March 08, 2012

Mini Forklift

After my first attempts at digital (re-) building, I tried to design a model completely in LDD to compare the advantages and disadvantages of digital and manual building (short Conclusion and model at the end of the post).
While studying all day I have nearly no time for building and of course even less motivation to sort my LEGO® afterwards. So I spent my spare time on LDD, creating this small MOC - a Mini Forklift and rebuild it afterwards.

A downgraded version like the disappointing 8290 was definitely no option. The aim was to build a forklift with the following features:
- 5-wide, compared to the 8290
- Manually operated carriage with forks
- Tilting mechanism to pivot the mast to assist in engaging a load
- Rear-wheel steering with HOG (Hand of God)

And this is what I came out with.

The bodywork is dominated by the two yellow Technic Panels (87086, 87080). Like most of the classic LEGO® Technic construction vehicles it has the famous blue seat. The cab features some headlights, a strong roof to protect the driver and some levers to control the functions.

The steering is simple and direct via a HOG. The rear wheel (42610, 50945) is centered 1/2 L below the front wheels (56902,61254) to be on ground level. I used some Liftarms 1x2 Thin (41677) to delimit the steering angle.

The tilting mechanism uses a Gear Worm Screw (4716) and a Gear 8 Tooth (3647) which are connected to the mast via a Connector Perpendicular Triple (63869).

After several failed attempts at creating a movable carriage with chain-elements and ropes, I adapted shockbeton's design because of its reliability and simplicity on this small scale. To use more common pieces and increase the range, I replaced the Gear Rack 1x10 (6592) with three Gear Racks 1x4 (3743) placed on Plates 1x2 (3023) and 1x8 (3460).

And this is how the forklift looks in action, lifting a pallet with my Small Fake Engine.

I loved the intuitive working with the quick auto-connection and experienced no difficulties while building in LDD. To have an overlook of all the different connectors was quite useful, too.
Building the real model with auto-generated instructions was a difficult task because there are nearly no logical separations between the steps. I also had to redesign some areas because of the lack of parts in correct colours. Despite this fact I will definitely try this workflow more often on smaller MOCs.

More detailed pictures and building instructions to be found on Brickshelf.
Check if you have all the needed parts to build it yourself using
You can also download the LDD-File directly.

With best regards,


  1. Excellent Job! Both on the model itself as on the instructions.
    Built a little copy myself (with some minor alterations because of the lack of some parts) and I must say: it is so much fun to play with!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. This is a great Lego stuff. I wish I can make Lawn Mower Parts our of my Lego stuffs. That is very hard, I admire your skills and handwork.