What Is The Best Forklift Brand


From original questioner:

Is there a brand of forklift that's considered the "Mercedes" or "Cadillac" of forklifts? I've heard that Toyota lifts really keep their value and judging by used prices that seems to be true.


From contributor ML

The best forklift is the one that answers your needs. Is it in your budget? New or used, are the payments (or purchase price outright) conducive to the amount of hours per week you will utilize it? Gas, diesel, electric, NG or propane - does it offer the best fuel for your scenario? Does it have all terrain tires if you will use it outdoors on other than a concrete pad or asphalt? Is it sized for your needs? Does the seller offer the service and timeliness of maintenance that will work to your schedules? If used - what is the warranty and how well does the seller provide warranty work?

Forget which is the "Cadillac or Mercedes" of forklifts. You couldn't give me a Cadillac, and Mercedes is way, way overpriced! What you should be looking for is a real workhorse. One that gets down and dirty and does what you need, sized to fit your wallet, your requirements and the skill level of those operating it. Don't get hung up on names - just about all offer great values, be the name Toyota, Hyster, Yale, TCM, Nissan, Bendi, Linde, Crown, Cat, Komatsu, Daewood to name a few - all great trucks!

I looked around a bit for maybe 3 weeks, did my research, talked to several businesses in the area that used fork trucks, checked my insurance agent for any requirements since it would be housed inside my 6,800 sq ft shop and the certification of operators - then took it from there. Seller offered certification classes for me and my guys, free delivery and 30 day return policy on any truck. So, I bought a 5 year old TCM for @ $9K, gas/propane, used with 1,200 hours - triple mast (18' height) 5,000 lb and it has run flawless for almost 10 years now. Seller installed all new hoses and tires, touched up paint nicks, etc. and gave me a 12 month full warranty. You would have sworn it just came off the showroom floor. I changed plugs once and other than oil changes and an annual maintenance schedule from the seller: Pro Lift in Monmouth County, NJ, it's been awesome.

From contributor Jo

I've alway's thought yale trucks were better from the end users standpoint. Very smooth.

From contributor Br

I have a Hyster truck, interesting experience. I called and said I was interested in a fork lift. The ask a few questions and said they'd get back to me. A couple of days later a truck pulls up, driver says here is your fork lift. Keep it for a few weeks, if you don't want it we'll pick it up. Didn't ask for any money and said I could make payments so I kept the truck.

When my needs changed and I needed something that would lift higher I called them up and they brought another truck, I bought that one as well. Both trucks were used but in nice condition. I called for service a week ago, the same tech came that serviced the truck when I bought it ten years ago. He still had that information in his smart phone.

From contributor La

My first one was a well worn White, triple mast, 5000#, main drawback was air inflated tires and no side shift. Sold it for what I paid for it 3 years later. I bought a used Cat 5000#, triple mast, side shift, propane and the large sized cushion tires, no flats! 3 years old for about 1/2 price. But it had been a lease machine and run hard. Dealer replaced some hoses and we repainted. Been a good lift. We only put a little over and hour a day on the meter. It was made in Korea, not by CAT but sold through their dealers. Dealer provided initial training. We've since had two employees trained by an agent for our insurance company. They are now official trainers. You need to retrain every 3 years for OSHA.

From contributor Je

Like has been said, there are many good options. I would highly recommend an Electric Forklift. Quiet, no fumes, plenty robust for any interior work. We have a 4,500lb Hyster. You have to look a little harder to find an electric, but they are so worth it!

From contributor Ji

The best one is the one that will do the job for the least amount of money.
I've had a
3 wheel Hyster- propane $900.00 ran for about 6 years until a meth b---- veered off the road and tboned it, squashing the battery (behind 3/8" steel frame) then bought some longer cables and put the battery on top for another 2 years
1200lb towmotor- gas $500 but had to have plywood co split units. Bought it from a now closed fixture shop that bought a new Toyota and wished they'd kept the towmotor.
3500lb Caterpillar- propane 1350.00 with triple mast. I've had it almost 10 yrs. Had the lift cylinder reman'd last year, still leaks a small amount at steer axle. It also has the Fred Flintstone brakes (feet) so you do have to pay attention and be ready to slam it in forward or reverse to stop. Runs like a sewing machine though.
Honestly I only run one 5-10 min a week, to unload 1-2 units of sheet material, so I didn't see the need in going all in.
I much prefer propane. Starts easy and burns clean.
I'd look for one with decent tires (pricey) and free of hydraulic leaks. Dual or triple stage mast is a plus as is automatic tranny.
All that said, in a former career running a lumber yard, we ran Toyotas, Hysters, Yale, and Daewoo, all with good luck.

From contributor Ev

We have an old 3-wheel electric Clark that is a great little truck, especially for a small shop. Turns on a dime, and will pull a full unit of melamine off the truck. For small shops it runs in almost the same space as a standie. It can move extremely slow for precise positioning under delicate loads. It's thirty years old and in almost 3 years I've had it, it hasn't needed a lick of work besides normal battery maintenance.

From contributor Mi

I normally recommend the brand that we use in our company. Its name is Llorsa.

From contributor Ro

My humble industry experience suggests that for most situations (YMMV) these are (in order) the best forklift brands: