The Army gave me a 4,400lb capacity rough terrain
forklift and a license after 1/2 hour of instruction.
Then I used it to move missile sections around. On
snow and ice in Germany. Didn't seem too hard to
I would guess that there's a big difference between using a forklift outside
(which is what I assume a rough terrain forklift is used for) and running
one inside a warehouse. I've seen plenty of walls with forklift-shaped
holes in them and warehouse racks with forklift-shaped dents in them. It
wouldn't take a lot of imagination to envision taking out a rack with enough
force to topple it. Not to mention the risks when picking or placing
pallets to prevent knocking other pallets off the other side, etc..
Reminds me of a time several years ago when I worked as a design engineer.
I borrowed a stand-up forklift from the shipping department to move some
lead weights in our test yard that we used to provide dead weight to test
our products over time. While bringing it back, I had to go through the
employee parking lot. I guess I had a brain cramp and turned the little
crankwheel the wrong way and turned left instead of right. I came about an
inch away from taking out the rear quarter panel of somebody's car.
Your point is well taken. In my brushes with forklifts,
I always had all the time in the world to do the job.
I used load binders when in doubt and had a second pair
of eyes watching. Zipping around in a tight warehouse
while the boss watches the clock would be a big step up
In the convention industry, we use nine foot aisles. Then you have crates
in those aisles, and at some times, you have just enough room to drive
through an aisle, with only inches on each side, carrying crates that weigh
1,000# or more.. With a wide load, you must raise it about ten feet to
clear adjacent exhibits. Many times, you must raise it to make a corner.
Then you have to contend with garbage, stupid exhibitors, corners, cleaning
people, other lifts, signage, and all manner of things. It has all the
characteristics of a beehive.
We use portable aluminum ramps to unload box trailers. We unload up to 100
flats a day. We unload all types of private vehicles.
It gets pretty interesting at times. And it does require a high level of
skills. Anyone who has been to a tradeshow installation can tell you it is
a chaotic ballet.
Operating a lift in the open, with no one around, or in a quiet warehouse
with few people would be infinitely easier.
SteveB wrote: (clip) Anyone who has been to a tradeshow installation can
tell you it is a chaotic ballet. (clip)
Yeah, I've been there. I imagine if you damaged someone's exhibit just
prior to opening time, there would be a lot of unhappy people.
In the warehouse where I used to work, when a newbie tried driving a
forklift, everyone would gather at a safe distance and make
wisecracks--waiting for the inevitable mistakes to happen.
Sounds about right. A brand new 3000 lb model will run about $17,500. they
do not depreciate like a car due to model years, but hours is a more
Toyota is the top selling brand in the world. Most brands have components
from around the world. Yale, as US brand uses Mitsubishi engines while
Toyota is built in Ohio. I don't know of any brands to avoid. Just be sure
the brand is still in busness, otherwise it will be hard to get parts if
Electric is quiet and has no air pollution. Batteries and chargers are a
few thousand dollars though. Unless you need electric, propane is a much
better fuel. If it is used outdoors, gasoline is OK.
Engine hours are important. less than 10,000 is good. Look for signs of
hydraulic leaks and see how the transmission feels. Steering should be
Side shift is a good feature if you are stacking pallets in tight quarters
or need any degree of accuracy when placing a load. It moves parallel to
your shoulders about 6 inches in each direction.
Yes, they are charged indoors. I don't know about the other factors.
Yes, they are made for most any smooth surface. Do NOT take them out on
sand, gravel or dirt. Every year we get a new fork lift operator and we
have to pull him out of the dirt outside the plant. The are very poor
traction if the suface is wet. Downright dangerous in fact.
No, can sit for very long time.
Yes. Some of the new models have a fork leveling button. When travelling
with a load you should have the forks tilted back. When you want to put it
down, it can be difficult to get the forks exactly level. You hold the
button on the lever and push forward and when the forks are 90 degrees, it
will stop. You have to tilt the forks forward to pick up a load that is not
on a pallet or to slide out from under a bundle.
Most dealers offer a safety course. OSHA requires a training course. You
have to have a refresher every couple of years and you have to be trained in
every model. You are supposed to run down a checklist every day before
using it also. And now you are supposed to wear a seatbelt. -- Backup
alarms are not required yet, but if you have more than one truck and one has
the alarm, all must then have the alarm.
If you think buying a car is a fun time, forklift salesmen make them look
Other factors to consider are lift heights. The trucks in a trucking
termnal are often single mast as they only lift pallets maybe 4 feet to
stack inside of a trailer. Double mast allows a much higher lift; this is
very common to find. Triple mast is higher yet. I'm not sure of the
maximum, but the ones I just bought are 186" This is handy when you have to
change lightbulbs in a factory ceiling or do overhead piping. You can buy a
cage that goes on the forks to lift a man up.
For limited use, the "window" in the front is probably not the deciding
factor, but if you use one a lot, it is a big help to have a wide window in
the mast instead of looking at the cylinder. Makes for safer driving and
more accurate load placement.
I'm sorry I can't help you out with details on forklifts (ask me about
tractors though :-)) However, you might also want to check out the
site: <http://www.yesterdaystractors.com/ , they have a classified and
photo classified section and often have a forklift or two for sale. It
will give you at least another place to look.
No affiliation, just spend some time looking at the hardware.
I don't drive Forklift though someday it might be a good idea to get
For the training/license I confirm with everyone else. Usually it is
offered by local colleges or tech centers. In NY(the state) it is offered
by BOCES on a regular basis.
"AL" < email@example.com> wrote in message
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