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

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  • #16
    Thanks fellas. Appreciate all the posts - I'm headed out now to pay and look things over in more detail. Probably head back on Friday to pick it up.


    Doozer and Dan - I thought about that and back in the 70's there was apparently a thing called "Ready Power", essentially a commercial version of what you're describing. It never really caught on; if you think about the peak current available from a forklift battery versus peak current from a reasonably sized alternator / generator driven by a gas engine, it just doesn't work very well. The forklift always ends up anemic, or so say the folks that used these things. Of course, at 3000 lbs, this thing is anemic by design. Maybe it doesn't need as much peak current as I think to get rolling or lift a heavy load. There have been some threads over on PM regarding electric-to-gas conversions but they all seem to peter out in "well that's not gunna work well".

    What I did think about doing, though, was a gas-over-hydraulic setup: replace the DC traction motor with a hydraulic wheel motor from Surplus Center, upgrade the hydraulic pump and drive it from a small gas or diesel engine... maybe rob a little 1-2 L engine off of a junked car or something. In the end, not a "practical" solution, but could be a fun "monster garage" kind of project.

    Edit: I'm not sure whether this is a 36V or 48V model. The SLT30 started off with a 36V battery and at some point switched to 48V. They still make them today with the 48V battery but I'm not positive how old this one is ... I'll find out today.
    Last edited by Fasttrack; 02-24-2021, 10:38 AM.

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    • #17
      Fasttrack, one issue with electric trucks is that a constant low voltage condition can fry your control boards. Yes, it will operate the truck usually at a slower rate or for less time than you would get with a fully charged battery, but it can have a bad effect over a period of time. My experience with this happening was with a Crown standup type lift so it may not have any effect with yours. Jim

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      • #18
        I googled Drexel images-That mast is a mechanical marvel.

        If it runs you can load your test bar to justify the purchase.....

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        • #19
          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
          And how high you now stack heavy items... and why you're now buying industrial shelving when you find it...

          Oh, yeah- the equipment trailer has paid for itself six times over in 'trouble I just drug home'...

          ....but all those BARGAINS!!!!. They were ALMOST FREE!


          t
          a free car never is.
          rusting in Seattle

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          • #20
            I'm glad I'm not alone!

            Has anyone here tried to move an electric forklift with a temporary battery pack made from automotive batteries? This lift has a 36V battery from 2013 but it's been off a charger for about 4 months and is completely dead. The charger is already disconnected from mains so no way to charge it. I'm wondering about throwing 3 automotive batteries on it just to drive it on my trailer. Reckon three 900-ish CA automotive batteries with a reserve capacity of 150 minutes would be sufficient for a few minutes of driving?

            I still don't know how much current the traction motor actually draws. I'm figuring about 250 amps for driving up the trailer ramp. So maybe the battery will last 5-10 minutes??
            Last edited by Fasttrack; 02-24-2021, 01:35 PM.

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            • #21
              I was chatting with a buddy of mine about a stand on (2500 capacity) and he seemed to to think you might be able to run one off a power supply for occasional use with a giant capacitor for peak demands. I told him to please video it the first few times he uses it. If that giant cap blows up I really want to see it.

              I have been considering I could use a lift to get stuff on and off trucks. My tractor has a published 750lb limit on the bucket, and 1500lbs causes it to do stopies. In my searches I found in Asia manually operated heavy pallet stackers upto 3 tons are available. Then just today I ran across a 2 ton here in the USA. Brand new 1295 from Grizzly. I've I don't run across a better option for me before then next time I get paid for a decent job all at once I might just order one.

              (My regular aluminum vendor always bundles stuff at around 500lbs for me, and their drivers are very helpful.)
              Last edited by Bob La Londe; 02-24-2021, 01:45 PM.
              *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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              • #22
                You might be able to find some marine batteries to suit your needs. Not uncommon for guys to run 36v systems for trolling motors these days, and some of the more serious anglers (tournament guys) replace their gear on a yearly/semi yearly basis. Might still be lots of life left in them for occasional home shop use.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
                  You might be able to find some marine batteries to suit your needs. Not uncommon for guys to run 36v systems for trolling motors these days, and some of the more serious anglers (tournament guys) replace their gear on a yearly/semi yearly basis. Might still be lots of life left in them for occasional home shop use.
                  My electric scissors lifts used a bunch of industrial 6 volt batteries in series. In the past in a pinch I have borrowed the batteries out of my boat to run it.

                  At one time I had two electric scissor lifts for my contracting business, but it seemed it was a wash. I had to replace batteries just often enough and I used them just often enough that it was the same cost to own as to rent. The only advantage was I never had a rental company supplying me a lift with bad batteries when I owned my own, and they were always available when I needed them. In the end it was all wash really. I sold 1 for $1K gain and I sold 1 for $1k loss.
                  *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                  • #24
                    That's the eternal question about owning or renting low use support equipment. Tough to beat the availability of owing and being able to use anytime you need, but tough to ignore the sometimes high maintenance costs associated with something oyu only use once in a while. I own lots of things that would be cheaper to rent when needed. I also didn't pay full retail for any of it either lol (i'm way too cheap)

                    6v batteries can sometimes be bought cheap from golf courses with electric carts too, although they may be at the end of their lifecycle by then, you might get a couple more years out intermittent used from them. 6v batteries are also a popular upgrade for camping trailers, so another market to source from. Electric forklifts use the batteries for counterweight too, so don't ignore that if you only use 3 12v, vs 6 6v as well. might be a weight difference there that could give surprising results.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
                      Electric forklifts use the batteries for counterweight too, so don't ignore that if you only use 3 12v, vs 6 6v as well. might be a weight difference there that could give surprising results.
                      Yep! I'm not sure what kind of condition the current battery is in; it's a Deka but it's 7.5 years old. What I do know is that it is currently dead and I need to figure out a way to get the lift onto my trailer this Friday! I was thinking maybe I can throw a few small batteries on the back of this thing just to get the forklift up onto my trailer...

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                      • #26
                        Electric winch on the trailer? That would be some help.
                        If you remove the dead batter, that 2000lb of dead weight you shed. Is there another fork in the area that you could borrow to remove and load the battery onto th trailer?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Fasttrack View Post

                          Yep! I'm not sure what kind of condition the current battery is in; it's a Deka but it's 7.5 years old. What I do know is that it is currently dead and I need to figure out a way to get the lift onto my trailer this Friday! I was thinking maybe I can throw a few small batteries on the back of this thing just to get the forklift up onto my trailer...
                          You should be fine stacking up as many good batteries as you can find and hooking them in whatever series and parallel connections as needed to get to a 36v output. It's not going to run the truck all day, but it will get you on to the trailer. Those big-a$$ batteries are sized for reserve capacity to repeatedly get through an eight hour shift. Clean connections and heavy cables are important.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                            Electric winch on the trailer? That would be some help.
                            If you remove the dead batter, that 2000lb of dead weight you shed. Is there another fork in the area that you could borrow to remove and load the battery onto th trailer?
                            Well there are riggers on-site. I may try to slip them some cash to pull the battery for me. I've got some other items to move so I'm going to have to make 2 trips regardless and I'd feel a lot better with 10k on my trailer than 12.5k. I do have a 12,000 lb. electric winch to help out with loading.

                            Originally posted by tom_d View Post

                            You should be fine stacking up as many good batteries as you can find and hooking them in whatever series and parallel connections as needed to get to a 36v output. It's not going to run the truck all day, but it will get you on to the trailer. Those big-a$$ batteries are sized for reserve capacity to repeatedly get through an eight hour shift. Clean connections and heavy cables are important.
                            Thanks - yeah I ended up calling Landoll, who now owns Drexel, and I spoke with an extremely helpful guy over there. He dug up the old operator and maintenance manuals and parts diagrams and emailed them to me. He said they use 3-4 semitruck batteries to move forklifts around all the time and they seem to get 30-60 minutes of drive time from them so hopefully I can cobble something together.

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                            • #29
                              Way to go!
                              I always found a forklift to be very useful be it working on vehicles, boats, or airplanes.
                              Fab up a battery pack from golf cart batteries or something and post about it here.
                              I'd love to have an excuse to get a small forklift.

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                              • #30
                                Go to an airport and ask about their runway lights battery bank. Apparently they swap them out every so often - before they are toast. Might be able to snag some of those. Or a rail yard- a friend of mine bought his pack from a rail yard when they were swapping them out.
                                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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