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Advice on a forklift purchase

      Is a 3000-pound capacity forklift enough? Not in the eyes of these forum visitors. January 31, 2001

I want to get a forklift to move sheet goods, solid stock, machines, etc. I am concerned with capacity. I'd like a 3000# because it will fit in my shop well, but will that be big enough?

Forum Responses
I have an 8000# and I've never been sorry I bought it. Stay away from hard tire models--they are cheaper for a reason.

A unit of 3/4" melamine will be 32-3700 pounds—too much for a 3000# forklift. A good used 5000# might be worth looking at. You can find 5000# forklifts that are small. Sideshift comes in handy. Also, OSHA now requires all operators to be trained.

5000# is a good way to go. And if you can never get off solid surface, a hard tire is cheaper and easier to find. Many warehouses lease and turn in good bugs of this size.

Stay away from a double stage mast--go with a triple. It will go higher (but is lower while down) and have a much better resale.

I first went with a 5000# with single drive tires, but I have gravel. I now have an 8000# with duels, and still get stuck occasionally. I handle green lumber. It will just lift a 12' pack of green red oak.

We have a 6000# hard tire lift. We got it used from one of our lumber suppliers when they upgraded and they made us a real good deal. There's a lift that's called a "boxcar forklift" that's used for working inside a boxcar. There are some rated at 6000# and they are short in length. Hard tire is fine if you don't have to go off the pavement.

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