Forklift Review: TCM FGE25TF1

By: Ricky French


Available in 1,700kg to 3,500kg forms, the TCM FGE25TF1 is a no-nonsense forklift that works a treat in a warehouse and elsewhere

Forklift Review: TCM FGE25TF1
TCM FGE25TF1.

 

I’m driving a 2.5-tonne forklift with the model name TCM FGE25TF1 and the experience is very pleasing. It’s distributed by NTP Forklifts Australia, has a UniCarriers badge alongside its more familiar TCM insignia, and it looks a lot like a Nissan.

The TCM F1 is a good looking character, very dapper in white. There’s a reason it resembles a Nissan: it is one.

It’s a tough machine, as you would expect. Not the most compact or subtle forklift; it does have classic lines that inspire confidence.

 

Engine

The Nissan K21 engine is a fine beast, well-known to mechanics and easy to get your head around. UniCarriers has brought both TCM and Nissan under its wings, and both brands of forklifts are distributed in Australia; essentially the same machine with a different sticker.

The Nissan K21 engine gives you great performance, as you would expect.

Improvements in the efficiency of this model claim to give it an 11 per cent reduction in fuel consumption. You can further the gains by flicking switch from ‘power’ to ‘eco’.

When brought out of the warehouse the forklift was running on unleaded fuel, but the addition of an LPG gas bottle and the quick flick of a switch put us into gas land. Again it is simple, easy options.

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Cab and Controls

There are no surprises when jumping into the operator’s seat. Anyone with any forklift experience will appreciate the naturalness of all operations, from the intuitive seat-adjustment and recline to the memory-aided adjustable steering column.

A lot of forklift manufacturers make a big deal of seat comfort, and while the F1 saddle might be considered stock-standard it’s certainly comfortable enough for long operations.

TCM F1’s control are very apt. There are three simple levers for fork raise/lower, mast tilt and side-shift; an uncluttered three-pedal set-up; a small steering wheel; and a small digital display giving essential information such as fuel level and lifting weight.

To one side of the steering wheel is the indicator and to the other the hand brake. That’s it.

Turning on the F1 on requires a PIN code, a standard feature on this model. The appeal of the PIN is simple, it doesn’t require a swipe card or integration with complex fleet management technology.

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Performance

The F1 doesn’t exactly power away like its namesake model race car, but its acceleration is smooth and constant. 

While its performance is great, it doesn't boast an amazing turning circle, nor does it love being hurled into a dizzy state.

On the operation side of things, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) injection, speed limiting options and a built-in weight gauge are all big positives. Safety features include an interlock system that senses when the operator has left the seat and will disengage the transmission and hydraulics, and fall back to neutral.

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Service

NTP offer full servicing of its products and the F1 is scheduled for a going-over every 250 hours.

Access to the engine is almost laughably easy and takes about five seconds.

A belly plate under the engine helps protect the valuable stuff from dust and dirt. With easy access to all filters and frequently-changed components down time is reduced.

In the event that things go wrong the F1 has an on-board diagnosis system that gives you an error code, which can then be relayed to NTP’s well-drilled operations department.

 

Verdict

TCM’s F1 comes from a long and reputable line. UniCarriers is no dummy and snapping up the TCM and Nissan brand forklifts was a safe move, given the good track record of both machines.

It’s a forklift that starts simple and can be optioned to include a multitude of extras and attachments, so you can be confident in getting the best product for your business’ needs.

The pros and cons of LPG/petrol versus battery/electric should also be weighed up, particularly with the advancements in electrics technology.

But if traditional forklifts are your thing, the white-faced TCM F1 could well be just the tool.

 

Specifications

Make/model: TCM FGE25TF1

Overall length (to face of forks): 2,555mm

Overall width: 1,150mm

Load centre: 500mm

Tyre size: 7.00-12-12PR

Tyre type: Pneumatic

Wheelbase: 1,600mm

Rated load capacity: 2,500kg

Maximum fork height: 3,000mm

Fork length: 1,070mm

Height (top of guard): 2,115mm

Dry machine weight: 3,730kg

Turning radius: 2,230mm

Engine: K21 (K21E on the 2.5-litre version)

Rated output: 41kW @ 2,700rpm

Rated torque: 151Nm @ 2,000rpm

Transmission: Automatic 1/1

 

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