There are many forklift brands and a wide variety of capacities. However, when it comes to the rigging and heavy moving world, there are only a handful of fork truck companies. Major brands are CAT, Royal, Taylor, Towmotor, Versa-Lift, Hoist, Riggers, Riggers Special and maybe a handful of others. Hyster sold many air tired forklifts commonly used by riggers. In fact, many from the 1970’s are still in use. I recall using our Hyster 460 for years all the way until my father retired from the moving business. Used large capcity forklifts for sale have become harder and harder to find because of the economy picking up.
Common rigging capacities for forklifts are 15,000lb to 120,000lb. Right now, the most common size is 30,000lb to 60,000lb capacity. The high demand for these machines has made the used market dry up. Auctions for larger forklifts haven’t really been that good for those hoping to get a deal. We’ve seen prices go sky high, when the reality of it is that the prices from a used forklift dealer would have been less. The most sought after brand, at this point, is Versa-Lift forklift. They can get around in tight spots with high capacity abilities because of the extending rear counter weight. Because of the popularity of Versa-Lift forklifts, they are very hard to find used. If you do find them used, they can sometimes be priced higher than new cost. This is because there is a 2 year waiting list for these machines at the date of this writing. Of course, there are other brands that now have extending counter weights. Hoist makes one now.
More forklifts can be found at: s3.amazonaws.com/used1/AM/affordable-machinery.com/index-2.html
Hydraulic Gantry Cranes are one of those things that nearly every rigging and moving company needs in stock. On the flip side, they many not be used all of the time. The fastest way around that is to rent the gantry system out to other riggers or companies. Generally, it’s a good idea to have your company name and contact info on the lifting beams, power unit and each jack. Frequently, companies take pictures of their projects and post them online. This will give you a little bit of free advertising. After all, you never know who might be looking at the picture. One of the biggest hurdles to ownership is the up front cost to buy a system. You may want to consider buying a used hydraulic gantry system.
In speaking with David Dimond of Affordable Machinery, LLC in Michigan, he says a used machine can cost 50% less than buying new. However, he also reminded us that, 50% off new would likely be an older machine. A newer locking system in good shape may run you 65% to 70% of new cost. Still, that can equate to a huge discount.
(Do you want to contact Affordable Machinery? affordable-machinery.com/)
There are several brands out there; J&R Engineering, Riggers Manufacturing, Lift Systems, Enerpac and even a few shop made systems. They basically break down into two categories; exposed cylinder and locking system type. The most desirable hydraulic gantry systems are the locking system type. This also means they are harder to find used and much more expensive when you find one. The open or exposed hydraulic cylinder type are more common and are therefore less money.
When looking a buying a used gantry, don’t be surprised if each tower has banged up and chipped paint. Often times chains and lifting equipment get banged up against them. While it doesn’t look good, chipped paint isn’t an indication of the units overall quality. Of course, you may want to paint your gantry so it looks good when out on a job.
Be sure to get the specifications. Make sure it will lift as high as you need and what weights at what heights. You may also want to consider a dead section. This will allow you to lift heavier loads higher by not having the gantry fully extended. Or simply lift higher in total by having the dead section. Also think about if it’s self powered. Older units maybe fixed or need to be pushed or pulled by another vehicle. This can make for a herky-jerky, if not stressful, procedure. Some older units use a hydraulic push pull system to move the towers. The most desirable are systems that each jack can move themselves.
Well, there it is. Hopefully that gives you a little insight on buying a used hydraulic gantry system.
Hydraulic Bi fold Flip Tail with mounting bracket – Nelson knock-off
Mounts on the back of a step deck trailer
Runs of a hydraulic pump you have to get – like a snow plow pump or similar.
30,000 lbs / 40,000 lbs Royal Forklift
- Model T 300
- Capacity 30,000 lbs / 40,000 lbs
- Rigging Boom
- Note: this forklift is tagged 30,000 lbs capacity, it has counter weight, the machine will pick 40,000 lbs
33,000 lb Cat Air Tire Forklift
- Model: V330B
- Year: 1988
- Capacity: 33,000 lbs at 24″ load center
- Machine Weight: 37,200 lbs
- Forks: 6′ long
- Down Height: 11′
- Cat Diesel Engine
- Runs Good