Mighty machine

It was a struggle to get it there, but one of the world’s biggest forklifts is now parked in Innisfail.

Duane Demeria of Red Deer Forklift Sales & Service stands in front of the massive forklift he recently had shipped to Innisfail.

It was a struggle to get it there, but one of the world’s biggest forklifts is now parked in Innisfail.

The 55,565-kg Hyster arrived at Bilton Welding & Manufacturing Ltd. this week. The machine, with a lift capacity of 47,630 kg (105,000 pounds), was transported on three trucks, said Duane Demeria, owner of Red Deer Forklift Sales & Service Ltd.

Its wheels alone weigh 1,130 kg each, said Demeria.

“The mast and forks came in on Friday. Then the chassis came in on Monday, and then the wheels and the counterweight came in on Tuesday.”

It was assembled on Tuesday and has already been fired up, with final adjustments being made late in the week.

“It ran over a grease gun and flattened it out,” chuckled Demeria, who sourced the machine in Saginaw, Mich.

That was after Bilton owner Bob Bilton called him in search of a big forklift.

“He was looking for a 900,000- to 100,000-pound forklift,” said Demeria.

“I said, ‘Not a problem.’”

That was because Demeria had seen the forklift advertised a few days earlier. It had been used in a General Motors plant.

“It was kind of serendipitous that (the ad) came in about two days or three days prior to Bob’s call.”

The machine has a 48-inch load centre, said Demeria, as compared with the standard 24-inch reach.

“So this is double the load centre; it’s twice as far out.”

It’s also the biggest forklift Red Deer Forklift has ever sold.

“Hyster doesn’t make anything bigger, and I don’t know if anyone else makes one any bigger.”

In addition to its exceptional size and reach, Demeria said the forklift has remarkably few hours for a six-year-old machine — about 1,250.

“That’s absolutely peanuts,” he said, estimating the running life of the unit at about 25,000 hours.

It did cost about $31,000 to ship the forklift, said Demeria. As for its price, he didn’t want to elaborate.

“It’s past $350,000.”

Red Deer Forklift sells new and used equipment, and has service, parts and rental departments. Its operated for more than 30 years.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

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