems like there's about 5 gallons of oil inside it, if any air gets inside the thing gets spongy and mushy which is not ideal. Then you get to climb to the top to bleed.

    If you only want one forklift and need capacity the boxcar special is the way to go, its something like a 7k or 8k forklift with a high stacked counterweight in the wheelbase of a 5k machine.

    If you are committed to a forklift I'd think about how to redesign the shop so that you have access to pallet racks from a central work area (aka a clearing). Lifting things up 13' is very sketchy, I struggle to see the detail and depth perception needed at that height to move stuff without a few knocks and bumps. Where I work something on a high shelf either has to be bolted, banded or ratchet-strapped to a pallet so it can't freefall. You definitely want an overhead guard if going high. Ya don't want to go out squashed between the steering wheel and a pallet.

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    It would be a little bit of a drive for you but if you are looking for a cheap Namco there is one in Minneapolis for sale right now. I was on my way to go look at it yesterday when I found out about a Clearr 3,000 lb lift standup 10 miles away from this Namco and ended up buying it instead. From talking to the guy selling it for his boss, it was purchased to move cars around their towing business's yard. They went a different direction though and it has sat for over a year. It does not come with forks or a propane tank, but for $400, I think it is still a good deal. I have no affiliation with them.

    NAHCO Forklift - heavy equipment - by owner - sale

    And for reference later:

    namco-01.jpg
    namco-02.jpg
    namco-03.jpg
    namco-04.jpg
    namco-05.jpg

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    Yeah that's a drive, but similar to the other ones i've seen. Seems like there's nothing real close. I did talk to a guy that said there was one about an hour away, but they didn't respond to my requests to talk about it. Oh well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt_isserstedt View Post
    Clark Clipper would be ideal but old and not sure what kind of support is out there, they all seem to have a single tall cylinder without any free-lift in the mast. The Clark C500-30 (see orange thing-y at upper left) is more modern and would be ideal for a lot of shops, set of 42" forks for pallets and set of 60"forks for removing pickup truck beds and you'd be right there. Its a project too but a lot of parts support. Main thing is to get the manuals so you have some idea about what you need to buy ahead of time.

    Hyster S30 or the like would be very nice as well.

    Imo life is too short to be swapping forklift masts, it seems like there's about 5 gallons of oil inside it, if any air gets inside the thing gets spongy and mushy which is not ideal. Then you get to climb to the top to bleed.

    If you only want one forklift and need capacity the boxcar special is the way to go, its something like a 7k or 8k forklift with a high stacked counterweight in the wheelbase of a 5k machine.

    If you are committed to a forklift I'd think about how to redesign the shop so that you have access to pallet racks from a central work area (aka a clearing). Lifting things up 13' is very sketchy, I struggle to see the detail and depth perception needed at that height to move stuff without a few knocks and bumps. Where I work something on a high shelf either has to be bolted, banded or ratchet-strapped to a pallet so it can't freefall. You definitely want an overhead guard if going high. Ya don't want to go out squashed between the steering wheel and a pallet.
    All those are much bigger than i want sitting inside the shop all the time. There's nowhere for one to sit outside that won't be either in the way or get stuck in the mud. Unfortunately i don't have a big pad outside the shop for things to sit.

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    I have a Clark Clipper, never seen one with a three stage mast, it struggles to lift 120" Sounds like you need a stacker, electric is way better for inside intermittent use. Bigais sounds like he knows exactly what you want. The constraints you have preclude most common options

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    Whoa. That Clark SP30 is a NICE unit. Don't see many around though. But BADASS.

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    Mariotti - Mariotti Forklifts USA | Compact Narrow Aisle Forklift Manufacturer |
    I have one of the AC series, and I think mine will fit through a man door.

    There's also a thing called a "counterbalanced stacker" which might be manual or powered - but I traded mine in on the mariotti because in practice, the storage space and working radius are the same - you can sit in the machine, or walk behind it, but you can't disappear unless you can convert yourself into a Flat Stanley.

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    Bought that "Nahco" this morning... This is a second one but I will buy every single one I see for under a G. This one is much nicer than my other one.

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    If you have vehicle hoists you probably work on vehicles?

    IMO you should have a 3000-4000 lb forklift so you can pick engines at the end of 42" forks.

    My "ah ha" moment was when I measured my cherry picker, then measured a forklift and realized they take up exactly the same real estate. I shitcanned that cherry picker 15 years ago and have not missed it for a second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizingkid View Post
    Bought that "Nahco" this morning... This is a second one but I will buy every single one I see for under a G. This one is much nicer than my other one.

    Well that explains why no response to my emails...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 86turbodsl View Post
    Well that explains why no response to my emails...
    6 miles from my work, sorry bud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizingkid View Post
    6 miles from my work, sorry bud.
    I guess i shouldn't be too upset, it was 552miles.

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    i like the looks of that one too. Looks just like a Namco.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    If you have vehicle hoists you probably work on vehicles?

    IMO you should have a 3000-4000 lb forklift so you can pick engines at the end of 42" forks.

    My "ah ha" moment was when I measured my cherry picker, then measured a forklift and realized they take up exactly the same real estate. I shitcanned that cherry picker 15 years ago and have not missed it for a second.
    Kinda hard to steer an engine around obstactles while i'm driving a forklift though. I usually work alone. It's pretty easy with a cherry picker and mine folds up.


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