Forklift Review: CAT GP25N

By: Ricky French


Cat keeps it simple inside and outside the warehouse with the Cat GP25N forklift

Forklift Review: CAT GP25N
Reliable CAT GP25N forklift.

 

With an increasingly diversified range of product, Cat now offers every type of loadlifting machine you can think of, and its warehouse mainstay is the Cat GP25N.

After spending a morning with the Cat GP25N, it’s clear if a no-thrills, reliable, easily-serviceable forklift is what you’re after you could do a lot worse than opt for this warehouse-standard forklift.

While there are no bells or whistles (apart from the horn), this forklift really raises the inbuilt safety feature bar.

The Cat has a correct ‘sequence’ to get the forklift operational. It’s all to do with the order in which the seatbelt gets plugged in.

As such, no forward movement will be achieved if you don’t sit, turn the ignition, plug in seatbelt, release handbrake, engage gear — in that exact order. Get it wrong and you’ll have to start again.

The Presence Detection System (PDS) on this machine will also disengage the transmission if the operator leaves the seat although curiously you can still raise and lower the forks) and enact a nagging beep.

It takes a little practice to get the sequence committed to memory, but regular users will have no trouble with the system, and bosses who cringe when their employees do anything to invite the wrath of WorkCover will love the extra safeguard.

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Engine and Servicing

Some forklift engines resemble Gondwanaland before continental drift began — components jammed up against each other with barely room to fit a flat-head screwdriver.

This one is a picture of orderly living, and clean as a whistle. Muscat points out the oil filter, and how easily it can be reached by top or bottom.

Yes, by bottom. The Cat GP25N has no floor plate, meaning servicing can take place from underneath, an option sure to be a hit among mechanics. Access to the air filter is literally a breeze, and the air intake takes in air from the right-hand side of the vehicle.

The whole thing is powered by a more-than- adequate 2-litre Nissan K21 motor and a standard 12-volt battery.

With today’s attention to efficiencies, the less time you can spend servicing a machine the better. The simple, easy-to-understand engine and accessibility of access of this forklift is sure to be a selling point.

The onboard diagnosis system is managed by the Engine Control Module (ECM). Systems such exhaust and cooling are all regulated through the ECM.

Servicing is recommended every 500 hours, or three months, but United Forklifts will help customers curate a servicing schedule appropriate to their forklift’s work load and environment.

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Performance

The Cat GP25N is not the most compact forklift around but the ease of operation (once you get the thing going) is first class. In fact, the seat felt like a first-class chair on an A380 to my skinny rump.

Forklift drivers are forever jumping in and out of the cab to adjust loads and move obstacles, so the wide entry, ease of access and a suspension-laden seat is a godsend.

Adjustments of the seat position are made manually and easily.

With a two-stage mast, the hydraulic lines and lifting chains are orderly, unobtrusive and relatively few. The fork face is simple yet sturdy.

When reversing, the low-set counterweight means rear vision is pleasingly unobscured, but I would have liked to have seen an extra horn on the rear pillar of the operator guard (comes in handy when reversing). 

The front left pillar demonstrates its potential usefulness by serving to funnel rain water collected on the acrylic roof of the operator guard down to the ground and well away from the driver’s lap. Very classy.

The Cat GP25N drives well and performs a tight turning circle with more than adequate torque.

Brake application is smooth and constant and the inching pedal works in perfect harmony with the transmission. Lifting is free of jolts and stability is good even at full reach. 

  

Cab and Controls

The handbrake is lever-operated to the left of the steering wheel with the digital instrument panel under the wheel. The panel indicates speed, load weight (accurate to plus or minus 50kg), fuel and oil levels.

In the standard model there are three levers: fork raise and lower, mast tilt and fork side shift. A fourth, fork positioning lever is optional.

Manual positioning of the tines can still be made. Other optional extras include a rotating fork, hinged fork, load stabiliser and bale clamp.

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Verdict

With its foray into smaller, warehousing vehicles, Cat is demonstrating you don’t have to be the glitziest to get results. The options that United Forklifts offer with the diverse Cat range take it closer to becoming a one-stop-shop for warehousing equipment.

Choice is the most important thing on offer here, and remember, at the end of the day a forklift is simply a tool in your toolbox.

Everyone’s needs are different and you need to choose the right tool for the job.

The Cat GP25N is an efficient, simple, smallsized workhorse, which for many companies will be exactly what they’re after. Just as long as you can remember the starting sequence.

 

Specifications

Make/model: Cat GP25N forklift

Overall length: 3,480mm

Overall width: 1,150mm

Tyre size: Front 7.00-12-12PR, rear 6.00-9-10PR

Maximum load: 2,500kg

Load centre: 500mm

Maximum fork height: 3,000mm

Free fork height: 145mm

Maximum fork length: 920mm

Mast tilt: Forwards 6mm, backwards 12mm

Maximum grade ability: 25 per cent

Turning radius: 2,230mm

Wheelbase: 1,600mm

Ground clearance: 160mm at centre of wheelbase

Dry machine weight: 3,600kg

Maximum engine output: 34kW @ 2,200rpm

Maximum torque: 1,58Nm @ 1,600rpm

Piston displacement: 2,065cc

Fuel tank capacity: 66 litres

 

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