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Support Group for Auction Addiction or Help Me Feel Better About Buying a Forklift

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  • Support Group for Auction Addiction or Help Me Feel Better About Buying a Forklift

    Well nuts. I was keeping my eye on a webcast live auction about 40 minutes from my home with the intent of picking up a Biax power scraper and a pristine looking CAT50 test bar. The scraper quickly went too high for me but I managed to nab the test bar.

    And a forklift.

    I was in the middle of doing something else and all of a sudden I see this poor, sad looking forklift that no one was bidding on and the auctioneer was really doing his thing, trying to drum up bids. It was a 3k capacity - too small for any machines other than my Bridgeports - but I thought, "what the heck" so I bid on it. I figured a 3K capacity forklift probably weighs about 9k lbs. so no trouble trailering it and maybe I'd use it for misc. crates, lumber, etc.

    Well the darn thing supposedly weighs 12k to 13k lbs., about the same as my backhoe, which was a real stressful trip home given that I knew I was a few hundred pounds overloaded. Now I have to do it again... and it's an electric lift so the battery is probably garbage and I won't even be able to use it. What the heck was I thinking??!

    My only consolation is that the local scrap yard is paying $0.20 per pound for lead-acid batteries. This baby has a 2100 lb. battery in it or about $420 scrap value. Which is more than I paid for the forklift so I guess if all else fails, I'll just scrap it out and maybe keep a few parts for a future frankenfork build on the Case 580C.

    For anyone interested in the details, it's a Drexel SLT30 with 42" forks. Comes with the charger. Drexel makes these 90* swinging masts so you can drive down a narrow isle and then rotate the mast instead of turning the truck. If the battery kinda-sorta holds a charge, it might be useful around the shop since my shop is too small for a proper forklift but I occasionally need to lift or move crates or pieces of machine tool that are quite heavy. Dunno... definitely feeling buyers remorse after this one...

    Funny thing is, there was a second Drexel forklift right after this one (along with a couple other electrics in the same general class) and they were having such a hard time selling them, they gave me the option of buying both. And for a moment, I almost said, "yeah ok". Luckily the rational brain finally caught up and said, "what the hell are you doing to do with TWO forklifts... you ain't got space or time for ONE!" Meanwhile, sensible folks were bidding on the LP and diesel forktrucks, running them up to several thousand.
    Last edited by Fasttrack; 02-23-2021, 09:55 PM.

  • #2
    If the battery is toast, find a scrap yard as close as possible to the auction. No need to haul home an extra ton to your local yard.

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    • #3
      You just never know. If the battery is even marginally good, it may still be a useful machine. In a smallish shop, even a forklift with limited running time is better than no forklift at all.

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      • #4
        Seems awful heavy for a 3k lift. Maybe necessary ballast for the twisty mast?

        I’ve made the “one steal is good, two must be better” mistake a few times.

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        • #5
          Here, maybe this will help: https://www.theonion.com/osha-announ...fea-1846253294

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          • #6
            DZER

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
              In that regard: stay safe, Klaus.
              21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
              1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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              • #8
                Doozer, it took me a full second to realize what the picture was. It started "that's an odd position for a forklift.... What is....." Then the light blinked on and the laughs started...

                For any sort of outfit that would want to rely on the batteries for a full shift I'm sure that they are toast. But for you using it for maybe 20 or 30 minutes at a time? I'll bet that there's still easily a years worth or more of use out of the old pack.

                And similarly if/when it is time to buy new batteries you would not truly need the full size batteries since, once again, you're not using it for 8 hours a day.

                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                  Doozer, it took me a full second to realize what the picture was. It started "that's an odd position for a forklift.... What is....." Then the light blinked on and the laughs started...
                  I was rolling the first time I saw it because my brother was into the skating scene back in the 90's, so I knew right away what it was. Unfortunately my operators license is long since expired.
                  Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 02-24-2021, 12:29 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Where, exactly, is this Support Group located? Apparently it's no where around here. Or at least it wasn't when I took the winning bid on that 50,000lb. GVW dump truck a while back. Put my hand in the air, but quickly had second thoughts. No big deal as others are bidding, right? Next thing I know the auctioneer yells SOLD as he is looking right at me. Didn't pay too much, and got a few years use out of it, so at least it wasn't a total goof on my part.

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                    • #11
                      Boy, I wish I was cool enough to have a forklift...

                      ...all I gots is this silly trencher. It can't pull half a half- pipe.

                      Industrial batteries are TOUGH- don't be afraid to boil them a bit.

                      And a 'few hundred' heavy? Dah, that's just a rounding error, drive a bit
                      cautiously and life will be long and healthy.

                      As will your back, since you won't have to lift anything ever again.

                      t
                      rusting in Seattle

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                      • #12
                        If that was me, I'd scrap the batteries right away, paying for the lift, then salvage the mast to put on my tractor. Then scrap the rest. Not saying that's what YOU should do, Just what I'd do if I bid on and won it. Of course I don't space for a forklift that wears indoor shoes. If I did, I'd probably just park it in the corner on a charger and use it sparingly as needed .

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                        • #13
                          FT if it makes you feel any better fork lifts are dirt cheap compared to backs so good duty, your going to use it for stuff you never would have even guessed, the double edge sword on that last statement is --- those things you never would have bought in the first place but now you will because you can move them around,,, the cycle never ends until you finally poop the bed...

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                          • #14
                            Is your forklift 36v or 48v? Something like that?
                            Maybe you could rig up an engine and 3 or 4
                            100amp car alternators. Make it a hybrid
                            gasoline-electric fork lift. Get older externally
                            regulated alternators and common the fields
                            together to be controlled by a common voltage
                            regulator. Just something to think about.

                            -Doozer
                            DZER

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                              Is your forklift 36v or 48v? Something like that?
                              Maybe you could rig up an engine and 3 or 4
                              100amp car alternators. Make it a hybrid
                              gasoline-electric fork lift. Get older externally
                              regulated alternators and common the fields
                              together to be controlled by a common voltage
                              regulator. Just something to think about.

                              -Doozer
                              That's an interesting Idea. Hang the whole works off the back for some extra counterweight too. One can never have too much counterweight

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