The Forklift Boss Blog

Blog posts from Marshall Cromer, "The Forklift Boss". Follow us for information on forklift safety, available parts, & upcoming technologies shaping the future of material handling!

Jul 10, 2013

Are Forklifts "Made in America" Better?

Happy Independence Day! This week we celebrate the founding of our nation, and what it means to be an American.

"Made in America" used to mean the highest quality product. You knew you had the best, because it was made right here.

Does this still hold true today?

We at Cromer think so. Many of our products do come from overseas manufacturing (and we wouldn't carry them if they weren't high quality), but much of our forklift inventory is made right here in the U.S.

These are the top 6 forklift brands Cromer carries. Where do they make the forklifts you rely on? You might be surprised.

Caterpillar/CAT

In 1994, Mitsubishi and Capterillar formed a joint venture to manufacture their forklifts in Houston, Texas. In 2010, the MCFA joint ventured with Jungheinrich, to distribute their product in the US. They've recently announced an expansion of 200,000 square feet to manufacture MCFA and Jungheinrich electrics in Houston: Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA) Breaks Ground on Expanded Houston Manufacturing Facilities

Clark

Manufactures forklifts in Korea, but they have reshored some manufacturing & parts distribution to Lexington, Kentucky. Clark Material Handling Co. Resumes Manufacturing Lift Trucks in Lexington, KY

Donkey

Manufactures all of its forklifts at its plant in Southwest Denver, CO. Donkey Forklift

Doosan

Manufactures worldwide depending on product type. Doosan is the largest U.S. Skid-steer manufacturer in the world. They produce the Bobcat line in the U.S., and are North Dakota's largest manufacturer. Doosan Industrial Vehicles - Worldwide Locations

Jungheinrich

The #1 electric forklift in the world, based in Germany. Four production plants there, in Norderstedt, L√ľneburg, Moosburg and Landsb. One production plant in Qingpu, China. One Manufacturing Facility in Houston, Texas (participating in the new MCFA facility), expected to begin operation by 2014. Facts and Figures about Jungheinrich (PDF)

Kalmar

Operates facilities in China, Finland, the USA, the Netherlands and Malaysia. Kalmar has its U.S. forklift manufacturing facility in Ottawa, Kansas. Facts and Figures about Kalmar North America (PDF)

The question is: How do the American manufacturing facilities benefit these forklifts?

  • High quality. I've toured the U.S. facilities of numerous forklift manufacturers, including the new MCFA Houston site, and am always impressed with the quality. It's no wonder US-made forklifts last so long.
  • Local jobs & strong communities. More production is returning to our shores (a practice called "reshoring"), spurring local growth with new jobs and income within communities.
  • Shorter supply chain, faster turnaround. Manufacturing something as complex as a forklift takes a lot of time & effort. If you do so in the same country as your prime customers, you shorten the time it takes for them to receive your finished product. This can also lower costs.

Quality labor. Reasonable costs. Faster delivery. These are all advantages to making forklifts in America, for American industries. Otherwise manufacturers like CAT wouldn't bring their operations back into the U.S. (or have never left, like Donkey).

Cromer does carry some material handling equipment made overseas. But only if it matches up to the quality standard set by our forklifts "Made in America."

--Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss

CAT EKS20 4,000lb STAND-UP FORKLIFT FOR ONLY $15,800

June's Deal (steal?) of the Month is a Cat EKS20 stand-up forklift. 4,000lb capacity, with end control. Only 1800 hours use. We've tuned up and reconditioned the battery.

You get a sweet, fast-responding machine for only $15,800. That's a monthly payment of only $362.35 a month.

Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 if you're interested. Don't put it off; this one will go fast!