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From the Frame, Up!


A Frame-up Rebuild is exactly what it sounds like; a piece of material handling equipment that has been completely rebuilt from the frame, up. This often times means that a part of the truck has been structurally modified in some way to increase its capacity rating or lift height capabilities.

Much like when renovating a home, the demo of the forklift is the easy and fun part. Everything must go! Once you are down to the frame itself it is checked for structural stability and reinforced. If the lifting capacity is to be changed, a counterweight must be added or modified at this stage. The calculations here must be incredibly accurate for the counterweight as it is used to counter-balance the load the forklift will be lifting in the future. The counterweight is opened and molten lead is poured inside to add to its over-all weight.

Once the counter-weight has been filled and completed all the internal components must be reinstalled. This includes parts and systems like controls, joysticks, axles, fuel system, electronics, transmission and finally engine. Reassembly takes a seasoned and experienced technician. Not only must you ensure that the systems are installed correctly but that you have the expertise to guarantee everything is compliant with regulations and standards. Engineered drawings are a must for any alterations to custom structural parts or alterations to the forklift mast that is to be installed. Each piece along the way must be inspected for structural integrity and safety. The engine, transmission, axles and fuel system are all inspected prior to installation to be sure of working quality and safety.


Next comes the installation of the overhead guard, tires, mast and any other external pieces. Each piece is inspected for safety and quality. New mast fittings and hoses are checked for leaks and cracks as well as to make sure that they aren’t being compromised or pinched. Tires are checked for quality and stability making sure there are no gouges or splits. When everything has been installed, fluids checked and fuel added, the fully rebuilt forklift is started for the first time and sent off for the final step, paint.

Every frame-up rebuilt forklift goes through testing and gets a Safety Inspection prior to shipment. The forks, mast capabilities and capacity are all tested and then a technician does a full 21-point Safety Inspection to ensure it is fully CSA Standard compliant. Once a pass has been completed fuel and fluids are topped up and it’s off to the customer!

Now you have an all new lift truck with all the benefits of its former model. The most significant benefit of this is that you can customize some of the capabilities to meet the unique needs of the job at hand. Often a frame-up rebuild is a cost-effective solution to buying a brand new unit with the same specs. Although it is often a challenging job, you can ensure you are getting exactly what you want in the forklift you are building.


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