Forklift Attachment 101
Updated: May 3, 2021
Forklifts attachment allows a forklift to perform multiple task specific to the particular industries. With the right attachment, a company can improve productivity and safety of the work processes.
Dimensioning devices-fork truck-mounted dimensioning systems provide dimensions for the cargo to facilitate truck trailer space utilization and to support warehouse automation systems. The systems normally communicate the dimensions via 802.11 radios. NTEP certified dimensioning devices are available to support commercial activities that bill based on volume.
Sideshifter - is a hydraulic attachment that allows the operator to move the tines (forks) and backrest laterally. This allows easier placement of a load without having to reposition the truck.
Rotator - To aid the handling of skids that may have become excessively tilted and other specialty material handling needs some forklifts are fitted with an attachment that allows the tines to be rotated. This type of attachment may also be used for dumping containers for quick unloading.
Fork positioner - is a hydraulic attachment that moves the tines (forks) together or apart. This removes the need for the operator to manually adjust the tines for different sized loads.
Roll and barrel clamp attachment - A mechanical or hydraulic attachment used to squeeze the item to be moved. It is used for handling barrels, kegs, or paper rolls. This type of attachment may also have a rotate function. The rotate function would help an operator to insert a vertically stored paper into the horizontal intake of a printing press for example.
Pole attachments - In some locations, such as carpet warehouses, a long metal pole is used instead of forks to lift carpet rolls. Similar devices, though much larger, are used to pick up metal coils.
Carton and multipurpose clamp attachments - are hydraulic attachments that allow the operator to open and close around a load, squeezing it to pick it up. Products like cartons, boxes and bales can be moved with this type of attachment. With these attachments in use, the forklift truck is sometimes referred to as a clamp truck.
Slip sheet attachment (push - pull) - is a hydraulic attachment that reaches forward, clamps onto a slip sheet and draws the slip sheet onto wide and thin metal forks for transport. The attachment will push the slip sheet and load off the forks for placement.
Drum handler attachment - is a mechanical attachment that slides onto the tines (forks). It usually has a spring-loaded jaw that grips the top lip edge of a drum for transport. Another type grabs around the drum in a manner similar to the roll or barrel attachments.
Man basket - a lift platform that slides onto the tines (forks) and is meant for hoisting workers. The man basket has railings to keep the person from falling and brackets for attaching a safety harness. Also, a strap or chain is used to attach the man basket to the carriage of the forklift.
Telescopic forks - are hydraulic attachments that allow the operator to operate in warehouse design for "double-deep stacking", which means that two pallet shelves are placed behind each other without any aisle between them.
Scales -Fork truck-mounted scales enable operators to efficiently weigh the pallets they handle without interrupting their workflow by travelling to a platform scale. Scales are available that provide legal-for-trade weights for operations that involve billing by weight. They are easily retrofitted to the truck by hanging on the carriage in the same manner as forks hang on the truck.
Single-double forks - are forks that in the closed position allow movement of a single pallet or platform but when separated, turn into a set of double forks that allow carrying two pallets side by side. The fork control may have to replace the side-shifter on some lift trucks.
Snow plough - is a mechanical attachment that allows the forklift operator to easily and quickly move snow. The snow plough can often also be utilised at other times of the year as an attachment to clean up workplaces.
Skips - is a mechanical attachment that is simply fitted to your forklift to allow safe and speedy removal of waste to the appropriate skip or waste compactor. There are two types of skips: the roll-forward type and the bottom-emptying type.
Any attachment on a forklift will reduce its nominal load rating, which is computed with a stock fork carriage and forks. The actual load rating may be significantly lower.
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