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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default First Forklift setup

    Ok. I am at a dilemma. I have 4 way Pallets of hives. I have 30 Pallets. I am just getting into pollination on my own and need a first time forklift. Thought I had a line on a deal of a Swinger but, that did not pan out. I have a chance to buy at auction a 1995 Moffett. 3500 I think would be the max.

    I have a Kubota and could get a Mast for the 3 point hitch and use that my first year on my own. What I want to do is get through the first year on my own. I am going to pick up an Isuzu to use as the truck and then trailer the lift.

    After I do this for a year or two I can look at investing in hummerbee or swinger. Just such a huge investment in something that could be a huge sink hole.

    So I have done this with my Mentor last year and learned a lot He has a home-depot type setup and that is to much to spring for.

    Anyone have any good advice.?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,936

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    I have owned a lot of equipment and learned that you have to use it a lot to make it pay.

    Rent or buddy up at your end and arrange for someone to unload you at the pollination end.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,442

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    It might not be what you want to hear but Odfrank is right, look for some other options at this stage in your business. For just 30 pallets it's pretty hard to justify the investment you are talking about. I have all that stuff and I will still, on occasion unload a half dozen or so pallets by hand (if they are heavy doubles you might have to split them) just to save the inconvenience of pulling a loader around.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Marysville, CA, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    First year I went to pallets I was able to buddy up with a commercial guy. I offered to pay for fuel, he picked up from my yard and we dropped off in almonds. Then a good deal on a used 720 bobcat with a mast landed on my lap. It need some engine work on the aircooled Wisconsin, fixed it and runs great!
    Were running about the same amount of hives and I started with bees in 2007 so I'm no pro by any means but that machine fit perfect in my budget, and I think will work great as I expand. I try to spend my extra bucks in bees and or nutrition for the bees. A hummerbee, swinger and or new truck would all be very nice, I just cant justify it........
    just my .02

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,787

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    Use your Kubota. Get a pallet jack and convert it to forks for the front hydrolics. Can also convert to the rear 3 point.

    I have a Kubota, with pallet jack converted for front and a side shift mast for the rear...
    http://s679.photobucket.com/albums/v...t=PICT0184.jpg

    http://s679.photobucket.com/albums/v...kliftmast1.jpg
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Use your Kubota. Get a pallet jack and convert it to forks for the front hydrolics. Can also convert to the rear 3 point.[/url]
    I am really leaning toward that. Have you seen do it yourself plans? Otherwise I was thinking of getting one from these guys http://www.edwards-equip.com/Content/Forklifts.aspx

    Can you take a mast off of a regular fork lift and modify it to be a 3 point.? I find quite a few junk lifts on craigs list http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/bfs/2732841687.html

    Also found this but something more substantial would be nice. http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/b...anybody-3.html

    I have bucket forks except I cant see over the bucket so it requires 2 of us and is very time consuming. Also no side shift.
    Last edited by EastSideBuzz; 12-20-2011 at 01:13 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,787

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    I bought my tractor from a beek that had it all setup. My rear forklift mast is not hooked to the three point. The framework to attach it to the tractor was custom made by him. My front forks are without the bucket, very handy, and I think they were just made out of a pallet jack from someone with metal working tools and skills.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,588

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    Once you get something, you will be using it for years. It's hard to change to something new, if what you have works. Even if it doesn't work perfectly. So, get the best of whatever you can afford.

    Figure out how often you are really going to need a loader. Then see what it costs to rent one. If, over a year, it costs more to rent than to buy, buy. They are handy for other things. So, once you have one, you'll find other uses for it.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    I don't know what your budget is but something like this would work. Other than it being 1/2 way accross the country from you.


    http://www.machinerytrader.com/listi...?OHID=8157343&
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Susquehanna county, PA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    Got to the website tractor by net .com. There is a build it yourself forum. They show how tons of people have built forks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,051

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    I have got a 3 pt hitch mast for my tractor. My tractor really needs some extra weight on the front to use it properly. I used to think it worked great.... but if you ever used a bobcat.... you would not want to use it. Once you load with the beast... you have got to transport to tractor to where you unload... hauling tractors is tough off the road. Too bad you are not near... I'd sell it to you reasonable.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    whatcom co, WA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: First Forklift setup


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,199

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    For what its worth,

    you can rent anything anytime you need it. Budget it in, get the feel for it then plunge into the purchase.
    rent cost might seem a waste but its buying you time, and it will give you experience which will make your purchase more informed

    its what we do on our farm all the time. Buying the time, getting by and do the job the right way
    then buy when you can budget the purchase in
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,051

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    For what its worth,

    you can rent anything anytime you need it.
    Renting really does work. I remember having to go rent a bobcat when the mast of the tractor sprang a hydraulic leak. After using the bobcat... I knew I had to find one.. so much easier than that tractor. And you know you really do not have to make that first one brand new... tons of BCs in the 6k-10k range.... then pretty soon you will be adding things like buckets and such, cause BCs are just plain handy to have a round the farm.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    For what its worth, you can rent anything anytime you need it.
    Unfortunately I am not a renter. So the decision is do I get a bobcat or invest in a swinger. Then do I get a new one or a used one.

    I can pick up a very used used one (30 years old) for 10 or so. I can get a 5 year old one for 25 or so. I can get an almost new one with a new warranty for 30 or so.

    Lots of options and expenses to think about.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,936

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    Unfortunately I am not a renter. So the decision is do I get a bobcat or invest in a swinger. Then do I get a new one or a used one.I can pick up a very used used one (30 years old) for 10 or so. I can get a 5 year old one for 25 or so. I can get an almost new one with a new warranty for 30 or so.Lots of options and expenses to think about.
    Renting a forklift a few times is not like signing over your youngest child to the devil. You can rent one for 24 hours for well under $300. If you buy a new one for $30000 it will take you over a hundred uses to break even just on the purchase price. Not to mention interest, insurance, fuel repair, trailer cost, truck cost. If you use it ten times a year it will take you well over ten years to recoup your investment. I was "not a renter" for decades also. When I became one because I had need for multiple pieces of equipment, I learned how much cheaper it is to rent one for a period than to buy one. During the bulk of the time that you are not using all that "owned" equipment, it will be owning you. You can invest $30000 in a municipal bond earning 5%, which will pay you $1500 a year to rent equipment. In the end you will still have the $30000, not an old piece of equipment. If you can't use that forklift a few times a month year round, it will own you .

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    You can invest $30000 in a municipal bond earning 5%, which will pay you $1500 a year to rent equipment. In the end you will still have the $30000, not an old piece of equipment. If you can't use that forklift a few times a month year round, it will own you .
    Thanks for all the numbers. But, equipment like this has a resale value. This 30k Swinger has a 25k price tag after 5 years and a 10k bottom after 30 years. So the numbers are more in my favor then the rental way. Plus It is much nicer to use it on a moments notice then having to schedule a time to use it and save up the work to do it at once. I have a Kubota tractor that I use for 10 minutes ever other day. After 10 years I have only used it for 300 hours. It is still worth 20k and I paid 35 or so for it. Farm equipment does not work like a car on depreciation.

    But, I get your message and I agree. But, the 30k is only making me 5% in the bank anyway. You only live once and I am getting older and I have not bought a really really expensive toy in awhile. Just need to figure out if I want the bobcat and all its implements or a swinger.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    Thanks for all the numbers. But, equipment like this has a resale value. This 30k Swinger has a 25k price tag after 5 years and a 10k bottom after 30 years. So the numbers are more in my favor then the rental way.
    The numbers are never in your favor, There are very few successful excavating companys around that own all there equip. an expensive toy is nice but blow the transmission or engine out of a rental and you walk away unscathed blow one out of your own and you shoot yourself...Buy a fancy truck and rent the lift....
    Honeydew

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    I do not beleive you can do pollination with a rented lift. What happens when the farmer calls and says come get them they have to be out by Wed and you cant schedule a lift. Not a good plan.

    And yes the transmission is an expensive fix. Loaned out my Kubota to a neighbor and he blew my clutch and gave it back and said sorry. So now I never loan them out.

    BTW, Not trying to be argumentative.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: First Forklift setup

    I don't think you are being argumentitive at all, Eastside.
    You asked for advice and opinions and that is what you are getting.
    My opinion and advice:
    I have always purchaced ahead, sometimes WAY ahead of immediate need.
    I look at it as a statement of confidence and commitment for your future.
    A million years ago when I had 8 or 12 hives I bought my first extractor; an Apinox stainless radial!!
    Later, I bought my first flatbed boom truck when I could haul my entire outfit in one load!!
    Later, when I wanted a forklift, someone told me that, "Nobody needs a forklift until they have at least 500 hives".
    I laughed right in their face and thought, "Well, that is fine for you!".
    Eastside, it is obvious that you are itching to buy a forklift. If you can see clear to do so GO FOR IT!!
    Right or wrong. I'm on your side; I like having my own stuff.
    But then I take very good care of equipment and that is a biggy.
    If things don't work out you can always say that they should have!
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

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