Another nominee for website’s forklift museum

News Story
- 16 Aug 2012 ( #578 ) - Globe, AZ, United States
1 min read
Miami Machine & Manufacturing's 1947-era Holt.
Miami Machine & Manufacturing's 1947-era Holt.
Miami Machine & Manufacturing has nominated its old but still useful 1947-era Holt for a place in the forklift museum on the Forkliftaction.com website.

"She is an antique, but a real work-horse for my company," says Deborah Hiibel, owner of Miami Machine in Globe. "I have semi-retired her, but I still use her occasionally."

The Holt model FM2500 has a lifting capacity of 1,200 lb. (540 kg), a three-speed transmission and a two-cylinder Wisconsin Motors LLC engine that originally used gasoline as a fuel. "We converted to propane for use in the automotive and general machine shop," she says.

Around 1985, "my father, Russell Gilbertson, bought the Holt from a saw mill" that employed him in Grants Pass in south-west Oregon, she recalls. "They were going to dismantle the Holt and scrap it out."

Hiibel says her business was originally located in Oregon but moved operations and equipment - including the Holt -to Arizona. In recent years, Miami Machine has built engines and done fabrication work and manufacturing projects for mining companies. Arizona is nicknamed the Copper State.

In pursuing her curiosity about the Holt forklift, Hiibel launched a Discussion Forum thread on the Forkliftaction.com website trying to determine "if anybody has any information on them and if there is anyone who has one". She believes her Holt was new in 1947 and "might be a prototype".

While her Holt with serial number 58115 qualifies among the antiquities of the forklift world, Hiibel has no intention of parting company with the machine. "We don't want to sell it. It is part of our family."

Miami Machine also owns and operates Namco standup and Hyster sitdown forklifts.

Holt Manufacturing Co and CL Best Tractor Co merged in 1925 to form Caterpillar Tractor Co, which operates now as the global equipment powerhouse Caterpillar Inc, owner of the Holt brand.
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