Forklift truck attachments are a must-have if you’re looking to boost your productivity and increase your forklift’s abilities. You can transform an ordinary forklift into specialised equipment in no time at all.
There are multiple forklift attachment configurations and designs on the market. However, there are also a number of brands that you can choose from, which can make the process both daunting and complicated.
What to consider when purchasing forklift truck attachments
As a potential buyer, it’s vital to consider specific factors to ensure safe lifting. You need to determine how much weight you need to lift, measure your height requirements, and check for compatibility. You also need to determine the cost to find one that’s within your budget.
Types of forklift truck attachments
Below we take a look at some of the most common forklift truck attachments.
Fork positioners enable the forks to be moved further apart or closer together. This allows the operator to align the forks with unevenly sized objects and various sized pallets, which leads to greater efficiency and enhanced accuracy. Moreover, the forklift experiences reduced truck wear and pallet damage, as well as a reduction in fuel consumption. Positioners also improve load handling times.
Forklift booms are designed to lift heavy loads that are attached to the boom via a device such as a swivel hook. Although there are many different types of forklift booms, they fall into two main categories: those that attach directly to the forklift mast and those that slip over the forklift’s existing forks.
A hopper is a self-balanced forklift attachment that can pick up and transport rubbish and heavy loads without tipping over. It is used in a variety of industries such as warehousing and construction.
Safety work platform
A safety work platform is usually a unit or cage that is built-in or designed to be supported on the forks of a lift truck. Work platforms that are used to raise or lift workers must have appropriate safety and support measures.
Single-double pallet handler
If you’re looking to carry two pallets at one time, you’ll want to get a single-double pallet handler. A single-double pallet handler has four forks but can be converted into two forks when you only need a single pallet during lifting.
While some forklifts come with sideshifters as standard, not all of them do. Sideshifters allow operators to move the load from side to side and make tiny adjustments when aligning the truck without changing the entire forklift.
Being able to accurately position the forks without the need to manoeuvre the forklift reduces truck wear and tear as well as fuel. This translates into faster loading and unloading times and reduced pallet damage.
Push/pull or slip sheet
A slip sheet is a great alternative to a pallet. You can use this attachment if you need to handle bagged seed, bagged cement, dairy oviducts, corrugated boxes, and packaged food. Slip sheets reduce damage to stock and lower maintenance costs as they require less storage space.
The installation and removal of this attachment are quick as you won’t need to remove the forks. Moreover, slip sheets reduce the weight of the packaging, which offers more storage area and reduced shipping costs.
A forklift cage attachment works well when you need to carry out short or occasional tasks at height. It provides a safe platform when operators need to complete tasks like changing lightbulbs.
Fork rotators allow for the easy repositioning or dumping of lopsided pallets without the need for specialised personnel or lift trucks. There are various types of rotator available, including plastic container rotators, box rotators, and rotators with hydraulic bin retainers.
Paper roll clamps
If you’re looking for a suitable attachment that you can use in tissue manufacturing, paper manufacturing, newspaper printing, or anything in the paper product industry, you might want to check out paper roll clamps.
Paper roll clamps allocate the right pressure using automatic pressure controls to avoid crushing or damaging products. You can also get different gripping pads for various types of paper. These roll clamps were designed for the paper industry as they provide fantastic handling times and 360-degree rotation.
Carton clamps are commonly found in the beverage, electronic, and appliance industries. They can move square-shaped or large rectangular objects that don’t require a pallet. The clamps securely fasten the load to the forklift for effective material handling and transportation. Some examples of goods transported with carton clamps include food, chemical products, and fruit and vegetables.
There are a number of other forklift clamps available, including:
• Pole tine clamps are two-way fork clamps that have two rods that can accommodate moving loads like drums or rollers. Some models have a side thrust.
• Drum clamps are hydraulically-powered and come in various configurations that allow you to handle between one and four drums. You can also find these clamps for pouring and tipping drums. These clamps are common in the petroleum industry.
• Harbour clamps work well for port operation where there is a tabor clamp attachment. These clamps can be integrated with side shifters in a port environment too.
• Appliance clamps come in swinging or rigid versions. These clamps help to transport and stack goods without pallets. Items like TVs, refrigerators, and washing machines can be safely transported with these clamps. Like other attachments, they can be integrated with side shifters.
• Cement pipe clamps are designed to transport and store cement pipes with heavy trucks. Most clamps have a built-in safety device which measures the pressure in the pipes, preventing damage to the load and membrane.
• Timber clamps allow for the transportation of timber logs. However, there are two types: ordinary log grabs with adjustable arms and single-arm grabs. The single-armed grab is most commonly used to hold the load and prevent the timber rolling off, while the adjustable grab is more appropriate when there is no need to remove the timber. Timber grabs are mainly used in wood processing and the forestry industry.
• Brick and block clamps are three-pronged fork clamp attachments and are used mostly for the transportation of bricks and concrete blocks.
Load stabilisers help to transport goods from the top of the forklift. This enables quick and safe transport even on uneven surfaces. They come with an integrated side shift to reduce loading times.
These stabilisers are coated with rubber to reduce damage to goods and the exerted pressure on the regulated product prevents damage.
Multiple pallet handler
Multiple pallet handlers are put into operation when several pallets or other loads are being transported simultaneously. This boosts efficiency, which means reduced trips. These handlers are common in the shipping, bottling, brewing, and warehouse industries.
Man baskets (cages) can accommodate approximately 400kg, which means they can carry and lift more than one person at a time. These baskets have fork-pockets for easy accessibility and you’ll find handrails on each basket for grip. They are ideal for carrying out tasks such as building inspections, unscheduled emergency maintenance work and getting access to hard to reach areas.
Pallet inverters (360 degrees rotating)
A pallet inverter is used to rotate goods during the production process e.g. any damaged goods located in the lower layers can be changed without disturbing the whole set up. If you’re dealing with unstable items, a lateral support arm will also come in handy. Moreover, you can combine the pallet inverter with a pusher for container loading.
Forklift jibs allow trucks to work as mini cranes. The boom is secured to the mast by retaining bolts, and the crane hook can be operated at different heights.
Hydraulic scoops are placed on the carriage of the truck and they help with the uptake of gravel, sand, and other materials that need transportation. These devices have a rigid design but offer manual and hydraulic options.
Trilateral heads are designed for narrow aisle trucks and feature a traversing fork system. This allows operators to retrieve pallets from shelving while the truck remains at a 90º angle to the load.
Telescopic forks can save an operator a lot of effort and time because they allow forks to be extended via the in-cab hydraulics.
Pedestrian sweepers are used for cleaning buildings, warehouses, car parks and streets. A forklift can be transformed into a cleaning machine using sweeper attachments. These are usually available in various disc sizes.
Using forklift truck attachments can transform your forklift truck into a multi-faceted machine that can reduce loading times and improve your warehouse operations. However, you’ll need to carefully consider all factors like cost of investment, compatibility, truck adjustment, and maintenance when purchasing any of the attachments listed above.
Get in touch today to chat about how we can help you with forklift truck attachments.