A Guide to Forklift Attachments
While your forklift is capable of lifting all sorts of loads in all variants of sizes and shapes, sometimes your regular fork by itself is not enough to get the job done.
When it comes to lifting loads that require special lifting arrangements and attention, you need to outfit your forklift with an attachment. There are many different forklift attachments that enable you to lift all sorts of odd shaped loads.
Depending on the type of product you store and ship, you might find it useful to keep these attachments engaged permanently, either on just one or on several of your forklifts, but they are easy to remove if you only need them temporarily.
Most Common Forklift Attachments
These forklift attachments are revolutionizing less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping. When a trailer will be carrying multiple products for multiple deliveries, spacing is at a premium. By attaching dimensioning devices to your forklift, you can easily and accurately determine the exact dimensions of both the trailer and the pallets you will be loading.
The distributor will usually provide the dimensions for each load. However, these dimensions are oftentimes just estimates. You will need to inspect and test the dimensions yourself to make sure you load the trailer correctly. Dimensioning devices enable you to do just that.
Carton & Clamps
Carton and multipurpose clamps are hydraulic forklift attachments that turn your fork into a clamping device, allowing you to open and close your fork around your load.
This is useful when you need to lift and carry cartons, boxes, and bales that would be a challenge to lift securely with your regular fork. Due to their clamping nature, forklifts that are retrofitted with these attachments are often called “clamp trucks.”
The drum handler forklift attachment allows you to easily load drums into shipping trailers. It features a spring-loaded clamp that grabs onto the top lip of a drum, allowing you to lift, carry, and place it in the trailer.
Other versions of the drum handler attachment can assist in lifting and carrying drums similarly to roll and barrel clamps.
Pole attachments are most commonly used in warehousing that stores and ships long rolled objects such as carpet.
To properly lift and carry rolled objects, you need to attach a long metal pole to your forklift that allows you to mount your product on your fork. Larger scale pole attachments can also be found in metal warehousing when products like metal coils need to be lifted and carried.
Telescopic forks are hydraulic forklift attachments that allow you to lift and store product on your top shelves, usually in double stack fashion.
The man basket is a forklift attachment designed to get your personnel up in the air and working.
Your crew will be fastened into a harness and supported by mounted railings. Man baskets are most commonly used for indoor warehouse operations that need personnel in heightened spaces for inventory control or pulling product from top shelves.
Attaching a scale to your forklift allows you to efficiently weigh the pallets that you lift. This boosts your productivity by eliminating the need to lift and carry each pallet to a stationary scale to be weighed. You can easily retrofit a scale to your forklift by hanging it on the carriage. This is helpful when you operate on a bill by weight system.
The fork positioner is a hydraulic attachment that moves your forks closer together or further apart depending on the width of the load you need to lift and carry.
Manually adjusted forks can be costly to your productivity. The fork positioner forklift attachment does this much faster than by hand.
Roll and Barrel Clamp
When you need to lift round objects, you need the roll and barrel clamp attachment. This forklift attachment will enable you to easily lift and carry barrels, kegs, drums, and paper rolls. This attachment also has a rotate function that allows you to to insert your round load into a shelf horizontally.
This attachment is rather unique and singular in purpose. A slip sheet forklift attachment is designed to clamp onto a slip sheet and pull it onto a wide and thin metal fork. This makes it easier to lift and carry products that have been covered in a slip sheet, as it can easily fall off your regular fork.
When you need to move pallets that are stacked, lined up, and ready to ship, repositioning your forklift to lift and load each one can be a serious time consuming task, as well as productivity decreasing.
Instead, you can attach a sideshifter to your forklift. This will allow you to move your fork and its backrest laterally, so you don’t have to reposition your entire forklift to lift each pallet. This will seriously boost your productivity.
Sometimes you need your fork to be able to rotate in order to lift pallets that have fallen over or that have been tipped backwards. This is where a rotator attachment comes in handy. It will allow you to maneuver your fork so you can easily pick up pallets that are not parallel with the ground.
The rotator forklift attachment is also key when you need to dump product or garbage into a large receptacle such as a dumpster or dump trailer.
Have snow that has accumulated on your outdoor yard? No problem. Just attach the snow plow to your forklift to easily push the snow out of your way. This forklift attachment is also handy in cleaning up your yard year round.
The single-double forklift attachment allows you to easily lift and carry single pallets when your forks are closed, and carry two pallets when they are open. This boosts your productivity by allowing you to move twice the product at the same time.
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