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Forklift PF

January 23rd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

A mastless forklift. Features full independent suspension with normal & crab steering mode, remotely elevated boom, remotely tilted fork, remotely switched steering mode and lights.


Completion date: 16/11/2008
Power: electric (Power Functions)
Dimensions:  length 62 studs / width 28 studs / height 18 studs
Weight:  1.48 kg
Suspension:  full independent with shock absorbers
Motors: 4 x PF Medium, 2 x PF XL

Upon acquiring the 8297 set, I felt compelled to utilize its suspension components along with the linear actuators, to refresh my earlier telehandler designs, and see what potential can they gain with the new parts. This resulted in a vehicle that is a mastless type of forklift, though it greatly resembles a telehandler. Well, that’s just the charm of the formal classification.

The basic feature of the model was the steering on both axles, which was possible in two modes: standard one and a crab steering. This time modes were switched by purely electric means: two separate motor controlled steering of front & rear axle, and the rear one was powered through a PF switch. The switch’s position could be changed remotely by another motor, and in result the rear axle would behave differently in the normal and in the crab steering mode. The system worked very well, mainly thanks to the use of clutches in both front & rear steering system. Thus, it was possible to switch modes at any moment, and adjust wheels’ position by simply turning them to the maximum. The amount of space needed, however, made me give up the idea of a 4 wheel drive, and eventually only the rear axle was driven. Additionally, it was the first use of the new, 3-studs wide differential in a suspension module that had both drive & steering. It worked, but performed below my expectations, and I have taken a completely different approach in my later use of this differential.

The second important feature was the construction of the boom. It consisted of two parallel levers – a system that normally offers the possibility of self-leveling one end accordingly to the other. Thus, the model’s fork maintains its tilt when the boom is raised and lowered. An uncommon solution was the use of another motor to change the position of one lever relatively to the other, which resulted in a simple and effective fork-tilting mechanism.

The model was given a raw, typically ‘Technic’ aesthetics, which met with a better response that I expected. Additionally, the fact that I restrained from using black colour this time, was much appreciated. This was also my first model whose photos’ colors were fixed by me the way the professional photos are fixed, and I was so pleased with the effect that it has become a standard for my later constructions.


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  1. Sariel
    December 10th, 2011 at 10:38 | #1
    December 10th, 2011 at 03:46 | #2

    Are you going to make another telehandler soon?

  3. Sariel
    December 2nd, 2011 at 15:48 | #3

    Speed control remote will suffice for that.

  4. qwertyuiop
    December 2nd, 2011 at 09:35 | #4

    i think that a gearbox would have helped when picking up a load, only so it can be driven slower o control better.

  5. Sariel
    January 5th, 2011 at 13:03 | #5

    Sorry, I can’t.

  6. thom
    January 5th, 2011 at 12:19 | #6

    really cool design
    can you post some instructions of it
    i really want to make it by myself

  7. Sariel
    June 5th, 2010 at 22:09 | #7

    Lego does not buy designs from the outside, ever.

  8. david
    June 5th, 2010 at 22:05 | #8

    i wonder if lego would want to manufacture this if you brought it up to them.

  9. Mihály Stépán
    January 10th, 2010 at 18:57 | #9

    Fantastic. I like it when you build a “hull”, but now I just loved that I could see the internals. Maybe that’s why some think it’s a set.. 🙂

  10. Murcielago53
    March 28th, 2009 at 22:43 | #10

    great model! Love the steering system especially.
    I currently build with the NXT, but I want to get into Power Functions more. Currently I have the 8455 and 8285 sets. I am ready to purchase another. I was wondering, would the 8275 Bulldozer be better to get over the 8297 4×4?

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