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Author Topic: 3pt forklift  (Read 5837 times)

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Offline ahlkey

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3pt forklift
« on: April 10, 2011, 11:47:05 am »
Anyone use a 3pt forklift to lift heavy pallets of lumber around your sawmill?   At this point I use the loader on my smaller tractor 45HP tractor but it just can't lift heavy enough loads even with rim guard in my back tires to balance it.   Have been thinking that I could add a 3pt forklift to an 87 HP tractor that does not have a loader but has over a 7,000 rear lift capacity.  I do see they sell some 3pt forklifts that can handle 4,000 lbs or more at 5-12 ft pretty reasonably.  It seems it would be a good option to consider when the few times I have to load and unload some very heavy pallets of lumber.  It would be nice to have a larger all terrain forklift but the price is higher than I want to pay.  I realize backing up all the time would be a pain but if I only do it once or twice a week I can stand it I guess.   Thoughts?

Offline tyb525

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 12:01:45 pm »
I have a 3pt "forklift" I got from tractor supply, it's only rated for 500lbs and I only paid $90 for it, but it will lift logs and pallets much heavier than 500 pounds. I'd like to get a real 3pt forklift just so I'm not overloading it all the time. I know my tractor's hydraulics will lift more than enough to pick the front end up (even with weights on).

Despite having to turn around backwards, I think I would like it more than a front end forklift, because there is much better visibility and you can maneuver more precisely while going backwards.
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Seems I do more construction work than sawmill work these days.

Offline beenthere

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 01:07:37 pm »
Yes, have forks on the 3pt for moving pallets (usually firewood) but not in the weight class mentioned. The "lift" mechanism is not included so can't call it a forklift.

 



Forks on 3pt with hydraulic top arm for tilting forks.


 



Two stacked pallets of firewood that required the ballast on the snowplow for counterweight to hold the front end down. Normally just move on pallet at a time. Forks are easily picked up by the iMatch quick hitch on the 3pt, or the FEL when it is attached.
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Offline ahlkey

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2011, 02:47:13 pm »
I hadn't thought about the front weight required when loading a rear 3pt forklift?  My current setup has rim guard in the back tires to balance the loader weight and it works out ok but has difficulty lifting more than 1,500 lbs given its size. I would like to be able to at least double that for larger lumber pallets.  Best solution is a rough terrain forklift that can really lift but can't see that investment for only limited single lifting duty.  At least with a tractor it can do so much more with 3pt attachments year-round.   In seeing the pictures I could imagine adding a 3pt forklift to my current 45HP tractor as an alternative to my limited front loader.  This would give me a lot more capacity and the price to do so would be reasonable.  Thanks for the input.       

Offline WH_Conley

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 05:51:12 pm »
I used tractor and front end loader. Bought a backhoe, now, wish I had done it sooner. Used ones are cheap considering what they do around the mill.
Bill

Offline bill m

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2011, 08:41:49 pm »
A local maple syrup producer has one for sale. Looks like it could pick a lot of weight if it was on the right size tractor. I think he had it on a 95 hp. tractor.
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Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 09:26:44 pm »
I bought a three stage mast 21' lift and made a three point attachment  for it '  I first used it on my dads 1066 with a full rack of weights . With a two ton load it would lift the front wheels off the ground .  I then used it on my 8430 4WD  articulated and have had a load on it at one time that raised the front drivers off the ground while trying to go forward.  I had to back up with that load so I could turn.  I am looking for a rough terrain fork lift they are ballanced  for the proper weight .
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 09:29:47 pm »
A big problem with a simple three point hitch fork setup is limited lifting hight.If a fella could use the mast off a forktruck and three point mount it with tractor hydraulics to lift the forks he'd have something, especially if the top link is hydraulic to adjust fork pitch. They use tractors for all terain lifts by doing that and turning the seat and controls around so your driving backwards. Frank C.
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Offline tyb525

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2011, 10:03:30 pm »
Bandmiller, I know a farmer that has a mast converted to 3pt on his big old oliver, it has the hydraulic top link too. It's something I've dreamed of having for quite some time.

I need to find a forklift junkyard, I'm sure there are plenty of junk forklifts with good masts, all I have to do it weld the 3pt pins and I'll be good to go!

The main reason I don't like the "carry all" I have right now is limited lift height. About the highest I would need is to set a pallet on the bed of a truck, or unload a log off a log truck. However it would come in real handy as a man lift.
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Seems I do more construction work than sawmill work these days.

Offline bill m

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2011, 10:07:08 pm »
The one the maple producers has is just that, the mast off of a fork truck. I don't know how high it will lift, 16 ft. maybe. It looks real heavy duty.
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Offline b dukes

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2011, 10:44:34 pm »
I used a mast off of a 5000lb lift and it works great ( Yale).  The only things I would change would be maybe use a smaller mast, when I got mine have had the choice of a 5000lb or a 3000lb. I thought bigger was better, but when mounted on the tractor you still have the weight of the mast plus the load you are lifting. Also I used the holes allready on the mast frame where the tilt cylinders attached to put my lift arm pins. By doing this you have to use the lift to pick up mast to clear the ground and then the aux hydraulics to lift the forks on the mast.  This helps not to overload your lift arms because it will just push them down until the mast touches the ground. I have some new plates to weld on to change the pin position but just havent had time.

Offline tyb525

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2011, 10:47:58 pm »
B Dukes- That's what I was thinking, use the 3pt arms to do most of the lifting, and then the aux hyraulics if I need to raise the forks from there.

I suppose if you needed to lift a heavy load and you didn't have to move the tractor, you could sit the mast on the ground and then use the aux hyd's to raise the forks, that way you won't lift the front end.
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Seems I do more construction work than sawmill work these days.

Offline b dukes

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2011, 10:59:39 pm »
That was my thinking ,but the only problem is that when you are lifting with the lift arms and using the fork mast. When you let your load almost to the ground and some weight is taken off the load the draft control want to take over and raise the lift arms back up some. Makes it hard to control when you have to be gentle., on my tractor anyway 285 massy.  I will take some pics and post them tomorrow.

Offline ahlkey

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2011, 11:49:15 am »
Well the tractor I want to put it on is a 87HP and by adding more weight to the front tires or hanging some ballast if necessary should work then? For only a little less than $1,000 can get a nearly new 3 pt forklift rig, which the manufacturer claims can lift 4,000 lbs 8 ft high if psi is at least 2,000 and I ok since am at 2,200 psi.  Overall looks like it should work and at least double my current lifting capacity but still a little uneasy on balance having never used these type of attachments and well as backing up all the time.  It comes with an hydraulic top link as well.   One positive is my vision of the pallet will be better in the rear. Tractor weighs about about 7,500 lbs itself.

Offline rph816

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2011, 12:19:56 pm »
We got a 5000 lb 2 stage mast and tried to put in on a JD 2510 (55HP).  Didn't work so well.  I've heard the general rule for 3 pt is that it will pick up 1/3 the weight of the tractor (should have been around 2200lbs for the 2510).  Either way, it can be made to work.  Check on CL or with your local forklift seller for used masts.  I think we paid $300 for ours.  One other thing to consider, most forklifts use single acting cylinders so the volume of hydraulic fluid your tractor has available may be of concern (single acting only fills up the bottom with fluid and there's no fluid returning to the system).  Lastly, the hydraulic top-link is a must.  We haven't been using the mast due to a BUNCH of mechanical issues, but we have a forked carrier, like the one pictured above, and it does pretty much everything we have asked it to do.

Ryan

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2011, 12:53:02 pm »
One of the reasons dedicated tractor style forklifts work better than the 3pt hitch version is that the load is too far back behind the rear wheels with the 3pt hitch. Figure out how to mount one at the tractor end of the 3 pt hitch arms with a short hydraulic top link.. you could do some heavy lifting. If you go with 3Pt hitch you might find the 45hp with weight at the end of the fe-loader might counter-balance more the heavier tractor with suitcase weights.

Offline ahlkey

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2011, 02:34:26 pm »
I was also thinking that with the front loader on my 45HP that I possibly would be better off regarding balance. However, one big problem is that the rear lift is only rated at 2,600 lbs and with the 3pt forklift running about 700 lbs or so and the forks out at least 4 feet my lifting ability would not likely be more than my current 1,500 lbs with the front loader.  The larger tractor is not as easy to move around but does have a rated rear lift of 7,900 lbs which if I can keep everything close then I would hope I could achieve more than enough capacity to lift these pallets of lumber. I realize this is a cheap way of lifting lumber pallets but can't see buying a heavy duty loader or rough terrain tractor at this point for limited duty.  I will look around a bit more on CL and other places as maybe can get something for less dollars but the one availabe now is in near new condition.  Hoping to decide this week so all your advice is greatly appreciated.

Offline Wick

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2011, 02:58:40 pm »
 What is CL? I have been looking around for one of those 3pt lifts myself.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2011, 05:12:05 pm »
Wick
CL is craigslist ;)

An online buy and sell among other things. Google it and you will see what it is about. Similar to classified section of a newspaper.
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Offline ahlkey

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Re: 3pt forklift
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2011, 10:29:52 pm »
Yes --- make sure you are careful with Craigslist.  It seems lately that the amount of scams are higher than normal especially with farm equipment.  

In any case, will probably purchase by the end of the week the one I found in perfect condition if nothing pops up.  Owner claims it worked very well for him and could lift close to 2 tons, but he sold his big tractor and it has sat idle for two years.   It think overall given the positive & negative choices for me this attachment seems a reasonable option.