Sylvia Engineering Welding and Equipment Repair Wed, 07 Feb 2018 19:44:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mon, 24 Feb 2014 15:31:44 +0000 Continue reading ]]> IMG-20130311-00183 IMG-20130311-00182 IMG-20130311-00178IMG-20130311-00178~~This an FP60-24 Allis – Chalmers rough terrain Fork Lift, Gasoline powered fork lift. Starts and runs well, tires are excellent. When we had the drive tires replaced a few years ago we also replaced the brake shoes, wheel cylinders and master cylinder (and all seals)We've owned this piece of equipment for the last 12 years. It basically now sits and we have no future plans for it. The forks are 6" wide and 6ft long. Smaller forks can be bought for it, these were the ones that came on it when we bought it from a local marina. They worked for our needs perfectly. This unit is rated at 7,000lbs of lifting capacity, but we had picked up over 8,000 lbs and it did easily as all old fork lifts were under rated. The main mast chains were replaced about 3 years ago when the mast cylinder was rebuilt by C&C Hydraulics in Terryville, CT. It has a wet clutch / manual transmission (2 fwd and 2 rev speeds) The seat is not ripped. The paint is not original. color, it is rust oleum blue and in fair shape; we had it sandblasted and painted it company colors when we got it. This is a very solid piece of equipment that we hope will serve someone for another 12 years. We have the service and parts manuals for the unit. Lift range is floor to 12ft measured at the forks. It has the A/C G230 gas inline 6cylinder. The hydraulic pump was replaced right after we got it approx. 260 hrs ago.

 The yearly Wet PM on this machine was just done and after seeing it had 4 hours in the last year… we decided It's time to go. It would be great for a marina, small farm or shop getting a lot of deliveries or a hobby shop. Dual drive tires allow this unit to travel on dirt, gravel, concrete and pavement easily. Steering tires are 1/2" (or better) deep tread and the drive tires are 3/4"(or better)deep.

 We are asking $3500.00 or best offer. Give us a call to see this machine. Ask for Joe 860-861-0128 or shoot us an email.

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Fork Lift Hydraulic Maintance 101 by Joe Sylvia Sun, 02 Jun 2013 21:14:18 +0000 Continue reading ]]> FORK LIFT HYDRAULIC MAINTANCE 101 by Joe Sylvia:

So it has been a little bit since my last blog post; business has been good and has kept me pretty busy. I had been writing this article in my head for a few months after the suggestion from our web designer. He (Kevin) and his wife (April) who run a pretty successful venture of web design and social media thru the workings of Constant Contact made the suggestion if I was going to “blog” I should have multiple articles in the works. The timing is relevant due to different things including the weather, seasonal, financial and of course mandated by your local state regulations or OSHA.

With that said, fork lift maintance is HUGE! There are so many areas to cover. Anyone who wants to put it all into one post or article will either make it so boring you never want to read all of it in one sitting or it will be so full of fluff that it will be worthless. My idea is to make it many little articles and you can pull the information as you need it. After 18 years of working on fork lifts, I want to share my interest with you so let’s begin.

Basic hydraulics involves a power source, a pump and tank (reservoir) and a control then a unit being controlled. Most power sources are an engine driven (gas, LP or diesel), electric motor (stationary or battery operated), or in the extreme case another hydraulic system. The latter is not a conventional hydraulic system so I will leave that to another discussion. Your pump is usually either a rotary vain pump or what I pretty much always find a gear pump; this is where two straight cut gears on driven and one drive gear turn the create the suction of the system and build the pressure to give you your hydraulic flow or “pressure.” The pressure is controlled by a relief valve either in the pump or the control. Basically the relief valve is a simple valve built into the pressure side that will by-pass the unit being controlled and send the pressure back to the tank. This “relief” drops the pressure of the pump to the desired “working pressure.” The working pressure is a measured pressure that the manufacture thru hours of complicated formulas, chalk boards and white lab coats decide is a safe pressure that will do the job and not damage any part of the system. If you were building say a log splitter… You would take the lowest working pressure items in the system and set your regulator to that. Since we are talking about an engineered fork lift, let’s stick to the guys in the white coats for safety sake. The last part is the unit being controlled. This could be a hydraulic motor or cylinder. Usually it is driven thru the control: i.e. a spool valve for example. This is a unit that when moved controls the flow of hydraulic oil and directs it from one port to another.


With all the unknowns of what system you actual have on your lift, I am going to give a bullet point list of the items I check for when I personally come up on an unknown machine for the first time. I start at the first point and thru the steps check all the components I see and address them in this order to make sure I cover the complete system. If you have something you don’t understand or wish was on the list, shoot me a picture and I will do my best to see if I can get an answer to you. WARNING: If you have little to no knowledge of safe working practices on heavy equipment or if you don’t feel comfortable with something, please trust your gut and STOP and walk away. This stuff can kill you or at the minimum hurt you bad! I have been doing this for a long time and my information is people who work in the field of equipment repair on fork lifts daily. So with that stuff said let’s move on.

Hydraulic Tank or Reservoir:

  • Inspect the fluid level and top it off using the manufactures fill guide lines. Usually this is with all the cylinders in the closed position (down with the least amount of chrome rod showing) and the power source is OFF. If electric; tag out the switch and the circuit breaker.
  • Check the breather for dirt and debris clogging the air trying to escape or coming back into the tank. If missing or clogged, just replace it. Some units have a spin on oil filter looking breather as a filter. If in doubt replace it. Then mark the new filter with perminate marker or scribe in the paint with a small ice pick the date and hours when replaced.
  • If there is a “in tank” hydraulic filter or external filter, relieve the pressure and replace it. While it is out, look in the tank for metal and water with a flashlight if possible. If dirty or you see water… Change the fluid. You could be looking at a lot of fluid, but water will wipe out a pump costing a lot more than the cost of hydraulic oil. Hydraulic oil should be changed every 2 years regardless of hours. I recommend following the manufactures guide lines.

  • Test the oil being drained out for wear: If you don’t currently use a fluid analyzer system, call a local over the road truck repair shop and ask the service manager who they use for an oil sample test. “WHY?” oil does wear! Not only does it have the job to take away heat and lubricate the needed moving items but it is a hydrocarbon based oil and after countless times being compressed by the pump, carbon and acid build up and will damage parts from the outside in. Yes oil can become acidic.
  • Check the tanks for leaks and damage. If fluid can get out; water and dirt can get in.
  • Check if used for a pick up screen. This screen, if clogged will starve the pump for oil and cause very low pressure output. Most screens are washable and reusable.


  • Inspect the pump for leaks and tightness. If it is loose… “WHY?”
  • Inspect the drive shaft if a separately driven pump, there is a coupler that connects the pump to the drive unit, is it sloppy or worn out. Are the bushings (if any) intact? Is the front seal leaking? If any u-joints, are they tight and grease them if possible.
  • If you have a proper service manual and or the proper gauge, check the pressure coming out of the pump or after the regulator for proper operating pressures. Just because it still makes the mast move does not mean it’s working properly.
  • If mounted directly to the drive unit, is there any oil leaking around the base gasket?


  • Are the control handles and linkage operating smoothly and efficiently? Look for worn out connection points and blow down the connection areas with compressed air; lubricate the controls linkage with light oil like WD-40. Replace worn out pieces as they will not give you proper control over the load.
  • Look for leaks and damage to the connection points of any hoses or metal tubes.
  • Check for any damaged return springs and do the control “spring back” like they should to a neutral position.


  • Inspect the cylinders for leakage, gouges in the chrome rods and the connection points at the ends. Worn parts will mean less movement or less throw of the cylinders. On single acting cylinders, check for a missing or clogged breather filter or screen. Water or dirt in the other side of the cylinder will prevent and damage the throw.
  • Check the outer body or “tube” of the cylinder for dents or damage especially welding. Welding is more common than ever in an economy that is slow. I’ve seen the results of this personally after it happened and the cylinder burst. Lucky nobody was hurt. Please never weld a cylinder tube: Replace it!
  • Check the connections and look for leaking and wear from hitting debris to mangled threads. Especially on the main mast cylinders, they are in constant lines of fire due to their positions.
  • Look for the packing at the chrome rod end and clean away any dirt and debris. Look for a torn dust seal, a loose cap or more welds.
  • Look for breather lines back to the tank and make sure these tubes (if any) are connected properly.


  • Follow all the hoses and inspect from end to end. Do not assume just because it goes thru a bulk head they are “ok?” Look for leaks or chaffing. Look for steel wire coming out or cloth if a low pressures return line. NEVER run your hands down a line. That steel liner poking thru will tear you open like a can opener!
  • Look for the crimped on fitting: is the crimp rusted or rotted? Is the hose loose and weeping? Is the fitting damaged or gouged? Is it tight?
  • Are the hoses dragging or mounting points broken? REALLY look at the entire hose as a single entity. If the label and pressure rating equal to or exceed the factory hoses?

There are way too many situations to pin point every single type of unit’s hydraulic system out there. If I was the person showing up to inspect your system for maintance, this is the simple formula I start with to help pin point your trouble area. Prevention is the key in maintaining your fork lifts for long term service. If in doubt call an expert, my suggestion is it never hurts to have another opinion. Especially one with a background in an area where so many variables could impact your bottom line.

Thanks for reading; I appreciate you coming back for more material handling information.

Dock levler Maintance: What to do when inspecting a Dock Leveler. Tue, 14 May 2013 23:15:58 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Dock maintance: What to do when inspecting a dock leveler. By Joe Sylvia
Dock levelers or adjustable height platforms come in many sizes and colors and heights. Some are strictly mechanical requiring no electric or hydraulic to operate. Most are a solid color that upon pulling or pushing something the decking tilts up and then when dropping back down a bridge plate pops out to lie on a truck floor. By pulling or pushing something (i.e. a chain or push button) the unit raises up, the truck drives away and the unit is released to the lowest height and then the unit rises up, the bridge plate flops to its vertical position and the floor settles back to dock height and the bridge plate is ready for the next loading or off-loading. OK perfect world… it all worked. But you would not be reading this is yours did, you would be working. A key piece is yearly or semiannual inspections. Why hire a professional? Simple: LIABILITY! And it keeps people like me with a pay check. Let’s say you have hired a pro, how do you know if they are doing a good job? Just because it works, does not mean it’s right. Let’s start with the basics, follow me.

+Take a look over the leveler closely. Start with a push broom and sweep it off. Remember only a trained professional should go under the unit. Even then you need to block the lift off with caution tape and solid barricades. It’s been more than once I’ve seen employees trip over a raided dock while texting, talking or even eating. If you go under the unit make sure you have a 2nd person watching you and is ready to get you out should you become stuck or pass out. Yes passed out! It is a submerged pit. Fumes from fork lifts and other stuff can settle in there and never leave. Please don’t smoke either in there.
+After sweeping, check all safety stickers are in place and the weight and capacity tag is easily visible. One company I visit, the safety manager uses a stencil and spray paint to label the wall and the dock so EVERYONE knows what can run across the lift.
+Inspect for damaged parts or bows in the floor (deck). Look for excessive welding or things needing to be welded. Looks for twist and wear points.
+Whatever makes you dock lift go up or down or even slide out: Check to make sure it is working and operating smooth. If it is a chain, does it need replacement or is sloppy? Do you hear any weird noises?
+Check for any guards and the “cat whiskers” found on the sides of most units. This keeps the debris out of the pit. The guards keep toes safe… unless they are missing.
+Go outside and check for missing dock bumpers or balusters. Damaged or missing units can’t stop a truck driver from backing into the dock plate if they are in a repair shop down the hall.
+Have your partner raise the lift and use the factory safety support to keep the unit in place. Look inside with a good flash light for worn or damaged parts. Makes sure toe guards work properly on the sides but don’t come above the floor. After the unit has been up for 30 minutes while on the safety stand, look for debris. Never blow the debris out but rather using a Hepa vacuum clean the pit out.
+If the unit is hydraulic, consult your owner’s manual for fluid levels, grease points and adjustments.
After this is all done and everything passes (please note that every lift is different and yours may be equipped with options not mentioned.) Lower the lift to ready position until the next inspection.
Here are some great tips for maintance:
1) Keep a detailed log book of maintance and all repairs.
2) Makes sure your garage door is operating properly. A bad safety switch and an employee who does not know any better can be a recipe for disaster.
3) Clean up all spills immediately. Clay litter absorbents make a major mess after it falls into the pivot points and hinges. Also shiny metal means a possible rust spot… meaning possible rotted metal.
4) Train your deliver drivers to not slam into your dock. Sometimes the simplest of kind words can go a long way.

Hope this answers some questions and always ask your technician or company servicing your unit(s) about their back ground including training and insurance.

Thanks for looking, Joe

Loading dock Equipment Repair Blog; Are you ready world? Mon, 08 Apr 2013 20:01:35 +0000 Continue reading ]]> logo1

Loading Dock Equipment blog. I'd never thought I see the day when I, Joe Sylvia would have a blog, let alone even know what one is. Now the question comes about writing about mechanical stuff and keep it “light” and “entertaining” but we are talking about repairs to dock levelers and scissor lifts.,garage doors and dock enclosures and even fork lifts and pallet tilters. These are not a hot topics for most business owners or operators but a way of doing business. A needed necessity if you will. And even though I get all excited when I recieve our next phone call or email that something needs a repair, not everyone has my level of enthuiasium when talking about how to move product from the back of a truck to a warehouse. But when it breaks or goes screwy, do you know what to do? What happends when your fork lift driver puts a hole in your canvas sided delivery body? One location where a scissor lift was lifted beyond its normal cycle and tore the hydraulic hose… Are you prepared for 6 gallons of red fluid on your parking lot? They were not. So in this blog I hope to pass on so really good maintance tips and fixes, along with issues I personally see in a recurring mannor. Maybe a few jokes and a deal or two. My hope is to get a few guest writers on board for articals to share. I read alot of materials to to stay up to date on everything from service grease to payroll. At least in this blog I will be able to pass on a few things and save you the hours weeding thru mountains of virtual paperwork. There are so many companies out there and we want to be their “go to” company for the repairs, PM's and service. So stay on board and check in as often as you like, but most of all, just come back.

Thanks for looking,