The story behind this beautiful old forklift
About three weeks ago we received this photo from a reader from North Carolina USA who had participated in the Forklift Challenge. He said his forklift is a Clark, probably a Clark Carloader but he was not 100% sure. He did not remember when they purchased it but it had been used for many years in their HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) business, it sounds like it was a nice dependable truck. We loved the photo and the forklift and the fact that someone had been kind enough to send it. And so this challenge was born
We asked you to 'Name that Forklift' and you rose to the challenge
At Forkliftaction we are always saying that our readers know their forklifts, they are invested and knowable in what they do - a wealth of information. So we figured why not just post the picture and ask for help in identifying it?
We have received a large number of responses and we've had a lot of fun reading through everyone's theories.
It's a Clark!
From your responses it has been almost unanimous that the forklift is a Clark. The vast majority has picked it as a Clark 'Clipper'.
According to the Clark Material Handling USA website
the 'Clipper' was in production 1938-1964, and at one time accounted for 50 percent of all sales in the 2000 pound capacity range.
A large number of our reader participants estimated the date of manufacture for this particular forklift to be somewhere between 1954 and 1958.
We found this brochure posted on the practical machinist website www.practicalmachinist.com.
Looks like a good match to our mystery forklift.
A few of our experts thought the forklift may have been the Clark Carloader (in production 1938-1964
). The Carloader is very similar in appearance to the Clark Clipper, so how do we know which one this is?
Well, according to our readers the Clipper was smaller and had a lift capacity of about 2000lb, while the Carloader had 4000lb capacity.
One of our readers, an experienced Clark dealer, gave us great help with the following feedback:
'This one looks like a Clark Clipper... The Clipper was the smallest of two that look very similar. The Clipper was red and the Car Loader was yellow. If a customer requested a rental forklift like the one he owned, the dealer would ask what colour rather than model number or specifications. Both of these Clark models were top of the line and hard workers. It was not uncommon to see twenty to thirty year old units still working daily.'
Past Branch Manager, Clarklift of Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas ... (now Hugg and Hall Equipment)
So it looks like we have a Clark Clipper, dated back to the 1950s. Whatever it is, it's a lovely old truck and we've had a heap of fun playing along with you guys.
Got an idea for a fun Forklift challenge to play with Forkliftaction readers, we'd love to hear it: email KTM@forkliftaction.com.
And head over here for this week's fun (and spooky) challenge.