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Minneapolis Moline UniHarvester Converted To Self-Propelled Forklift
Five years ago I bought a 1950's Minneapolis Moline UniHarvester power unit and converted it into a self-propelled forklift. It works great and I use it almost every day to load and unload crates of equipment, such as compact tractors and hay rigs, that arrive at our implement dealership. The photo shows it lifting a pair of Ford compact tractors that weigh about 3,000 lbs. apiece. There are up to 20 tractors inside each semi.
The power unit was originally designed to handle several types of attachments such as corn pickers, forage harvesters, and balers. It was already painted green when I bought it. I used only the engine, transmission, rear end, wheels and axles, and steering system. I mounted the boom and forks from a junked Clark forklift on front. I fastened part of the frame off a wrecked semi truck onto the power unit's front axle, then made a bracket for it to attach the forklift.
Two hydraulic cylinders tip the forklift for-ward or backward and another cylinder raises it up or down. Maximum lift height is 14 ft. It's simple to operate and I sit up high and off to the side so I can always see what I'm doing. It's powered by a 4-cyl. gas engine and has a belt-driven 3-speed trans-mission. (Dwayne Ross, Ross Equipment, 5640 Glenn Hwy., Cambridge, Ohio 43725 ph 614 432-4556)

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #4