Fork Truck Inspection Tips

Tuesday, January 4, 2022 | Blackbird TV

Appraising fork trucks can be tricky. There are many manufacturers and models, each with their own unique set of details to note. David Fiegel of Blackbird Asset Services demonstrates some items that can greatly impact the value of a fork truck.

About this segment of Blackbird TV

Published: January 4, 2022

Segment transcript

On this segment of Blackbird TV, we’re talking fork trucks. This is a Caterpillar 3500 pound. As an appraiser, there’s certain things that you want to pay attention to when you’re describing the machinery. Right here on the front end of it, this particular truck has a three-stage mast. You could see 1, 2, 3. There are trucks that have one-stage masts. There are trucks that have two or three. I’ve even seen them go to four.. This particular truck is a high-reach and goes 188 inches. You need to look down here. if you see cylinders down here, that can mean one of two things: either the truck has side shift, which means this a whole carriage goes back and forth, or it has automatic forks that will go in and out together. Some trucks actually have both of those features. This particular attachment has side shift, so the whole carriage will go back and forth. Another important feature to pay attention to is the tires. What kind of tires does the fork truck have? There’s solid tires, there’s cushioned tires, there’s pneumatic tires. Make sure that you understand what kind of tires are on the truck because that determines where the truck can be used. This particular truck has a hybrid tire. It’s a pneumatic tire, “but it’s actually solid.” It’s not filled. A filled tire is a pneumatic tire that’s filled. These are actually solid rubber all the way through. I guess they call them pneumatic because they look like a regular tire, but these are solid tires. You want to pay attention to the tread, and you ought to pay attention to the hubs and how the general appearance of the tires is. Sometimes you’ll have giant chunks that come out of these. Sometimes they’ll wear right down to the hubs, pay attention, make a note in your appraisal log. Another really important feature to write down in your notes is what does this truck run on? This is an LP truck. It runs on liquefied petroleum gas. The other kinds of fork trucks that you’ll find out there are electric. If you have an electric truck, please make sure that you know what kind of batteries they are, what the voltage of the truck is. And if you can find out how old are the batteries? If the batteries are shot, sometimes the truck has no value. Other vehicles are run on gasoline or diesel, and those are particularly run outside. This is a Caterpillar fork truck. Caterpillar is a great brand name. Everybody’s heard of it. They’re well-built trucks, and this particular truck is engineered to work inside and outside the factory. That’s mostly determined by what kind of wheels are on it, what kind of clearance is on the bottom. There are fork trucks called rough terrain fork trucks that are designed primarily to work outdoors and as the name implies, in a rough terrain. I just discovered a really neat set of tires and wheels that are made by Evolution. They’re the Evolution Wheel Series. Look at these suckers. They look indestructible. If you’re a job site guy, you might want to check these out. This machine has side shift and standard forks. Other options that could go on the front of a fork truck are paper clamps, box clamps, drum clamps, dumpers, there are push-pull attachments, there’s carpet pole attachments, all kinds of different things. You should pay attention to what’s on the front of the fork truck if it’s not standard forks, because often these attachments are very valuable. Other really important things to find out about your fork truck before you finish your appraisal assignment, and do your research. How many hours are on the fork truck? Sometimes it’s on the dash. Sometimes it’s on a separate meter. Or sometimes they’re down here. You’ve got to look around for them. If you have the key, all you have to do is turn it one notch and the hour meter should come up. Don’t be afraid to push these buttons and go through the screen a little bit to make sure that you find the right screen. The other important part is obviously the name plate. Sometimes the name plates are obliterated‚Äîyou can’t get anything from them. Take a picture of it anyway. Then your record shows that you can’t get the serial number for the truck. The serial number is really important to capture, on some of these fork trucks, you’ll see a serial number right up here on the mast That’s not the serial number for the truck, campers. That’s the serial number for the mast. That’s not going to get you anywhere. The serial number for the truck is on the main tag. Sometimes these tags you can’t read. Take a picture of it, anyway, that way it’s in your work file that you can’t read the serial number. Yale and Hyster have really great systems for figuring out what year the fork truck was manufactured, and those databases are easily found by searching online. Caterpillars? Man, you can’t find the year on these, but there’s a trick! Every Cat fork truck, on the valve cover, the year and month of manufacture is stamped, and that’s where you find out what year it is. I’m no expert on fork trucks by a long shot. I know enough to describe them, write them up, and go back to my office and do the research. If you have questions, call your local dealer. They’re there to help. And usually, if you’re nice to them or show up with food once in a while, they’ll help you. And that’s all about fork trucks on Blackbird TV.