One of the first things that Jason and I acquired was a Caterpillar GP25 forklift.  This machine is capable of lifting 5,000 lbs to a height of 190″ (15 ft).  Before we got the Cat, I had never operated a real forklift before.  Shout-out to Hayne’s Antime Towing who delivered the forklift.  The tow truck driver was cool enough to give me a quick lesson on operating the Cat so I could at least drive it off the tow truck and into our shop (after some parking lot practice).  Below is a picture of the Cat…once we buff those surface scratches out she’ll look good as new!


Buying the Forklift early in the game was one of the smartest decisions.  It not only allows us to unload all of our industrial grade new additions with ease, but it also has saved Jason multiple slipped discs and hernias.  (For some reason, Jason still thinks he’s a midshipman in his early 20’s.)

Immediately after getting the Cat in our space, Jason went out and impulsively bought a man-cage so we could lift each other up to gain access to our 25ft ceilings.  Hah!  Picture that, Jason strapping his harness to the man-cage and me lifting him up 25ft!  Christmas is coming early!!!!


Shortly after Jason and I began using the forklift we realized that hydraulic fluid was leaking at a significant rate from the base of the forks.  Jason and I went back and forth debating who’s turn it was to fix a machine and then we both admitted that neither of us felt comfortable turning wrenches on a 2,000psi hydraulic system.  Jason and I have both been in the game long enough to be aware of the dangers of hydraulic pressure.  Do a google image search for “hydraulic fluid injury” and you will see TERRIBLE images of people getting limbs shredded from pin-hole leaks in hydraulic systems.

Lucky for us, I just met this guy, RJ, at a family cook-out.  RJ works on hydraulic systems for a living…and he’s dating my cousin Linsey.  I reached out to RJ and asked if he could come by after work and check out our fork lift’s leak.  I figured it’d be a two-for;  I get some one-on-one time with my cousins boyfriend (to check his man-card) and we get a professional opinion on the CAT.  Below is RJ checking the side-shifter cylinder on the CAT


Turned out, RJ has a lot of knowledge related to fabrication and welding…and identified the leak on the forklift in about 2 minutes.  Seems that someone had bumped into something and knocked a fitting loose.  Took about a quarter turn with a 5/8″ box wrench to fix the leak.  And no, it wasn’t me that bumped into something and knocked the fitting loose.

I think RJ clipped a little piece off mine and Jason’s man-cards for wasting his time on such a simple fix.  RJ also went over all the hoses and made sure the CAT’s hydraulic system was in good working order, so it was a worthwhile visit for us.  I hope RJ comes by to use our tools once we open!

— Corey