Should I get a forklift or a tractor with forks? Gravel driveway use. - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    What is the problem running a hard tired lift on packed gravel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    What is the problem running a hard tired lift on packed gravel?
    Usually nothing until the first rain.

    Of course what are the chances of moving a machine in the rain? Probably not very high and/or can work around it.

    My experience is with a Cat GP30K, 6,000# lift, weighs about 10,000#. Much of the weight is in the ballast at the rear. I had hard rear steer tires. With a load after a rain on hard pack, the tires would slowly sink until the rear frame was resting on the grounds, and at that point the tires would start spinning. Then you are doing like suggested up in this thread, digging under the tires, putting wood/rock under them, to get traction and get it out. I imagine all hardpack is not equal, mine is loads of pea gravel used for roads, and I have some type of plastic between the dirt/gravel. It is some type of plastic they use for roads/driveways/etc...was cheaper than the gravel, I think it was only about $125 for a roll.

  3. #43
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    I think we are having a semantics problem here.

    What I call "gravel", did, indeed, start out as gravel. It was 1" or maybe 1 1/4" "minus", which means it has a LOT of fines in it- dust, basically. NOT Pea gravel, which is roundish, slippy, and has no fines. This stuff is broken from bigger rocks- its sharp, craggy, and interlocks with itself really well.
    I live on a river delta, that was mud for ten thousand years, til some scrappy german and scottish and norwegian guys diked it in, plowed it flat, and called it a farm.
    Its muddy, soft, and it rains here a LOT. Believe me, I know from rain.

    And yet, proper driveway install procedures result in a driveway that may be technically gravel, but is almost as hard as concrete.
    First, we grade it flat with a bit of slope to drain, then we lay down 12' wide permeable road cloth, then about six inches of "gravel". The whole thing is then compacted, at the least by driving a 30 ton or so excavator over it, along with some big dump trucks.
    First rain, and the fines lock up, almost like concrete.
    After a month of rain, its HARD.

    Sure, you can break it up with a pickaxe. I scraped a trench in it recently dragging a 4000lb platen table. But for wheeled vehicles, it does not move much. In fact, the heavier the vehicle, the less it moves.
    I have been driving a hard tired 4500lb capacity (actual weight more like 7000lbs) warehouse forklift on this stuff for fifteen years. Never, once, have I spun out on this gravel- if I get off it, into the grass, sure, I sink in the wet season. But on the gravel, I routinely move machines, huge fabrications, pallets, and things ranging from 100lbs to 4000lbs, and never had a problem.

  4. #44
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    My gravel driveway/parking area is anything but flat. It rains 2/3+ of the year here. I run my hard tire forklift in the gravel all the time. It weighs about 6500 pounds.

    It sat outside in the gravel for 2 weeks recently and most of those two weeks it rained heavily. It didn't sink in at all.

    My thought would be that a smooth tire forklift is fine to use on gravel provided your gravel is sound. If it's driven on frequently and packed I don't see it possible for a smaller forklift to sink in.

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    What do you have for loading spam? We'll need an extra large bucket, and probably a scraper blade as well.

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    Lots of good suggestions here. I have 3- a 40hp kubota L39 tractor, it's more of a backhoe, and it has a 2000lb capacity with forks. I have a skid steer, and a military surplus skytrak. I am in a very similar situation. I would not recommend the skid steer, in my case it's really a track loader but I call it a skid steer. It's just not practical. The biggest reason is that I can't get in and out of the thing safely at all while doing any kind of lifting. The tractor has it's place. The skytrak is very versatile but it's very large and clumsy. At times I think of how stupid it is that I have the skytrak but it is very useful when needed for everything from trimming trees, pseudo crane work, forklift work, etc.

    I really agree that for strictly loading/lifting that those that suggest doing a little improvement to your work pad, driveway, whatever, is the best solution. The flip side though is that if you are in a rural area and forklift work is not an everyday thing you will likely get a lot more use out of an all terrain type machine. The tractors turned backwards type forklifts look appealing to me but they all seem to have a limit of 6klb. Not sure how hard a limit that is. My Skytrak has a paper load limit of 6klb but for no boom extension lifting that's less than half of what it will do. I unloaded My 10klb mazak with it and it didn't seem to mind at all.

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    Since this ancient thread seems to be revived by a spam post...

    It all depends on what, where, how.
    I have an 80HP farm tractor with a front end loader that can lift around 1.3 tons (my mill is 1.3 tons), the rear 3-point hitch can supposedly lift 4 tons, but only a couple of feet.

    My pallet fork can be mounted front or rear.

    I replaced the old hydraulic valve for a new one, and the action is much improved. The new control valve makes it easy to feather the lift or drop.

    It's rare that I can't do what I need doing with this cheap old machine.
    fuw-250-710-home-1.jpg

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    QT Gbent[Forks on a light duty tractor are pretty iffy,]

    We deliver 500-pound deer blinds and ask the buyer to have a 50 hp tractor. 30 hp is plenty if it is a full-size tractor..not a garden tractor.

    A number of times a customer will have a 30hp (or more) smaller tractor and with fork extensions or bucket-forks the rear wheels come right off the ground....

    Yes, we can and do tip the trailer and slide off the blind.

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    The guys who delivered the mill were concerned my tractor might tip forward; but my rear wheels are water filled and weigh 1/2 ton each.

    Dangerous things to remove without tackle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark in Portugal View Post
    Since this ancient thread seems to be revived by a spam post...

    It all depends on what, where, how.
    I have an 80HP farm tractor with a front end loader that can lift around 1.3 tons (my mill is 1.3 tons), the rear 3-point hitch can supposedly lift 4 tons, but only a couple of feet.

    My pallet fork can be mounted front or rear.

    I replaced the old hydraulic valve for a new one, and the action is much improved. The new control valve makes it easy to feather the lift or drop.

    It's rare that I can't do what I need doing with this cheap old machine.
    fuw-250-710-home-1.jpg
    That frame looks like you could remove about 12" from the arms/mounting surface, getting
    the forks closer to the front axle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    That frame looks like you could remove about 12" from the arms/mounting surface, getting
    the forks closer to the front axle.
    Not so;
    The cross member barely clears the engine cover and the arms already interfere with the steering when they're down.
    And the lift is just 10', I could use a bit more but definitely don't want less.

    The FEL was made for an MF35, a smaller tractor with smaller front wheels.
    It's 50 or 60 years old.
    My tractor is younger, just 35 years old.

    I renovated all the pivots and pins, honed the cylinders, replaced the seals, and upped the PRV to 250 bar (3600psi), both this tractor and the MF spec is 175 bar (2500psi). The pump, valve, and hose are rated 250 max, so are the cylinder seals.
    The rest is just metal.
    I replaced the pump too, sized for 50% more flow. That creates a little back pressure at higher rpm, I bought a priority flow valve to solve that problem but haven't done the work yet.

    I put a gauge on the control panel.

    I tend to beat on it, especially with the digging bucket.
    Agriculture tractors aren't built like digger/loaders.
    hydraulic-pressure-gauge.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark in Portugal View Post
    Not so;
    The cross member barely clears the engine cover and the arms already interfere with the steering when they're down.
    And the lift is just 10', I could use a bit more but definitely don't want less.

    The FEL was made for an MF35, a smaller tractor with smaller front wheels.
    It's 50 or 60 years old.
    My tractor is younger, just 35 years old.

    I renovated all the pivots and pins, honed the cylinders, replaced the seals, and upped the PRV to 250 bar (3600psi), both this tractor and the MF spec is 175 bar (2500psi). The pump, valve, and hose are rated 250 max, so are the cylinder seals.
    The rest is just metal.
    I replaced the pump too, sized for 50% more flow. That creates a little back pressure at higher rpm, I bought a priority flow valve to solve that problem but haven't done the work yet.

    I put a gauge on the control panel.

    I tend to beat on it, especially with the digging bucket.
    Agriculture tractors aren't built like digger/loaders.
    hydraulic-pressure-gauge.jpg
    I did not say to move the cross members, your pix taking is faulty in that you did not show that.

    To each your own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    That frame looks like you could remove about 12" from the arms/mounting surface, getting
    the forks closer to the front axle.
    That would increase load capacity and stability. But you won't be able to see what you're doing near as well.

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    I always look at a question like this as requiring another question?

    What is the main use of the machine?

    Lifting? Forklift is the hands down winner.

    Moving rocks and soil? Front end loader or compact loader.

    Multiple use? A tractor, especially if implements must be towed.

    All of the machines can lift things if equipped with forks but only the forklift is purpose built for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ H View Post
    That would increase load capacity and stability. But you won't be able to see what you're doing near as well.
    Try standing UP when you drive.....I doo all the time to see over the hood of 7600 Ford.

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    A relatively recent backhoe is about the most versatile/affordable single machine to have. Vastly more capacity than any small to mid sized farm tractor, both on the front loader end or the backhoe. I have a 2004 Komatsu WB140, ~90HP, 4x4, and it's loader is good for 8k+ at full height, 10k+ at low carry, and the backhoe is good for 3k+ at full extension, 6k+ close in. works for digging, pseudo-crane, loader, forklift with clamp-on or hook on forks, pulls other stuck equipment out of the mud, grading / leveling, etc. I use it at least every few days for something and at least monthly unloading an 1,800# sack of feed. Not the most efficient machine for any given task, but it can get it done.

  19. #57
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    We use our forklift on gravel with pneumatic tires. But we also have a tractor in case it gets stuck. A used telehandler might be a better option if you are unloading logs as well.


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