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Author Topic: Forklift Lifting Capacity?  (Read 1253 times)

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Offline Stephen1

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Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« on: December 23, 2018, 12:24:16 PM »
Right now I have a small bobcat742B propane. It can lift 1300lbs with a tipping capacity of 2300 lbs.
I have the IDRY kiln on order, delivery in early March. I will be setting up the kon in an industrial unit closer to civilization than my sawmill yard in the bush.
What capacity forkliff should I be looking at? I want to be able to usit it on a paved lot, also half the lot is gravel, I plan on sawing some wood there.
 I will be  mostly I will be sawing at my yard back in bush with my bobcat.
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 07:04:22 PM »
The capacity of the kiln and the heaviest species (green) to be dried will be your determining factors.  

In my mind the best way to arrive at the capacity of forklift you need is to determine the dimensions of the load that will go in the kiln.  Weigh your truck and trailer empty.  Then add a stack of lumber of the heaviest species the size and configuration that will go into the kiln on your trailer and weigh the loaded truck and trailer.  The difference would be the working load of the forklift.

Otherwise it is all mathematical. You can calculate the weight of the kiln load if you know the species and volume. 

I would want a rough terrain boom forklift especially if operating on gravel part time.
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 08:33:25 PM »
My bobcat t300 has a working load of 3000 pounds. It is barely enough to lift the loads I'm putting on the kiln cart. I have a feeling I'm loading about 5 thousand pounds or more.  Just a guess based on other heavy things I've lifted. The idry for example is pushing 8k. Bobcat only lifted that about 4in  but it did lift. I had a large boulder weighed at 6500 pounds, was able to lift that on to a trailer.  Lifting a load 16in high to put it in the kiln cart isn't an issue but I'm not sure about going up high with that load. I have been looking at 5k rated forklifts, I would consider that a minimum for what I want to do. 
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2018, 08:47:00 PM »
Another thing idry related, the threaded rod levelers for the track and bridge are in my opinion junk and potentially dangerous.  This is my only gripe with the whole setup. Everything seems to be extremely well built except for those threaded rod feet. I would setup the track and bridge level. Take some measurements and cut some blocking to replace the leveling legs. I folded my track over the first time loading it and almost dumped the cart load. They cannot withstand any amount of side load. If you are very careful you might not have issues. I cut blocking and numbered them to which leg they go to, also spray painted around the legs so when I move the track I can put it back exactly in the same spot without having to realign. I haven't said anything to Mr.parker about it yet because my kiln is operating perfectly and I haven't had any other reason to call.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2018, 09:29:30 PM »
The best all purpose machine for the sawmill yard is the articulated loader with 4' forks. If you get a forklift, a #6000 with dual pneumatic tires for graveled hard ground. [or larger]

Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2018, 09:41:00 PM »
Moodnacreek,  I'd have a hard time getting one of those machines in my little barn. For my purpose a forklift for inside and a loader for outside would be the ticket.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2018, 09:41:53 PM »
Don't be afraid to look at telehandlers too, I picked up a 1991, maybe 1992 - can't remember - Lull with a 6,000 lb rating pretty cheap a couple months ago. That extendable boom and 4 wheel steering is amazingly handy. 
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 12:10:20 AM »
For sheer speed, maneuvering in tight places, lift capacity in a small package, its hard to beat a forklift for forklifting.  I have used many types, and nothing comes close to my Cat P5000 propane with sidesift and polished lumber forks.  I almost bought a telehandler, but it wouldnt really fit into my buildings, much less turn around in them.  I almost bought a skidsteer, as well as a large tire lift.  Both are very useful machines, but not for what I wated.  So I called up my local Cat dealership who has everything and they sent out a guy to do a site audit to see what I really needed.  He studied my workflow, and said as much wood as I move, and a such quantity, both inside and outside, I need a professional grade, high speed propane lift, he called it a Cruise Ship forklift because it is the favorite for loading cruise ships in a hurry with lots of tonnage.  The Cat P series come in 4K, 5K and 6K models (maybe more) and that is what we concentrated on.  The 5K has the strongest lift while still using singled tires, and still has a warehouse lift sized footprint.  The 6K model was just a little too big from a munuverabilty standpoint.  Remember, I wanted this to take 1,000 bdft packs of green lumber from the mill, to be stickered, then to the air drying yard, lift 15 feet high for stacking, then load and unload trailers, and load and unload kilns with accuracy and speed a well as transport them to the planer, SLR and edger.  It has Rough Terrain solid tires which run easily in dry dirt, gravel, asphalt and concrete.  No mud allowed, it will sink like a rock.  My P5000 has sideshift, tilt, rotate (I dont use it) low and high power modes and I love the propane, which significantly extends the expected life of the engine up to over 10,000 hours (I saw one that had 26,000 hours and was still running every day), and has virtually no warm up period.  We also have lumber forks, which are polished stilleto style forks specifically designed to stab, slip between layers of wood, and separate stacks of lumber.  The machine is amazingly maneuverable and will spin a 360 in its own loaded footprint.  These machines arent cheap, but are a class above any other forklift Ive used.
These are not for unloading log trailers, although Ive done it.  These are specialty indoor/outdoor forklifts intended for moving lots of heavy stuff very quickly and in very tight spaces.  

We have a custom built New Holland 4WD with quick detach implements for working in the mud, unloading logs from trailers moving logs, feeding and servicing the input side of the sawmill.  The rough terrain stuff. Once the logs are turned into boards, everything is done with the forklift.  Its a one-two punch thats works really well for us.      
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 01:48:35 AM »
We had a fleet of those cats at smith & wesson and i operated them all almost daily.  Great machine if youve got the coin.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 04:26:00 AM »
Well I would think you want a short wheelbase rough terrain forklift with at least 2500 lb capacity.  That is what I use for my mill.  Only the biggest green log are over capacity for my forklift.  I had a 14ft white oak that was 30-36 at the base.  When green it was too heavy to lift.  A couple years later it had lost enough water that I could lift it.  It will lift 98 percent of my logs though.  

Remind me what the capacity of the Idry is?  That lift capacity will lift 550 BF of green white oak.  

Moodnacreek mentioned an articulated forklift.  I think referring to one that pivots in the middle.  I've seen one of those new machines - compact, will do rough terrain.  Maybe like this:  https://waldonequipment.com/waldon-5100-forklift/

I can say that a bobcat type loader is my least favorite for handling logs and wood. Forklift operation is much smoother with a regular style forklift.
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2018, 09:06:58 AM »
Brad, the I dry will hold 2000bf. I love my bobcat but agree with you, it is not a good substitute for a forklift. I do however think it is great for log handling with a grapple. Forks require you to be somewhat centered when picking up a log. I can snatch up a 3000 pound log by grabbing anywhere I want. Telehandler , articulated loaders are great machines for working out around the mill site but Stephen needs something to run around inside a building.  The kiln he is getting is the same as mine and needs to be placed indoors. Even if the building is big enough to maneuver a large machine in,   you would be wasting a ton of space just to leave room for running around. 
I agree with yh and think a minimum 5k forklift is the ticket. I had crown lift trucks out here and have been looking at one similar to the cat he is running. A quick search on used lift trucks shows a used cat p5000 can be found at a fairly reasonable price. 

 
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2018, 09:43:51 AM »
The amount of lift at 5,000 lbs is what i'm looking for. That is the amount I was thinking also. 
BS has it right, I need the small foot print for in the building and a little bit outside. I plan to dry wood 85% for the public and 15% for myself. 90% of my sawing is mobile. I am not planning a retail side to this buisness, for the 1st while. I believe it will be there in time. 
YH I agree about the manuaverabilty. I only will be on a small amount of gravel, mostly concrete and pavement. 
My biggest problem north of the border is the dollar exchange rate, all used Forklifts are bought here and sold for a premium to you guys. It is hard to find one in good shape, for the my budget, lots of junk. I have been extending my search south of the border,,I have untill March 1st to get one.
As an example, the unit you showed at 16k US is 22k Canadian  plus 13% tax when i Get it to the border. 
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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2018, 09:44:24 AM »
But he said gravel.  That's not going to be any good on gravel is it Busysawyer?  I've been stuck on loose gravel with a forklift like that.  The articulating forklift will turn tight inside and has the 4000lb lifting capacity.  They also make one with 6000 lb capacity.  Aren't they 4wd too?
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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2018, 10:11:01 AM »
There are always the true off road forklifts if getting stuck is a concern, single but taller wheels, 4 WD.  They have 6,000 lb lift capacity and with rear wheel steer can turn inside of their own footprint as well.  For me I multi-purpose all of our equipment so the telehandler works on the farm side of things too.  I set up my kiln feed so I come in from the gable end of the building with the lift, turn 90 degrees to the right and there is my kiln track.
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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2018, 10:39:22 AM »
When we got the forklift, we graveled all the areas we would use the lift.  Dozens of loads of gravel.  To and from the sawmill, to and from the kilns, around the buildings, edger, warehouse, showroom, driveway, etc.  3/4 crushed run, and washed.  Also some crushed, unsorted concrete.  I wanted a place for the lift to run, but I was also tired of the dirty mess and the destruction of the earth enganging tires, but I couldnt afford a huge asphalt or concrete hill.  Our business property encompasses five acres, and besides the aprons to the buildings and inside the building, everything is gravel.  The Cat with the treaded drive tires wont get stuck on decent gravel.  Slick tires maybe have problems, not this.  This has deep tread and loves gravel.

Gravel driveways, gravel entrance in the buildings, gravel at the kilns, etc.  from the pics you can see the tires arent having a problem unloading the kiln.  No doubt, if this lift had trouble in gravel, I wouldnt have it.  I have a gravel pit on my property, and pretty much our whole operation is on gravel, either the stuff I buy or the stuff I dig myself. 
 

  
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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2018, 11:36:13 AM »
The retail building supply stores in my area have forklifts that run inside and out. Some yards are muddy in the spring.
Also what about the spider type 3 wheeled fork lifts.I have seen them do some incredible things.
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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2018, 01:18:42 PM »
We should clarify gravel here.  Road gravel, which has fines in it, will compact well and be fine for the forklift as long as it has a solid base, and not mud underneath that can allow a heavy machine to sink and rut.

On my farm, in the pole buildings we have 3/4 gravel which is often loose.  That is what you can get stuck in with a forklift that is a hard surface machine.  The other problems is soft spots outside especially when the ground is saturated.  These things are why I prefer a rough terrain machine.
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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2018, 08:31:29 PM »
True forklifts are a very specialized piece of equipment that do one thing only, and thats move pallets of product fast and precisely on hard ground, gravel, dirt, asphalt or concrete.  

Certainly, there are other factors to consider and here is some if what went into our decision process.  Not saying this is best for anyone but us.  

For example, I typically will stack lumber in palletized batches of 800 bdft green stickered because that is the height of the backstop cage and a stack, or multiples of that amount, pallet stacked on pallet, fits perfectly in any of our three kilns and in our warehouse.  So I stack them all generically, not knowing exactly which kiln I will use.  The P5000 will lift a thousand bdft of wet wood, but it will sometimes come off the ground if moving heavy loads of green oak or persimmon, so we back off to the 800 bdft amount most times for that reason too.  It will lift two full packs 1600 bdft of dry wood, plus some.  In some cases we wish we had the extra lifting capacity of a P6000 but we would rather have the extreme maneuverability and smaller footprint.  Accuracy is also something to think about, a forklift with sideshift will allow you to just about pick your teeth with it.  No gears or clutch to shift, a flick of the lever forward and step on the gas, a flick of the lever and in reverse, step on the gas.  

When deciding on what we needed, with audit from the Cat place, our operation basically flows like this:
1.  Unload logs from log trailers-4WD loader and stack in logyard.
2.  Buck logs to length - 4WD loader.
3.  Bring logs to sawmill and load on log deck- 4WD loader
4.  Saw the logs, and remove and stage the resulting pallets of dead stacked lumber from mill outfeed-forklift
5. Pull staged dead stacked green lumber from shed and sticker stack - forklift
6. Set stickered lumber in pre drying yard - forklift
7. Pull stickered lumber and load into kiln carts or kiln -forklift
8.  Set marble weights on top of loaded kiln carts -forklift
9.  Pull kiln dried stickered lumber from 3 kilns and put in resting area -forklift
10.  Pull kiln dried, sticker stacked pallets of lumber and batch unsticker once a week and load onto shipping pallets - forklift
11. Load pallets of dead stacked rough sawn kiln dried lumber onto flatbed and truck to planer house 40 miles away -forklift
12.  Unload pallets of dead stacked rough sawn at planer house and and reload with the previous weeks multi thousand bdft load of now planed lumber -forklift
13.  Arrive back at our facility and unload planed pallets of lumber and put in the warehouse- forklift.  
14.  Pull pallets of lumber from warehouse and bring to retail sales area and stock shelves - forklift.
15.  Load some customers loads of pallets of lumber into their flatbed - forklift.
16.  Bring large slabs or groups of slabs into the planer shop and plane, edge, straight line, etc - forklift.
17.  Unload sawdust and edging bins - 4WD loader.

I our situation, it became very clear that although one piece of equipment would suffice, two specialized pieces would work much better.  Everybodys operation is different, but this is how much handling we do to go from log to customer driving out the gate.  Although I have done all of this with something so crude as our old and sold 70 hp ag tractor front end loader, the forklift now is a pivotal part of our operation, and if it went down today, Id have it fixed or a new one on the way tomorrow.  Anyway, our work flow breakdown may be useful for others to see.

We go through a propane tank every few days, and have them delivered and  by a vendor.  No hassle at all.  
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2018, 08:40:58 PM »
Nothing will find the soft spots in your gravel lot like a loaded single wheel forklift.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Forklift Lifting Capacity?
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2018, 10:13:51 PM »
Seven years ago I bought a truck mounted or piggy back forklift.  At first I didn't like it because I was used to other machines but have grown quite fond of it.  It can get around on steep, slick, and muddy ground.  Not as good as a 4wd pickup but better than a 2wd.  Its wide but really nimble with a short turn radius.  Lift capacity is 5,500 pounds but I think probably considerably more.  Side shift along with a good range of fork tilt.  I can drop a banded bundle of slabs on a trailer without getting out of my seat about 80% of the time.  The other 20% I'll have to give the bundle a little push with my foot.

I have taken it on a mobile job.  It usually doesn't do any damage to the turf and can really add to production.

The machine actually earns its keep without doing any sawmill work.  Word sorta got out that I will take on odd jobs with it.  I've flown trusses in place, shuffled 40 foot containers around and a few other unusual jobs.






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