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  1. #1
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    Default Recommend new forklift purchase

    My fork lift is on its last legs and I think it is time to step up to a newer machine. What I have now is an older Komatsu 2.5, manual transition, two stage mast. I bought it 7 years ago from a local foundry for $1500 and have more than gotten my money out of it. The lift was the foundry's basket case and was sitting for a while before I got it. The wiring is a mess, it has some type of mystery short that drains the battery. One of my employees tried to fix it and made it worse to where it now needs to be jump started every time, this was like 3 years ago. The tires are trashed, it leaks oil, and has gotten the cylinders stuck in the extended position more than once. While it has been good while it lasted I am now getting
    more frustrated with it and just need a lift that will work well.

    We are a fab shop so need the lift to unload material from trucks and in the shop to move work around. Most of our work is under 1000 pounds but material deliveries can get to the 3000-5000 pound range easy, and some of the finished product can be quite large too. Inside, our shop is flat concrete and outside it is a paved lot so solid tires should be OK. Use is typically 1/2 hour a day, but some days Ill have it running on and off all day. Sometimes we wont turn it on but once a week.

    I am looking for recommendations for a replacement fork lift and also warnings of brand/models to stay away from. my requirements are as follows:

    5000 pounds lifting copasity
    3 stage mast would be nice
    side shift

    I am open to electric or LP
    My budget is 10k-25k for used or new

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    My last day job bought 2 new Cat forklifts last year. They are very nice, but very electronic oriented, which I suppose all new forklifts will be. Lots of alarms and lights and controls.

    I rented a Mistubishi FG30N a few years back and was very impressed. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Mistubishi/Cat forklift based on my experience with them.

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    If you have the option, get hydraulic fork positioning in addition to side shift. It is incredibly useful in a machine shop with the wide variety of things being lifted/moved.

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    I use a friends 6000lb Hyster fairly often and love it. It's a pneumatic tire machine, and we run it on the cobblestone street around his shop with no problems. Side shift, three stage mast, and easy to work on. I just fixed a bunch of stuff, and parts were cheap.
    SD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arc-On View Post
    My last day job bought 2 new Cat forklifts last year. They are very nice, but very electronic oriented, which I suppose all new forklifts will be. Lots of alarms and lights and controls.

    I rented a Mistubishi FG30N a few years back and was very impressed. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Mistubishi/Cat forklift based on my experience with them.
    Electronics is what you will see a lot of on the newer machines. Electronics aren't too bad on a factory lift where is will be worn out in about 3 years. On a lift you plan on keeping for a long time, it could run into a lot of problems once it gets some age on it.

    For a lift I weren't planning on running 8hr a day, every day, I'd look for something older and simpler that has been taken care of or refurbished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arc-On View Post
    My last day job bought 2 new Cat forklifts last year. They are very nice, but very electronic oriented, which I suppose all new forklifts will be. Lots of alarms and lights and controls.

    I rented a Mistubishi FG30N a few years back and was very impressed. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Mistubishi/Cat forklift based on my experience with them.

    Mistubishi makes CAT forklifts. Cat use to make their own but sold 85-90% to Mistubishi. I work for Building Construction Divison of CAT. My Dad used me to get discount on CAT forklift. He also has a Hyundi which is 10 years old easy. The Hyundai has only had maintenance done to it. Had a brake job done, which the company did it incorrectly and had to replace the hub (free on our end of course). It's a solid machine.


    Dad's business is lifting rebar in to the racks as well as loading up trucks and unloading. Cat is a 7k and Hyundi is a 5k. What I really like abou tthe Hyundai and hate about the CAT. Is the Hyundai will rev up higher automatically to give more flow to the cylinders to lift heavier loads. The CAT you have feather the throttle


    Hyster is going to be one of the best one. Followed by Toyota.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Djstorm100 View Post

    Hyster is going to be one of the best one. Followed by Toyota.
    I was in a similar situation with my forklift being nothing but frustrating. I had a CAT/Mitsubishi that was overly expensive to fix and hard to find information on how to fix it.

    Toyota was what I ended up getting. So far I have been happy with 5K Toyota. It does increase rpms automatically when you are lifting a load.

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    How old do you need to go to avoid the electronics? 10 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by m16ty View Post
    Electronics is what you will see a lot of on the newer machines. Electronics aren't too bad on a factory lift where is will be worn out in about 3 years. On a lift you plan on keeping for a long time, it could run into a lot of problems once it gets some age on it.

    For a lift I weren't planning on running 8hr a day, every day, I'd look for something older and simpler that has been taken care of or refurbished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drom68 View Post
    I was in a similar situation with my forklift being nothing but frustrating. I had a CAT/Mitsubishi that was overly expensive to fix and hard to find information on how to fix it.

    Toyota was what I ended up getting. So far I have been happy with 5K Toyota. It does increase rpms automatically when you are lifting a load.
    It's honestly one of the things I'm embarrassed of when working for CAT. I've brought it up when I was talking to the engineers. Basically laid out...how is a 2008 machine that is 5k, kicking CAT 2018 ass on load times that has more power, higher lifting capacity?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whetstone View Post
    How old do you need to go to avoid the electronics? 10 years?
    Like 1999.

    Our Hyaundi is 2008 and it has electronics.

    Electronic displacement pump are awesome. Allows the use of load sense line so the pump can upstroke to provide more flow. This is how the lift truck automatically revs up higher when lifting heavy loads. Simple design and low failure rate. But with anything is dependent on user maintenance

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    I'm a fan of Hysters and Toyotas.

    I have a Series 6 Toyota 5K and it's a great truck. The "solid" pneumatic tires don't go flat but they are still good on wet, uneven ground outside.

    Inside the shop, a shorter, narrower truck with a round ass is more maneuverable. My Toyota is 6" narrower than the same class Daewoo. That makes a lot of difference if it's tight.

    Power steering and automatic transmission- yes. Fork positioners are nice, but not a requirement. Side shift is a big plus when unloading long bundles to get the load balanced. Also when you are putting pallets up on the racks. LPG is best for inside, and a couple extra tanks on hand. It will always runs out of gas while you are out in the street unloading a truck, never when you are just moving stuff around in the shop.

    25K will not buy new, 10K is more than enough for a good used truck. A private seller will give you a much better deal than a dealer, but you have to be patient for the right truck to come up.

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    Find out from fellow local shop owners, who does good local service ?


    Then see what they have in new or used inventory, or tell them to look out for what you need.


    before you toss what you have, spend some $ on repair quote.
    You could still use what you have if it had some proper maintenance and if you do it as you go it won't hit you in one lump sum.


    Having to jump it everytime for three years, what a raging PITA
    At the very least, a battery isolation cutoff switch would stop that- and a proper fix would not be that expensive.

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    I have rented a lot of different brand forklifts over the years, always liked the Toyota's the best, good ergonomics, and less obstructed view of the forks.

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    My employers rent and they are almost always Toyota. If rental fleets like 'em that says something good .

  17. #15
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    Toyota is the way to go...best ergonomics and dependability. An 8FG 5k# lift will do a LOT of lifting. The machine is good for 30K hours with proper maintenance (every 400 hrs). The 4Y propane engine is great, it's been their staple propane engine for about 25 years. You really don't need variable displacement hydraulics, you just need a good operator.
    Do you really need a 3 stage mast? I'm 6'3" and can walk under the forks in full lift position. I don't see the need to lift 5K lbs more than that.
    I haven't worked on a NEW Cat forklift in ten years, but those machines were crap...uncomfortable to get on/off,uncomfortable to operate and expensive to fix (parts),and not easy to work on.
    After fixing heavy equipment for 40 yrs including forklifts for about 28 of those years, I recommend Toyota. I own Toyota's myself and could get good deals on other brands "used".
    Packard had a great advertising slogan..."Ask the man that OWNS one". Check around your area and ask forklift owners/users/operators. Good luck. PB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arc-On View Post
    If you have the option, get hydraulic fork positioning in addition to side shift. It is incredibly useful in a machine shop with the wide variety of things being lifted/moved.
    +1 on this. If I had to choose only one I would give up sideshift to get positioning. I put both on my '80s clark with 3 levers by putting a solenoid valve on the carriage and a cord reel to operate the valve. I'm ruined for ever owning a forklift without positioning, Saves at least 1 dismount on every quick use, sometimes 10+.

    About electricals - I finally chopped the entire harness out of my clark and rewired it, There are only about 10 wires now in the entire forklift.

  20. #17
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    Well, I ended up getting a second lift from a buddy. It’s a smaller Komatsu 1.5. It’s also older, but is in much better condition then my 2.5. The amount I used these lifts it was hard to justify laying out cash for a newer replacement of the 2.5. The 1.5 is perfect for 90% of what we do in the shop. It’s small and easy to maneuver. Now that I have a backup I’ll take the time to replace the wiring harness and leaks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    It all depends what you want a forklift for. Most forklifts (10K and less capacity) nowadays are designed to run hard, maybe 24 hrs a day, for 2-3 years, in a factory setting. Somebody using occasionally in a machine shop won't put many hrs on one, but expect it to last 20 years. In other words, they aren't really designed with the occasional user in mind, as it is a very small market. It's not unusual to see forklifts made in the '70s still running strong, I don't think these newer ones will last that long.

    For me personally, as an occasional user, I want a forklift to raise up and down, go and stop. Anything else is just something else to tear up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whetstone View Post
    My fork lift is on its last legs and I think it is time to step up to a newer machine. What I have now is an older Komatsu 2.5, manual transition, two stage mast. I bought it 7 years ago from a local foundry for $1500 and have more than gotten my money out of it. The lift was the foundry's basket case and was sitting for a while before I got it. The wiring is a mess, it has some type of mystery short that drains the battery. One of my employees tried to fix it and made it worse to where it now needs to be jump started every time, this was like 3 years ago. The tires are trashed, it leaks oil, and has gotten the cylinders stuck in the extended position more than once. While it has been good while it lasted I am now getting
    more frustrated with it and just need a lift that will work well.

    We are a fab shop so need the lift to unload material from trucks and in the shop to move work around. Most of our work is under 1000 pounds but material deliveries can get to the 3000-5000 pound range easy, and some of the finished product can be quite large too. Inside, our shop is flat concrete and outside it is a paved lot so solid tires should be OK. Use is typically 1/2 hour a day, but some days Ill have it running on and off all day. Sometimes we wont turn it on but once a week.

    I am looking for recommendations for a replacement fork lift and also warnings of brand/models to stay away from. my requirements are as follows:

    5000 pounds lifting copasity
    3 stage mast would be nice
    side shift

    I am open to electric or LP
    My budget is 10k-25k for used or new
    I bought a 5,000 lbs Nissan 3 stage fork positioners for $3,000 and it has been a great machine, i'd guess it's 15 years old

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    TOYOTA! not too familiar with some brands mentioned but never seen one with better visibility to forks than Toyota. Some of those you have to bend into all sorts of contortions to get a squint at your forks........


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