deze website maakt gebruik van cookies voor geanonimiseerde statistieken en advertenties. U kunt als u dat wilt op uw computer altijd de cookies uitschakelen of de ontvangen cookies verwijderen 

Towmotor Forklifts Corporation Ohio USA


often misspelled as Tow motor or even Towmoter.

Welcome to the TOWMOTOR fansite !

On this page are pictures and other artifacts of this unique real American forklift.

Most pictures can be enlarged by clicking on it.
We hope you like it!

My brother and I with my brothers antique Towmotor.

Lets first introduce ourselves:
I'm Geert van Dijk, and I own a lumberyard In Arnhem, Holland.
We have several forklifts running and one day when my (mentally a little disabled) brother Willem and I visited our forklift supplier, there was this old Towmotor. My brother who is not able to write but a forklift enthusiast since he was 3 years old kept looking at it. The man of the forklift shop who is a real nice guy said: you like this little forklift? I give it to you ! (I think he was afraid it would be scrapped other ways)
Since than my brother talks about it every day!
My brother still uses his machine for pallets and other small stuff several times in a week because it is such an easy little machine.

That's why my brother and I became
Click here for a video

My brother Willem's and his forklift before paintjob.

see also
Willems Towmotor page

It is a 1 ton year 1950 Towmotor
assembled in Denmark.
It still operates in good order and was elected as 'FORKLIFT OF THE 20th CENTURY'.


  Looking for TOWMOTOR info?
I received a most kind e-mail from 'Towmotor Tim', from the 
Western States Equipment Company in Spokane, Washington, USA.
Tim is a Towmotor expert since 1976 and he had some interesting info to share with us!

Looking for original specifications?
see: towmotor-forklift-spec.pdf

Looking for the serial number on your machine?
see: towmotor-serial-number.pdf

- towmotor-350-manual  
(courtesy Tom Boyd)
Page numbering is odd. tip: print it '2 side' and you can staple it together to a normal booklet.

I hope this data can help many Towmotor fans!

I'm NOT a technician and don't have parts our sources for info or parts.



I received lots of Towmotor pictures from Twomotor-fans from all over the world.
Please take a peek!


See pic 2 for the beginning of this project :-)

'A ton of work'
Mr Colgate had to remake several parts, like a steering house from a Astro van and a Ford steering pump -  but now this machine looks 'better than new' ! 
Click on pic, there is even an 'I like Ike' (from the Eisenhower elections, same era) sticker on it!

Click here for all pics of this restauration project

Hello from Wawaka, Indiana. I recently purchased this 1958 towmotor with original tags Model 480P. It runs and drives but no brakes, leaking hydraulic cylinders, no powersteering. Its a 4 cylinder gas but im still learning how to do my own mechanical work and could some help on engine model and info on finding parts.

Loren Lambright 

pic 2  pic 3

From New Sealand
By the way: NZ was Discoverd by the Dutch (we lean at school)  ;-)

Mr Beck send my a few pics of his machine - and he is looking for an original airfilter.

Please mail me when you got one!

Pic 2

San Leandro High
Towmotor refurbishing project

The LT44 is relatively complete, but has been sitting for quite some time. My students and I are going to refurbish it and use it around the Shop.
We were able to get the LT44 running today. It's pre-1946 and has zinc data plates with a Navy inspection stamp, so I suspect it's WWII vintage. It works OK, but needs a ton of TLC.

A Barnfind!

Mr Colin Wilhelms wrote to me: "Hi Geert, here is a photo of the Towmotor we dug out from the back of the storeroom the other day.
I have been working here for 10 years and the first time I've seen it move is when we towed it out of the storeroom. It was built in Australia about 1965.

I think 1965 is a VERY good year and you may guess why :-)



Larry Toth's Towmotor

Mr Toth, if you don't need this machine anymore - please send it to me in Holland :-)

In 'John Deere colors'

Mr Olson from Minnesota, USA, just purchased this Towmotor. He foud out it is a model 400P, from 1951.
Looks good, I think!
Pic of data plate

Towmotor LT 56
Mike Collins

This machine seems to be in good condition!
Before- and after! overhauling
Steven Lesser's new machine!

I just bought this for my shop it's getting tires and then a ride over to Texas Forklift of Houston to get the mast seal replaced and master cylinder rebuilt 
Looks like it's a LT 60 from the information in your site!


Steven Lesser's new machine - part II

Pics made after overhauling.

Steve wrote to me: "Itchy acres is the name of our neighborhood so I added it to the missing side cover"

I think this is not a forkift, it is a piece of ART!


Old machine
Has been in service for his bos Craig for over 20 years.


Towmotor 411S

Rebuild by mr Paul Capdepon.

Restauration well done: it looks like NEW!

1966 Towmotor
Just note the large front tires!" is what mrs McDermott wrote to me.

And: "The Towmotor is functional in every way and is going to be put to work by my husband".

I hope this extra-ordinairy machine will serve you right for a long time :-)
pic 2   pic 3

"Miss Ugly"

is not an appealing name... But I believe Mr Cooper fell 'in love' with her anyway because he wrote to me:

Just got " Miss Ugly " Everything works with a little smoke and a few rattles and bangs, but it will do fine for us. I don't have any idea what year or model it is , but I think that will come with a little time and research . Just wanted to share and say hello from Chico California, and thank you for having such a neat website. Ron


From Quebec, Canada

"Au Quebec on parle francais!!" wrote mr Longchamp to me.

By the way: he bought this beautifull machine for just 500 Canadian Dollars!

Is it an airplane?

Hello, here is my towmotor I picked up from Boeing a couple years ago. Saw your site and enjoyed it. Any good sources out there for parts still?

Washington State, USA

This site I found has some decent information,
and its free.
Towmotor in Washinton state
Hi Geert,

I have purchased a 1964 502PG4024 Towmotor and found your website when looking for information on it.
I have yet to even get it home.
After getting it running and usable I will make clean it and then give it a coat of paint.
I am hoping to be able to convert it to dual drive wheels in the future to deal better with stability on gravel.
It was great to find a fan site for such an unsung hero of the work force...

Thank you for your great site,
Reggie Sordenstone
Vashon Washington USA


Greetings from Texas, Geert!

I am a fellow fan of Towmotor forklifts and am located in a small town in central-west Texas, USA.
Thank you for your Towmotor site with all of its photos and helpful information. Recently, I purchased a very old Towmotor LT44 and include a photo of the lift in its "before" condition,  I will forward additional photos of its "after" condition when I have completed the restoration. As it sits now, it is a fully operational machine and is very handy, but needs a facelift to bring it back to its former beauty.

Thank you again, and goedendag!

Kind regards,
Cabooze in Texas

pic 2   pic 2

Old Towmotor lifting a much younger Datsun!

Mr velasco bought some property in Washington State and inside the building was an old Towmotor. He got it running and uses it - for example for moving this 'frozen' Datsun forklift!

I think this Towmotor could be from the 1940ties, so much older than Mr Valesco jr, the young man who is riding it :-)

The Velasco family owns- and operates a tortillla factory, please visit their website!


Mr Moretz' Towmotor

Seems to be an old machine, but it runs fine!

1958 Towmotor

Mr Munro bought it from his work for just... $ 150.-

What a lucky guy!
Foto 2

Refurbished Towmotor from

Joe wrote to me:

I don't know much about this towmotor. We converted it to gasoline and gave it a paint job.

Blakeslee Industrial Services

Mr Scott Baily wrote to me:

Just saw your website and thought I would send you the picture of our model 850SG20024 ser. 66L181. This is in service everyday. Wish they built the newer forklifts like these.
pic 2

'everybody wants me to buy a new one!'

is what mr Wilson wrote to me.

But he bought this Towmotor in 1977 (!) in used condition and it never caused him any troubles.
Now it needs some minor repairs and I guess it will be ready for the next 40 years of duty :-)

All American work shop

in Wyoming USA

Mr Dayton Brennan wrote that he does not know how old this machine is - but "it sure is a handy little machine for the shop stuff we use it for".
pic 2

Owned by Scott Marsh

Very interesting story!

This is John J. Tobin*, a former Towmotor employee,  working in the Mentor plant in Ohio from 1964 to 1984.
He began in the tool crib and worked himself up to be an inspector

His son Ed Tobin was so friendly to send me a PDF of the last issue of TOWLINES employee magazine. (after that Towotor was branded  Caterpillar...) In this issue the whole Towmotor history is explained including the (for me) very interesting period during WWII.
Click here for the full version.

* John Tobin is also a WWII veteran who served in Europe and North Africa for five years earning a Purple Heart for injuries and a Bronze Star for outstanding service.

Towmotor B-22
Year 1976
Cat V8 diesel model 3145
20,000 lbs lifting capacity
Single stage mast
Allison transmission
Owned since 1985

Greetings Geert,
I can appreciate your enthusiasm for Towmotor lifts as I own a 1976 Towmotor model B22.
This B22 works every week moving equipment and material in our construction yard.
Jeff Linberg II


Igor Chudov 's 30,000 LBS / 15.000 KG Towmotor

I bought this forklift last week and it is awesome, to be used for rigging and scrap metal.
On the picture it lifts a Cat T150D.

The 'Old Smokey' forklift

Old Smokey Products Company is proud of its Towmotor brand forklift, with custom flames applied by Bonifacio Sanchez.

Well, it is not that this forklift is smoking... the company builds barbeque sets!

More info on:
pic 2

Forklift from Missouri

This is an older picture from maybe 30 yrs back. I did TIG welding and boat repair. My little TowMotor saved my back almost every day. I still have it and it is in good running order however I dont use it as much as I once did.
I love the website!!
Jerry in Missouri USA

Vancouver Island

This is Dough Douglas' Towmotor. Mr Douglas is from Vancouver Island, Canada and guess what? I was in that area a vew months ago - to look at the Douglas-firs :-)
(but I did not see mr Douglas...)
pic 2

Heavy machine!

This is a real space-saver. A heavy machine with minimal dimensions - perfect for moving and installing equipment in factories. Look at the solid tires and the dimensions of the forks - I guess this old boy can lift 20,000 pounds!

Thank you Jim K. from Florida USA
pic 2  pic 3   pic 4

Tony the Towmotor

Some pics of my 1946 LT 56 we call him "Tony the Towmotor", I bought him about 5 years ago from a junk dealer that was going to scrap it because he'd bought a newer "Modern" Lift. Since then it's been indispensable around my place moving around my old truck and parts, I wouldn't part with it for anything.
Steve  "Mongo"

Do you want to see more?

Please visit Mongo's website!

pic 2

Towmotor at an antiques shop

Just ran across your website looking for information on my Towmotor that I just purchased. I have attached a few pics, I believe it is from the 1940's.
Thanks for your website.

Barry Nichols
Franklinville, New York, USA


Towmotor in Canada.

Hi Geert
I am in Salmon Arm BC Canada and recently acquired an old Caterpillar that I am sure was built at the Towmotor plant. I absolutely love it already and it does work now but does need some TLC... In my business I only need her about 15 minutes a month she is perfect for me as I do have a thing for vintage... and the simplicity and quality!
Glen Abel


1948? Towmotor
M Blais

Mr Blais is not sure about the age of this machine. But I'm sure he is a real collector: look at the Oshkosh fire truck and the beautifull wooden shed 'to keep them warm and dry'
photo 2    photo 3
Very old Tow-motor
Jimmy Rollison

A real Towmotor but NOT a forklift: Towmotor started as a fabricator of industrial tractors.

This one is for restauration in his personal airplane collection.

Mr Rollinson also owns a Towmotor forklift - he calls it 'Old Faithfull' because it never let him down in all those years.

Towmotor 351 S

This is my 1969 Towmotor 351S. Was given to me with a broken crankshaft in 1991. I rebuilt the motor at that time. We use it every day. The only thing we have done to it in twenty years is change the oil and coolant when its needed. Hasn’t even needed a tune-up!!!! She still looks nice for an old girl!!

Ken Moulton
Eureka, California
pic 2   pic 3

Piece of sh*t?
Oh no!

Mr Jeremy Jewett's boss planned to scrap this beautiful piece of American industrial heritage.... 
So sometimes a man gotta do what a man gotta do: overrule his boss and save this ancient Towmotor.

It's for sale now - but only for real fans of old machinery!

More pictures:  engine pic   engine pic 2    forklift pic

Complete restauration!
By Towmotor Tim

Mr. Tim Randall is a talented technician: he made an old Towmotor better than new!
Please see the pictures as a proof: all parts were removed and overhauled, and the paintjob is perfect!

On my website:
- Towmotor homepage
- Towmotor page II

- Towmotor page III

- Towmotor parts
- Towmotor artifacts

- Towmotor forklift vintage advertising  


Gothenburg 1956

Towmotor forklift unloading an Opel car. Picture received from mr Per-Åke Larsson.