News service and business centre for materials handlingHOME
DISCUSSION FORUMS : Forkliftaction.communicate
Right to Repair Act for forklifts
If anone doesnt know what this is,The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 2694) was introduced in Congress and in many states to ensure that car owners and their trusted repair shops have the same access to safety alerts and repair information as the franchised new car dealer network. Basically, it makes it fair for independent repair shops to have access to repair codes and troubleshooting programs.

Unfortunately there is no such help for industrial repair shops. I am a mechanic in South San Francisco, CA. I was talking to mechanic from Yale and he was describing some of the new technology that Yale and other manufacturers are putting into the new forklifts. This will render the average forklift mechanic obsolete due to lack of information about these trucks. I am currently writing a letter to my California Congress person and want to know if there is anyone that is is willing to help write a good, convincing letter.

This is something that should be taken very serious. Once the warranties are up on the new brands, independent shops will not be able to work on them without the programmers and trouble codes. This gets me thinking about how many years I have left at my job before the company I work for goes out of business due to the inability to perform repairs?

If there is anyone here that is interested in this subject, lets hear from you. We need to make a stand now before it is too late.
  • Posted 22 Sep 2008 10:28 PM
Total replies: 51. Showing items 1 - 20 of 51 results.
  • PR2005
  • Illinois, United States
I completely agree the fact that the dealers (whom I worked for for over 10 years) think they can cut out the smaller companies by over engineering their product is crazy, I often here coplaints from one dealer to the next that they cannot get info to work on other manufacturers trucks but they perpetuate the problem by not selling repair manuals or offering info over the phone. I think it is an exxelent idea and would like to know how you do so I can do the same herer in illinois
  • Posted 27 Sep 2008 05:43 AM
  • TC17
  • Wisconsin, United States
Our fleet maintenance department have training classes that are conducted on site, by the specific lift truck manufacturer. Recently they just went through a week long class and they received training manuals and repair references, so I know the information is out there, you, as a company, need to get with the specific companies and get these training classes set up.

Wisconsin, USA
"Be safe"
  • Posted 2 Oct 2008 10:11 PM
The best chance of success for a powered industrial truck right to repair law would be to team up with those trying to enact such legislation for motor vehicles and to broaden the proposed legislation to include powered industrial trucks, construction equipment, farm equipment, etc.

HR2694 is a bill that was introduced into the House of Representatives in 2007. It has not been enacted by Congress. Public efforts are still being made to enact a right to repair law for motor vehicles at the federal level and at some state levels.

One major organization behind this movement is the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and its Right to Repair campaign.

Google: [url removed]

To view a copy of HR 2694, Google: [url removed]

For information on state activity, Google: [url removed]
  • Posted 4 Oct 2008 08:04 PM
  • • Modified 5 Oct 2008 12:01 PM by poster
One issue you will face is that the majority of the controls placed on forklifts now is due to emissions regulations that have been put onto lift trucks. Being in California this will be hard for you to overcome. Honestly I'd recommend your company looking into training from impco and other control companies or at joining a factory dealership.
  • Posted 23 Oct 2008 02:26 AM
Some companies may train repairmen but would your company train a competitor ?
  • Posted 10 Nov 2008 06:08 AM
What his concern is that Hyster, Yale, Cat and others have programs that only the dealer can get into via Laptop. You can not get these programs period. It not only affects the little guys, but the customers who no longer want that dealer doing the maintenance have no choice but to use them. I have this issue now where we took over a Yale account and sometimes have to call them in to hookup the laptop to trouble shoot the lift. It needs to be addressed.
  • Posted 6 Jan 2012 11:05 AM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
I know that TVH (used to be SMH) in the USA offers a course to learn the impco spectrum system.
I see it being addressed by people voting with their wallets, with the resale of units, where a unit a year older sells for more money because it doesn't have the "lock in" to the brands dealer.

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 6 Jan 2012 09:45 PM
  • • Modified 7 Jan 2012 08:05 AM by poster
monte_j e-mail me we can talk further about your issue.
  • Posted 6 Jan 2012 10:39 PM
i remember in 1996 when OBD 2 came into effect. We tossed thousands of dollars of hand scanners out and bought one that fit all cars. Now anyone can purchase a scanner at Wal-mart and access codes for their car. Not all the codes, just basic ones. But lift trucks are no where near as popular as cars. Lift manufacturers cannot afford to give their software out. Some makers wont even sell you a manual!
Onboard access to codes and learn features should be made manditory with the right to purchase manuals as well.
I work on 3 wheel Daewoo's that give access codes on the dash. But when replacing some items, you need the software to learn the new steer pot position. If you dont set it with the laptop, the drive motors will go full current on turns, this causes blown power amps or logic modules. I'm just luckey that a disgruntled tech gave me the software do these adjustments because it would cost an arm and a leg to call them each time! Some makers do allow learn without using software. I agree that we should be allowed better access!
  • Posted 21 Jan 2012 10:17 AM
Forklift Dealers make in the low single digits % for profit on the sales of a forklift. By the time a dealer pays for all of the sales process including the salesman paycheck, he probably losses money to sell a new forklift.

It is parts and service that turns the lights on and pays for everyones salary in a dealership. So, you want to pass a law that says after the manufactuer has invested $miilions into R&D and Training and distribution etc... to just just hand over all of their potential profit to a guy who has not taken a single risk in the whole development and distribution process? That same dealer is who probably trained you to be a good technician, and now you want him to just hand over the keys to operation.

I got an idea.. Go build your own forklift, market it and sell it yourself. Then come back and tell me how "unfair" it is that you have to give all your potential profit to someone else.
  • Posted 18 Feb 2012 02:38 AM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
Your argument is somewhat flawed in a few spots there, AftrmktSales, but I do appreciate the discussion and your view. please allow me to address what I see as the inconsistencies in your viewpoints.
1.) No end user should have to pay for the research and development of extra bells and whistles that does not benefit the end user, and only benefits the dealer with 'lock-in'.
2.) The forklift manufacturer buys from their suppliers and does not do the research and development of the controls systems that are the causes of this "lock-in". However the dealer does respond to government regulations, and this response is where this 'lock-in' is generated, as it is a response to the regulation that says only trained and authorized people may work on and adjust the controls, and that the controls must be 'tamper proof' to prevent those not properly authorized to work on those controls from accessing the controls and adjustments. The law does NOT require the manufacturer to control who the employer is, of the people who will access the controls.
3.) The profit margin that a dealer gets for his goods and services are that dealers choices, based upon market forces and choices made by that dealer, and in no manner are the 'fault' or responsibility of the end user, and the same is true of the expenses the dealers decides is needed to sell their machine.
4.) Customers are not property of the dealer who sold the equipment. Competition is a good thing for the end user/consumer and to work to defeat competition is self defeating in the long run (you may win every race you run if no one else is running, but you will never have a championship). Customers will vote with their wallet and feet in the long term.
5.) While dealers find they have no choice but to train their techs on the particulars of the machines they warranty, in all but very rare cases, the techs have invested thousands of their own money in tools and years of industrial education prior to ever being considered as a possible hire in a forklift dealership. I do not think this web site's technical section forum board would exist if your assumption about tech training was true, that it was the dealers who provided all the training to the techs.
Techs find their training where they can get trained.
6.) While I don't doubt there are people who would like to be able to, as you claim " who has not taken a single risk", this is insulting to those techs who recognize their 10 to 20 thousand dollars* in tools is an investment in the distribution processes of the dealer they work for.
* a techs tool investment often is more than their investment in anything other than their home, should they be so fortunate to be able to own a home after purchasing the tools they need to do their job without having to add a few thousand dollars in computers, cables, and software licenses.
Again, thanks for your input into this discussion.

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 19 Feb 2012 02:17 AM
Great point of the majority of the systems being developed outside the dealer. Impco still has a great hand on many of the control systems used by various manufacturers today.
  • Posted 19 Feb 2012 08:16 AM
Congress will have to repeal the trademark law or the companies who want information will have to pay the copyright fees in order for the information to be made public. 99% of the repairs, except some electrics, can be made by any intelligent technician with mechanical aptitude. I work for a dealer and find that most repairs do not require the codes and/or access to the system to complete. It costs the dealer a ton of money to train us, which means we might not get that next raise. Why should the information be available to the general public for free when it costs the dealer? Don't think the dealer doesn't have to pay for access to the information, then they have to train the techs, supply the equipment,ie laptops, testers, cables. And for some of us, if we don't have it on our trucks, we won't have access for at least 24 hours, or drive two hours one way to the shop.

Equipment, Inc.
Mobile, Al.
  • Posted 20 Feb 2012 07:46 AM
Trademark law was not repealed when auto manufacturers were made to comply. Now as for the cost of all the crud. I own my laptop. I have to fix my laptop when it eats to much floor. I own 85% of all my cables. I own all my tools. Now as for programing yes my dealership has provided what is required to preform work on most models. The best training I ever had was from hard knocks and a bunch of help after the fact.

I believe that most stealerships have found out that they can do bad service if they lock a customer in. As someone stated earlier customers will vote with their wallet and the value of such lifts will lessen. I have witnessed older non controlled lifts selling for more than newer models.
  • Posted 20 Feb 2012 09:50 PM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
I think meliftman is using the term 'trademark law' to indicate 'all intellectual property law', and (IANL) I think it is proper to refer to the law governing manuals and software as 'trade secret' and/or 'copyright' (mainly copyright). But he does have the correct idea about someone paying the license fees to own the right to distribute the information and software.
AND, actually what was done in the automotive world was to create an 'open standard', where the copyright for the standard is owned by some organization that allows it to be used/licensed without added fees, like the IEEE or in the forklift world, if not the IEEE, then ITSDF.
I think it is also a great point that 90% of what breaks does not require a laptop to fix, some people seems to stop hearing right after the "on this truck you need a laptop" and don't hear the "to only do about 5 things".

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 21 Feb 2012 10:04 PM
edward t.... I'm not quite the jerk I appear to be....

The market demands, Government requires, or Lawyers force R and D. The customer comes to expect faster lift speeds, "SAS", "Intrinsic Stability", smoother operations, more visibility, higher lift, narrower aisles, cameras, auto leveling forks... etc.... The manufacturer pays upfront for all that technology that is demanded. They are the first named in lawsuits. The manufacturer frequently use suppliers, yes, but it based on the manufacturer's specs in many cases, not just going parts shopping through the SMH website. Should they not protect their investment?

Those tools are the property of the technician, he can employ them however he sees fit. I got no problem with competition, as a matter of fact I live that competition every day. My frustration is the apparent "entitlement" attitude that a manufacturer should be compelled by law to turn over all of their "secrets" to any and everybody.

Let the freemarket work. If you as a mechanic bring so much value to the table, convince your customer to buy equipment that you can work on, and the other manufacturers will bow to the pressure. Trust me, I have seen the ugly side of not meeting ITA sales expectations.
  • Posted 24 Feb 2012 12:42 AM
Proshadetree, It's good for you that you own your own laptop and most of the cables. If I used my own laptop, I wouldn't have access to any software the company( dealership) has purchased the right to use. Might change,but for now, I'll use theirs. And by the way, if it hits the floor, I'm responsible for the repairs, or if it gets damaged or stolen, unless the truck is broken into. I have a bunch of customers who have lifts old enough not to need the new technology, and most stay where they are not because of the company name.
Convincing the people I deal with to purchase equipment is easy, convincing the bean counter in another state is another.

Equipment, Inc.
Mobile, Al.
  • Posted 29 Feb 2012 09:20 AM
I thought all the OE's were getting tired of the bellyaching and were going to quit making it so difficult for the average mechanic to fix someone's forklift!

PS I have a 1974 Clark for sale and it will not take a laptop to tell me if I should change the sparkplugs!
  • Posted 6 Mar 2012 12:42 AM
  • EasyM
  • South Carolina, United States
Customers like the labor rates charged by the "little guys" but when a truck is misdiagnosed in the field by a non trained mechanic, they try and hold the manufacturer responsible. Extended warranties on most equipment can be voided if service is not being performed by authorized dealers. Small independent service companies don't usually discuss these risks with the customer. All is well and good with these independents until the **** hits the fan.
  • Posted 8 Mar 2012 04:55 AM
In my experience the so called trained manufacturers engineers are not always that great at repairing their own product either, we have had the manufacturer of German yellow trucks, engineers in the UK go to jobs we have had to end up sorting because they either were struggling or just part fitting until the truck is repaired on their own product!
We have done motor, strip skim and rebuild jobs for £800 rather than £4000 quoted to just replace, customers cant and should not put up with this way of working and having to pay for the lack of common sense of so called factory trained engineers!! so what happens when the **** hits the fan with them??
  • Posted 8 Mar 2012 08:11 AM
Total replies: 51. Showing items 1 - 20 of 51 results.

Having trouble using the Discussion Forums? Contact us for help! accepts no responsibility for forum content and requires forum participants to adhere to the rules. Click here for more information.


Forkliftaction Media Pty Ltd
PO Box 1439
Milton QLD 4064
About Forkliftaction
The Forkliftaction Team
Privacy Policy
Site Map
Business Directory
Discussion Forums
Industry News
Events Calendar
Jobs & Resumes
Photo Galleries
Blog articles
Our Bloggers

Industry Brands
Company Index
Regions & Countries

Advertise on Forkliftaction
Editorial Features / Calendar
Featured Businesses
Past News Editions
Industry Associations
Storing your login information automatically.

When you select the 'Remember me' option, your login information will be stored on your computer in the form of a cookie. When you visit again, the stored login information will be retrieved automatically and you will not have to submit your login parameters (email address and password) each time you want to visit our members-only pages.

A cookie is a small piece of data that is sent to your browser from a web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. A cookie can't read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. Cookies do not damage your system.