What's new

Forklift for personal use (outdoor)

montrose818

Banned
Joined
May 26, 2020
Member Number
1416
Messages
1,774
Loc
SoCal
What kind of budget forklift can I get away with for occasional use? Lifting cabs, possibly a big diesel engine, 275g water totes, random shit. It will live outside in light gravel/dirt (hard pack).

Propane? 4k? do I need side shift? whats the minimum I should aim to spend (they seem to be $$)?

Mucho gracias amigos.
 
Any forklift is better than no forklift. A little 2500lb lift will do most everything you need. Sideshift is a nice thing to have. Expect to pay .75-$1.00 per lb capacity on the used market.
 
A 4k is pretty bitchin, and still small enough you can move it on a car trailer short distances with some planning.

rule of thumb, it weighs 1.5x what it'll pick

diesel is king, but pricy to enter the market, propane is sweet for something that sits fur a week or more

you will be disappointed if you work in gravel or soft dirt

side shift would be nice, but just having a lift at all is sweet
 
I just picked this up a week ago. I’ll have $2,500 in it all in which will include a new radiator, plugs and wires, new solid pneumatic tires and a new seat. 3k # machine. I had a good bit of simple wiring and mechanical issues to address and still have the tires to go. Comparable machines have been in the $5k range locally.

I had a neighbors old Clarke lift for 4 months this spring and used it every single day. Figured I needed my own.

7FA2F4FA-7A45-41D5-AD27-6B4611B56C81.jpeg
 
small cushion tire propane lifts are pretty cheap around here, just drive down into the cities and they're usually available for around 500 bucks
granted they'll have issues but everything you buy used is gonna have issues
 
I drive an indoor forklift every day outdoors. Does fine in gravel, does ok on snow and ice if you pay attention. If you can afford side shift, it's nice to have. Infrequent use I'd go propane.
 
I drive an indoor forklift every day outdoors. Does fine in gravel, does ok on snow and ice if you pay attention. If you can afford side shift, it's nice to have. Infrequent use I'd go propane.

I have tire chains for my old Hyster 6k forklift, works pretty good on frozen ground and snow. Soft ground is the Achilles heel.
 
If you are using on dirt, hard pack or gravel only look at one with pheumatic tires. The solid tires one will get stuck al the time.

the local junkyard has this tiny little maybe 1000lb lift, it's like 2' wide and 4' long it's got solid tires, maybe 10" diameter
they run it around in sand
granted they've got all the shit and people to yank it out when it gets stuck, but they still use it when loading engines and shit, so it must not get stuck all that often. Maybe they've welded the diff or something?
 
A 4k is pretty bitchin, and still small enough you can move it on a car trailer short distances with some planning.

rule of thumb, it weighs 1.5x what it'll pick

diesel is king, but pricy to enter the market, propane is sweet for something that sits fur a week or more

you will be disappointed if you work in gravel or soft dirt

side shift would be nice, but just having a lift at all is sweet

It's more like lifting capacity x2, fork lifts are heavy as fuck.

I drive an indoor forklift every day outdoors. Does fine in gravel, does ok on snow and ice if you pay attention. If you can afford side shift, it's nice to have. Infrequent use I'd go propane.

I door as in slick low pro tires? No way that would go anywhere in snow or ice.

If you are using on dirt, hard pack or gravel only look at one with pheumatic tires. The solid tires one will get stuck al the time.

We had very little issues with solid tires in gravel at my old work. We had 5 different out door and 2 indoor. They all got around OK in hard pack gravel. The indoor would have more issues for sure, guys would get them stuck crossing the concrete drain at an angle too slow, they have much less articulation.


I run all different kinds of equipment, big excavators, dozer, ect, grad all is still fun to fuck with :laughing:
 
[486 said:
;n106956]

the local junkyard has this tiny little maybe 1000lb lift, it's like 2' wide and 4' long it's got solid tires, maybe 10" diameter
they run it around in sand
granted they've got all the shit and people to yank it out when it gets stuck, but they still use it when loading engines and shit, so it must not get stuck all that often. Maybe they've welded the diff or something?

Sand is rough in a regular forklift.

Maybe it's just light enough and they wet the sand down?

Welded diff in a forklift :lmao:
 
Why air tires for hard pack?

If for no reason other then adding a little bit of cushion to keep the loads from always wanting to chatter/vibrate off the forks. Even if a solid tire wont get stuck they are still way more comfortable to drive anywhere off of swept concrete.
 
I would skip the forklift idea and go with some kind of pneumatic tire loader. Much more versatile. Dont know how I ever got along without mine.
 
This kind. Skid steer may not be the best forklift out there, but it's a decent forklift/crane/snowplow/dirt mover and the king of general fuckery.

RIMG1167.JPG
 
I would skip the forklift idea and go with some kind of pneumatic tire loader. Much more versatile. Dont know how I ever got along without mine.

This.

A fuckin garden tractor will lift everything he's asking and be way more useful for other tasks. Personally I'd try to find a small old gas powered skid steer.
 
This.

A fuckin garden tractor will lift everything he's asking and be way more useful for other tasks. Personally I'd try to find a small old gas powered skid steer.

ibc totes are way too heavy for most mid-size skids
even my 773 is basically waiting to flop on its front
 
Grandpa owned and ran a screw machine shop, basically out of his cattle barn.

He was given a ~2500# solid tire forklift, from a customer he did a lot of subs for, but practically never used it. It didn't do well in the gravel/dirt outside of the barn. He needed something that could handle off-road, and that was a lot less jerky than a skid steer for unloading bar stock from the 18 wheelers that delivered it. He wound up with an articulating wheel loader and used the heck out of it.

I learned to drive on farm equipment and a Swinger wheel loader. Spoiled me really, using the swinger for loading and feeding round bales will make you realize how bad every tractor's front end loader sucks.

7007-1.jpg
 
I have a triple mast , no side shift propane forklift from 1970, brakes are fair to poor, runs fair to poor but it lifts heave shit when needed.
 
I've been keeping an eye out for a truck mounted forklift. I've never used one but they look like they would get around better than a normal forklift on my gravel driveway.

palfinger-f3-203-truck-mounted,28515d5d.jpg
 

Yup. Go big or be stuck.

Working in construction I couldn't use anything else outside. We haven't started our 5k propane hard tired machine in years since we got a telehandler at the shop.


If you're willing to fuck with fixing one, we picked up a 5k with no side tilt for $12k off Richie Brothers. Running and driving with just one leak.
Just go in person and inspect, as they're generally con artists. We got burned on online auctions with stuff like "115 hours" when the service tag listed an hour meter replacement at 12,000 hours. At least it was serviced regularly and the tech marked the tag.
 
Last edited:
in the seabees the ones i worked on were case, entwistle and skytraks. the skytraks were the most versatile due to the extending boom and were the most fancy with the differnt modes like crab walk. but i always had a soft spot fer the entwistle. if you need/want the extending boom get a skytrak. i dont remember the exact model the forklifts were in my motor pool.

edit: i will say i got to work on skytraks the most.

RUGER :usa:
 
Last edited:
proper offroad forklifts are expensive.
the nice thing about one of those units is that it's just an international tractor for all of the drivetrain.
 
Top Back Refresh