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  1. #1
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    Default Opinions on used forklifts

    I'm looking for an older forklift that will see only very occasional use. Something in a 5000#, can't haul anything bigger than that. There are a few Clark GCS25's, a Cat V50D, and GC25k all about the same price available right now. There is also a Toyota 7FGCU20, which is a 4000# machine. Might be pushing that one a little, but the price is right. Anyone have any experience with any of these? Any one better than the others, or any to be avoided?

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    Hard to say, keep in mind a older forks can be gift from god or a nightmare, anything brakes on the fork the repair will be more than the fork is worth, even a leak will cost big bucks. Engine is a big deal, find one with a Chevy or a parts friendly engine, big bucks can be spent there as well, a bad water-pump can cost over $500.00 without labor, and a fork is a sob to work on(no room). I would buy the best, newest fork you can afford (with a good test drive)...Phil

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    My experience has been Clark is junk I have a t 50d cat now not bad lift. All the Toyota’s I’ve been around were all good lifts
    Take it for what you paid for the answer. My opinion may not be worth shit.
    Don


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    Quote Originally Posted by D Nelson View Post
    My experience has been Clark is junk I have a t 50d cat now not bad lift. All the Toyota’s I’ve been around were all good lifts
    Take it for what you paid for the answer. My opinion may not be worth shit.
    Don


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Saw a T50 Cat that sold. I read somewhere that some of the older Cats had Peugeot engines that could turn into the nightmare that Phil in Montana warns about. Newer ones are Mitsubishi, which one is yours? Also read that Clarks are particularly hard to work on. I think the ones I'm looking at are also Mitsubishi engines.

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    How about a Hyster 50XM? Looks to be in good condition from the pictures, but 9600 hours. What engines did Hyster use?

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    I've rented a few Toyotas and really liked then for visibility, speed, and ergonomic placement of controls, never worked on one. On my second Clark, and first Daiwoo. Tough call, pick the one you think is in best condition, and does not have an oddball obscure engine. Plan on doing your own repairs, unless you don't mind dropping a couple grand everytime it needs a repair. Unless planning on running it on concrete exclusively, get pneumatic tires. The hard tires (erroneously called cushion tires in FL lingo) suck on dirt/gravel, if hard packed and dry you can get by, but expect to pull it out from time to time when it sinks in mud or just finds a soft spot, you will need a 3/4 ton truck with 4wd for that job.

    Look at main lift cylinder, if it has 2 hoses, 1 top, 1 bottom, if it needs to be rebuilt it requires much more work than new style cylinder with just 1 hose at bottom. With new style you just remove top cap on cylinder and replace seals in cap, old style requires removing cylinder, breaking it down and replacing internal seals. Makes the difference in a couple hours work vs a couple days work.

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    I'd also vote for Cat, Toyota or Hyster. All good lift trucks. Clarks are OK, but not in the same class in my opinion. You should strongly consider electric with your use case. Much more tolerant of sitting around not in use and also very easy to maintain and not as much to go wrong. Even crummy old batteries will run for 30 or 45 minutes without issue and that probably fits what you want. You can pickup an old but adequate charger for not much money.

    Jeff
    Last edited by Jeff_M_PA; 01-20-2021 at 04:34 PM. Reason: typing

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    I also have a cat t50d with hard warehouse tires, I believe the v50d is the pneumatic tire version. I got the lift free because someone snapped the carburetor off at the mounting point. 20 mins with a tig torch and it fired right up. It has been a good lift. It does have a peugeot engine, mine has around 6500 hrs. I have rebuilt the main lift cylinder ($43 at a local hydraulic shop in town), new starter and new filters/fluids.

    The same week I got the lift and fixed it up, I found a 40 taper milling machine that weighs about 5300lbs. The place I bought it from had a Nissan lift rated at 5k, and it could barely get the machine up on my flatbed truck. Once I got home, the Cat didn't have any issues picking it off the truck and putting the machine into my shop. I even re-lifted the machine to flatbed deck height to see how much easier it was with the cat. Night and day difference.

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    A lot depends on your parameters of importance. I chose an ex US ARMY Still made in Germany for the US ARMY. It was sold through DRMO and has a Deutz 3 cylinder diesel engine. My biggest parameter was that has to lie in the the driveway 365 days a year in all types of weather and it must start every time regardless. When I got it, it was junk. Replaced all the hoses, the brakes, the transmission leaks and the rust. I disassembled and painted it. Then I reassembled it to new specs with new glass and rubber everywhere. It has no electronics. It's bulletproof.

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    I have an 80s 5K Cark GP138MC. The independent FL repair guy that we call for help said "that's the forklift that bankrupted Clark" because they had so many problems. It had a hard life and was terribly neglected when I got it to replace an older FL. It gets used 4-5 times a week on average, and does fine for us. The aluminum headed Mitsubishi engine needs a $1000 head gasket job so K-Seal radiator sealer has avoided that. A PO put an electronic ignition coversion in it.We rebuilt all the cylinders one at a time as they got too leaky to put up with, the tilt cylinders needed new rods and bodies. I cut the entire wire harness out of it and rewired it with about 8 wires total. Always starts, runs great, good brakes, triple mast and side shift with fork positioning so I don't expect to want another as long as this one runs. I bought paint and might even paint it someday.

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    Some Clarks are pretty good, many not so much. I wouldn't buy a Clark project machine or pay top dollar for one.

    Hyster is pretty good. They are heavy and clunky. I do not like the ergonomics of Hysters from the late 70's through the 90's. I think they suck to use, but they are reliable. I prefer the older hysters with the flathead four or six. They are bulletproof, good ergonomics and usually pretty cheap because folks perceive those engines to be antiquated. I think they're spot on for occasional use forklift duty. I have had several Hysters with umpty dozen thousand hour abused flatheads running on milkshake oil and they never die. Foot to floor hammer down, give it hell and change out the propane bottle every now and then.

    Toyotas are usually pretty good lifts. Built well and the gas versions are easy to get parts for. I would not buy a diesel version.

    The Komatsu and Nissan lifts are my favorite. There's a shitload of interchange and they all use the H20 engine which will usually go about 12 million hours between oil changes and could need rings as often as every 200 years. I think they used the same exact forklift design from the late 70's through the early 2000's changing only the engine cover. I have never treated another mechanical thing as bad as I have one of these forklifts. I think after 5 or so years of horrid abuse my poor abused Komatsu actually runs better than when I bought it.

  12. #12
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    I just bought a 1999 Nissan 4K LPG lift. It's got a 4 stage mast so the visibility sucks, but I really wanted the 20 feet of lift. I looked at a Kamatsu that had not gotten any routine maintenance and it really showed. The one I bought was very high time but seemed well cared for. Engine had been replaced and transmission overhauled. Hoses had been replaced recently.

    It looks pretty simple mechanically and not terrible to work on. I'm not going to use it very hard, so I'm hoping it will last me a long time.

    The forks are off in the picture because I was swapping for the longer ones on my worn out electric lift.



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    How do you see anything? I once had a big AC with all the masts and cly,s in the way, I put a back up camera in the front and a tv so I could drive it...Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Montana View Post
    How do you see anything? I once had a big AC with all the masts and cly,s in the way, I put a back up camera in the front and a tv so I could drive it...Phil
    I was thinking about one of those convex mirrors for seeing around corners. I just go really slowly.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    expect to pull it out from time to time when it sinks in mud or just finds a soft spot, you will need a 3/4 ton truck with 4wd for that job.
    Nah. Was no SPACE for that.

    About 8 hours spread over two days (I ain't 20 years old, no more..) with a matched pair of toe jacks, a low-profile trolley jack, couple of 5K Vestl pry dollies, and around a hundred lbs avoir or so of decent timber and plyood will do it..

    DAMHIKT!

    Gravel. On a slight slope. Daewoo 8K propane. Belly-down in a New York Minute!

    Fuggabuncha so-called "cushion" tires! F*****s may as well have been Teflon!

    Hadda drive multiple 2-inch steel pins to anchor the "roadway" built under it as progressively jacked up, (ever try jacking under FL? Belly-down or NOT?) .. screw rock-on cement board over the timber, then chevron CLEAT even that .. to get any traction!

    I did say f**k "cushion tires?"

    Life was easier in Long Binh's Laterite greasey-mud, rainy season.

    Pneumatic tires... TRACKS... (see M88 VTR..) or go hungry, thanks.


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    there all good
    and
    all junk
    bought a 25 year old Otis ran like a champ, would move mountains
    bought a 2 year old t50D
    constant fuel system problems
    you gotta really check out what you buy

    good luck

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    I bought my Komatsu cheap because it ran real rough. Seller had forklift mech check it out said it needed head rebuilt. Took a little screwing around, but figured out one cylinder wasn't getting spark. Turned out a PO had installed a Pertronix kit long ago and at some point one of the little magnets fell out of the rotor. Pertronix admitted that happens all the time and sent me a new rotor for free. Runs much better on 4 cyl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    I bought my Komatsu cheap because it ran real rough. Seller had forklift mech check it out said it needed head rebuilt. Took a little screwing around, but figured out one cylinder wasn't getting spark. Turned out a PO had installed a Pertronix kit long ago and at some point one of the little magnets fell out of the rotor. Pertronix admitted that happens all the time and sent me a new rotor for free. Runs much better on 4 cyl.
    LOL! Had an Uncle, vintage of 1908, made really good money as a glass worker. Took up dirt-track racing, Frontenac head on Model T. Wasn't as good a driver as he was a mechanic. Flipped the whole car upside down into a muddy pond, one race.

    Crowd swarmed the pond, lifted the car off him, drug him out, pumped the mud and critters out of his mouth and nose. He had the good sense to "retire" from racing.

    Still a hellion, he got some sort of big six into a beefed up Model-T chassis around the time the Model B and Model A had taken over, but Model T were still all over the roads.

    Dad said he'd pull a lever, run the car on half the cylinders, BANG (miss) BANG (miss) BANG (miss).. pump the klaxon horn, smart-alec challenge a newer and "better" car to "clear the road!" ... so he could pass!

    Other fellow would just laugh, take off with a commanding lead. He'd then move that lever, come roaring up and pass, lever pulled again:
    BANG (miss) BANG (miss) BANG (miss)..

    Dad said he was cutting out half the plugs.
    Asked Harold about it in his old age.

    He said HELL NO!

    The lever only controlled whether he had the six exhaust bypass valves all shut and on to the muffler, open on all six, or only open on alternate three!

    They didn't have much AM radio coverage in West Virginia those days, let alone Tee Vee, insane-class politics or even printed porn.

    Folks had to improvise.

    Used forklifts can be just as "entertaining" yet-today. But only if you can keep yer sense of humour.

  20. #19
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    My version of occasional use is two to three times per year. If the OP’s similar frequency, why not just rent. Way cheaper here to do that instead of owning, don’t know about OP’s area.

    L7

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    My opinion on used forklifts is that is all I can afford so that is what I have. I have spent quite a bit of time on 3 different ones over the last 20 years. My old job had a nice electric TCM, was in good shape and I really liked the ergonomics of it. Pretty reliable, only trouble was the board for the throttle/creep went out and the new one never was able to be tuned back as well as original. Still very usable and no complaints really. Checked the battery 2-3 times a year and it lasted a long time.

    My first personal lift that I still have is a '78 Datsun 2,000 lb machine. I love it, it is my favorite so far an I use it everyday. It is basic, only single stage mast and no side shift. The controls are on a X pattern to the right of the steering wheel. There are separate clutch and brake pedal so I can creep by just holding the brake pedal. It is very short and will fit through a 36"x 80" man door. It will lift alot more than it should. It is old enough to still have points ignition.

    2nd lift is a 2003 Hyster S50XM. It has more features and does a good job, but there are little annoyances when compared to the Datsun. It will have a home for a long time though as it has side shift, 3 stage mast, 4ft forks. It has a GM 3.0L 4 cylinder. I think it is the same as Mercruiser uses.

    My main beef with it is the clutch and brake are on the same pedal so it disengages the clutch first then applies the brakes. I have to ride the parking brake to do close work.

    I just got a mid 60's Hyster 12,000 lb that will need some work to get it like I want it, but I think it will be a good one.


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