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Thread: Anyone buy a forklift for their shop?

  1. #1

    Anyone buy a forklift for their shop?

    I'm thinking about how useful a forklift would be when everything needs 2 or 3 people to move stuff around. Say like if I want to rearrange the shop and want to move the workbench over here, just pick it up. lol Move trailers around quickly etc. Is my idea of buying a forklift crazy or not really? I think the thought of being about to grab the boat with it real quick and pull it out is definitely a plus imo. I'm just trying to keep it in the $5k range. They go for about $35k brand new.

  2. #2
    I don't really see why I wouldn't get my money back on it either. Forklift pricing is all over the map. One guy wants $11,000 for his 2004 cat then another wants $5k for the same one.

  3. #3
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    I've seen a number of folks with larger shops opt to have a forklift or equivalent available to help with moving bulk materials and occasionally machinery. One can often get a nice deal on something used that has more than enough life for light-duty use, too. So, yes, it's a good idea if you have a shop/other-needs that can benefit from it, IMHO.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    Don't forget to figure in the room it will take up to park it and tend to its needs.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Don't forget to figure in the room it will take up to park it and tend to its needs.

    jtk
    Yes along with at least annual maintenance and recertification by a licensed mechanic, the costs add up...........Rod.

  6. #6
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    And unless you get lucky, most of the 5K machines will be more headache than theyre worth. Other things to consider is how flat is the area your going to be using it. A warehouse machine, hard tires, wont handle any off camber at all smoothly and can be really dangerous.

    Small or garage shop one of the smaller walk behind electrics would be handy but same deal. Any of the cheap ones you will find are usually lemons, batteries are roached, charge controllers on the way out, and so on.

    Start watching places like IRS auctions for auctions near you. Probably one of the better options to pick up a cheap lift though your not going to get much data on in unless its close enough to go take a look ahead of time.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  7. #7
    Son bought one for his shop. He works on heavy equipment, where a transmission can weigh several thousand pounds

  8. #8
    I say if you get a forklift, you will find more and more uses for it depending upon what you do in your shop. Another option is forklift attachments for a tractor. There are several types of attachments available. We picked up some clamp-on pallet forks that attach to our Kubota bucket and they have come in handy for a lot of different light-to-medium-duty needs and easily remove and store when not in use. We have also been keeping an eye on GSAAuctions and other sites for forklifts on sale, but the timing hasn't worked out to buy one.
    I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, thatís not going to happen."

  9. #9
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    A used $2-3,000 electric forklift a battery will cost $5,000. A little electric pallet jack can use $200 in truck batteries for light use. How about a manual straddle lift?
    Bil lD

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Chance in Iowa View Post
    I say if you get a forklift, you will find more and more uses for it depending upon what you do in your shop. Another option is forklift attachments for a tractor. There are several types of attachments available. We picked up some clamp-on pallet forks that attach to our Kubota bucket and they have come in handy for a lot of different light-to-medium-duty needs and easily remove and store when not in use. We have also been keeping an eye on GSAAuctions and other sites for forklifts on sale, but the timing hasn't worked out to buy one.
    I have quick-connect forks for both my tractor and skidsteer and I use them a lot around the farm and sawmill. But in a shop? Maybe in a shop in a warehouse-sized building with a lot of empty space, but one would still have to contend with the diesel fumes. Most forklifts I've seen indoors were powered by propane.

    I know a guy with a hardwood business that uses a forklift to deal with stacks of lumber, unloading and sorting and such. The open isle down the center of his warehouse is probably 15' wide and still the maneuvering can be tight. A very nice thing about a "real" forklift is the flexibility of the controls to spread and narrow the forks, shift the load from side to side, etc. Every time I need to change the fork width on my tractor/skid steer forks it's a physical effort.

    As someone implied, buying used may be buying someone else's problems. Some machines have been abused or are just flat worn out. For example, I was warned by several people if I bought a used excavator for say $10,000 I might easily spend another $10,000 repairing and replacing things that were worn out. And repair costs can be HIGH. Replacing the seals in just one of the two big bucket cylinders on my skid steer cost me over $500 a few weeks ago. When I bought an excavator recently I decided to get a new one with a warranty. That way I can make sure it has all the scheduled maintenance and is treated with care.

    If buying an old forklift maybe do like a friend did and buy two the same. He took parts from both and made one good one.

    JKJ

  11. #11
    Yeah so when it says cushion tires I guess those are the stiff bumpy kind that like to get stuck if the ground isn't even? I usually never got suck, but one wheel would go up in the air and then I would have to back up and come at a different angle.

  12. #12
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    They normally will state all terrain if they have pneumatic tires. One thing to remember the same physical size machine with solid tires will be rated for a couple thousand pounds more. So if it's 5,000 for all terrain same basic model with solids will be 7-8,000. But if you want to go outside on gravel you want all terrain. They are still easy to get stuck. Check it out and if everything functions correctly and engine starts good you will likely be okay. Run it for a little while if that's an option. Get it warmed up well. If no leaks or smoke you should be good. Test lift something. Check the steering for tightness and make sure the brakes work. Side shift forks are nice but not a necessity.

  13. #13
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    Something to think about...if your need is really only occasionally, it may be a better move to just rent one for specific jobs.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
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    Maybe you should start with a pallet jack and engine lift. Do you have those?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I have quick-connect forks for both my tractor and skidsteer and I use them a lot around the farm and sawmill. But in a shop? Maybe in a shop in a warehouse-sized building with a lot of empty space, but one would still have to contend with the diesel fumes. Most forklifts I've seen indoors were powered by propane.
    Agreed. But a "shop" can be defined so many different ways. Are we talking a hobby shop, machine shop, woodworking shop, downtown or rural location, etc. Depending upon the environment of where the shop is located and what you are doing inside the shop, a tractor can be just fine with the shop doors rolled up. In the case of our shop (my LOML and I) we have multiple ways to deal with any exhaust fumes when the tractor is needed. Another neighbor has a forklift attachment on the rear of their tractor and they keep their 14' doors rolled up when they need to use it in their shop.
    I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, thatís not going to happen."

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