requesting info regarding 1940's forklift loading rail car

Discussion in 'General' started by skyraider, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Anyone have any photos of 1940's or 1950's forklifts loading a boxcar? I need some reference info for a lumber yard I'm putting on my layout. Some kind of sturdy wood ramp needs to be built but I can't find any photos anywhere.


    Paul Moore
  2. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Generally, Paul, wherever forklifts were/are used, the largest percentage of ramps are concrete. If built from wood, the timbers would be something like 8x8s or 10x10s laid linearly up/down slope, generally all bolted together with through bolts and plenty of support structure underneath. Additionally, the slope would have to be pretty gentle.

    dock ramp.jpg
  3. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Thanks, Keith. Concrete doesn't really fit with the theme of my layout, but maybe I'll have to use it anyway. And thanks for the specific info regarding a wood ramp and the photo.

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  4. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

  5. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the link. A TOFC ramp is a possibility, depending on where the lumber yard is located. My original idea has evolved some (all of my layout ideas end up changing!!).

    Thank you,

    Paul Moore
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  6. Keep in mind Paul, any small industrial type forklift is completely immobile off a solid surface like concrete or asphalt paving. They don’t work well at all in gravel or on stone.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
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  7. Here is a couple small ramps my dad happened to take pictures of. Maybe they will add some ideas for you? The large ramp in West Plains, the small ramp in Thayer.

    474D895F-AD8B-4755-9A79-6E6CE919A159.jpeg B6714F1C-1824-46E2-BB62-279FDB2CB4B9.jpeg
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  8. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Another thing I have seen but didn't get pictures of, was a 25-30ft flatbed semi type trailer the the landing gear taken off and a wedge type thing added to the front, used as a ramp. There was a heavily built ramp hinged to the rear of the trailer, that would fold into the doorway or to the top of a flat car. The dual wheels were left on for mobility, those guys would wheel that thing around car to car, saw them unload a lot of boxcars with it. I have also seen them take a big fork lift to place a smaller fork lift into a car for unloading too.
  9. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    The dirt / gravel surface is something I thought of. Since a larger forklift won't fit in a boxcar (even with double doors the forklift rack height might be too tall for the boxcar door entrance), the small industrial forklift would be used on the ramp and offload crates / boxes / lumber to a larger forklift that is used in the yard. The large forklift is one I'm going to kitbash out of an old HO scale tractor. There are five tractors on the layout, and that's a little overkill, so using one for a forklift would be good. The other issue with the tractor forklift is that they don't turn sharp well with the closely paired front (in this case rear) tires. A photo is attached of the tractor style forklift. a431675b.jpg

    The larger of the two platforms would be ideal for something where a smaller forklift would have room to maneuver and turn around. The actual ramp would be half the width of the platform.

    Tom, I've seen ramps like that. If I could find a photo, I might try something like that. My intention is still a wood platform. Thanks to both of you!!!!
  10. I used to have to use a similar one at work Paul. Oh I hated that thing with a passion. It was a Massey and had a hand brake. With a foot clutch. Move one or the other too much and it just stalled. The steer axles was absolutely worn out. Ohhh bad memories abound. But that was going to be my suggestion for you to add and still period possible for your time frame.
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  11. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I worked as a mechanic for a while after my discharge. Was given something similar to replace a bearing on the 3rd member. I had a tractor manual, so I re-installed the third member as instructed, assembled and went for a little test drive. I pushed in the clutch, put it in 2nd gear imagine my surprise at the thing taking of rapidly the wrong direction. It had been designed to be flipped one way or the other for tractor or fork lift options.
    I spent the night taking everything apart and flipping that miserable 3rd member to get everything going the right direction again.
  12. Ha. Glad other people don’t like them Tom! Funny I know the military pushes universal fit for some things. My monster truck has Rockwell military axles. A front can become a rear with one pin, differential can fit either way. The hubs can be turned in or out for single or dual wheels etc,,,,, but at the same time they made a sprag type transfer case that was designed to disengage if shifted into reverse! Not a real handy feature unless you are sitting at a desk.
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  13. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Even though some photos were uploaded on the thread regarding my fictitious Texas layout, here are a few shots of the lumber yard in it's present state. It's not quite done; don't know if this is where it will be; still needs a ramp / platform and a few other things. The roof is slightly weathered but may get more, and it's not glued down yet, so it sticks up around the edges.

    Thanks for the input so far regarding the platform, ramp and forklift alternatives.

    IMG_4312.JPG IMG_4314.JPG IMG_4315.JPG
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  14. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Here's the first attempt at the scratch built loading platform. Due to space constraints, it came out a little squatty or stubby looking. I may do another one. The weathering needs to be redone a little, but it's close. Thanks to all those who contributed ideas and photos!! The ramp isn't attached, but fits well once it's in the exact position.

    The tractor forklift is underway. Figuring out how to build the rack and blades is proving to be a challenge.
    IMG_4328.JPG IMG_4331.JPG IMG_4329.JPG
  15. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Did you scratch build the lumber rack? I need to add something similar to my layout.
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  16. skyraider

    skyraider Member

  17. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Thanks Paul! I downloaded these for reference and will make it my next project after finishing up the diorama. I will shoot you a note if I run into trouble.

    -Bob T.
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  18. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    OK. As I said, my computer has quite a few photos of varying stages of completion, including the trusses by themselves. If you want any, just let me know.

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  19. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    The forklift tractor is basically done. As is the lumber yard. Once the decision is made as far as where it will live permanently, I'll finish the details that aren't complete. Thanks for the input on the tractor forklift. There could be more detail, but I got tired of cutting, filing, shaping and gluing tiny pieces.
    IMG_4332.JPG IMG_4333.JPG IMG_4335.JPG IMG_4336.JPG
  20. Love it. Nicely done. Should fit the part well.
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