There are many types of forklift attachments available these days. The right forklift attachments have many benefits to improve your productivity, such as reduced load moving times, less risk of damaging items, improved fuel consumption, and decreased forklift operator hours. So how do you choose the best attachment?
The first thing you need to check is whether the attachment rating is appropriate for your forklift. The forklift attachment manufacturer or their agent provides the rating and they are always marked clearly on the rating plate, together with all of the other information about the attachment and its capabilities and capacity.
Always secure attachments properly to the forklift according to manufacturer instructions using the manufacturer-supplied chains or pins, specifically designed for this purpose.
There are many types of forklift attachments. Some common ones are:
- Forklift extensions such as the fork spreader with load guard increase the length and/or width of the forklift tines so that you can carry longer or wider loads. Most forklift extensions slip over your existing tines and are secured using a pin. A general rule for what length of slipper attachment to get is that tine length must cover two thirds of slipper length.
- Jib / crane attachments are slip-on attachments that allow the forklift to pick up loads through a lifting eye or by using slings. There are different types, for example fixed jibs, short tilting jibs and long tilting jibs.
- Safety cages work platforms lift people and are useful for maintenance and in single pick situations. Always connect a safety harness from the person in the cage to the attachment.
- Order picking cages and goods cages are useful for storing and transporting whitegoods and furniture
- Drum grabs allow the forklift to pick up a variety of types of drums. There are different designs, for example, band types to pick up the middle of metal drums and parrot types that grab the drum by its top lip.
- Fork positioner attachments and pallet hook attachments allow you to move tines closer or further apart.
- Push-pull attachments are for handling loads that use slip-sheets instead of pallets.
- Cylinder attachments such as cylinder cages and the cylinder crane trolley are designed for moving gas cylinders.
- Forklift brooms are useful for sweeping indoors and outdoors.
Adding a forklift attachment provides many benefits but there are some risks. Forklifts can overturn and loads can fall, placing forklift operators and pedestrians at risk. Some useful safety tips are:
- Train forklift operators to use the attachments and provide full information about the attachments and their risks
- Know how your attachment affects overall forklift operation
- Be aware of changes to stability and lift capacity
- Use approved attachments for performing specific tasks and have their rated capacity and safety information provided
- Check the forklift manual to make sure the attachment is safe for your forklift
- Forklift capacity might need de-rating and operating controls restricted when using some attachments
- Secure the attachment correctly
- Only use attachments for specific tasks