What Else Can Your Forklift Do For You? A Basic Guide to Attachments
Thanks to ongoing innovation in the development of forklift attachment technology, the opportunities for enhancement and customization of your unit have never been more extensive. One machine and a number of versatile attachments can allow the execution of a variety of materials handling applications, alongside the traditionally recognised lift and shift use. There are a number of benefits to being able to eliminate the need for specialised units including a reduction in fleet maintenance and running costs. An effective attachment can provide increased efficiency through substantial reduction to handling times, leading to increased daily productivity of your logistics handling segment. It can also help control labor costs by decreasing required manpower, decrease fuel consumption of an individual machine, simplify the operator’s tasks and ensure secure loads, safer stock. Let’s look at some of the most common available attachments.
Two different attachments can give operator ability to change the positioning of the tynes:
Side shift is manufacturer fitted to all our gas and electric forklifts. This gives you simultaneous side to side movement control of the tynes themselves so the load can be shifted left or right without any movement of the forklift. It’s useful for aligning with pallets or positioning loads on racking, particularly in tight working spaces.
Fork positioners add an even greater level of maneuverability by allowing the tynes to move more independently from each other. You can change the distance between them without manual adjustment, which is useful if the size of loads you need to carry varies throughout the day.
Slippers are a popular type of extension used to temporarily lengthen the fork tynes. These enable forklifts to carry longer loads with more stability temporarily; they generally slip over the existing tynes and are secured in place with a pin.
Sometimes also referred to as a boom, jibs feature an extended reach and usually have a hook at the end for quick attachment to loads that are suspended via chains, belts or steel cables. This allows your forklift to act temporarily as a sort of transport crane for suspended loads.
A rotator allows the tynes to complete 180 or 360 rotations while maintaining optimal visibility for the operator. This means loads can be easily lifted and inverted where there is need to efficiently dump, transfer or rotate contents of high capacity loads.
Single-double Pallet Handlers
Single-double pallet handlers have a spread of four tynes that can allow your fork to carry to pallets side by side, potentially doubling the productivity of a fleet. The four forks convert into two forks ready for single pallet handling and can be hydraulically powered from the operator’s seat.
Clamps allow your forklift to gently handle large objects that aren’t traditionally stored on pallets or picked up with traditional forks. A variety of types are available and can be used to handle large, rectangular shaped objects or different sized paper rolls. They can also be used to handle fragile goods when used with automatic pressure sensing systems; they allocate the correct pressure or varying grip pads can utilised.
A carpet spike is exactly how it sounds – a pole with a tapered tip which allows it to easily lift materials in a tightly rolled format such as fabric, carpet, vinyl or cable.
With a safety cage, your forklift can provide a safe work platform for people performing occasional elevated tasks.
Push/Pull Or Slip Sheeters
Push/pull or slip sheeters are used to handle loads on slip sheets instead of pallets. There are popular for bagged cement, seed and grain, packaged food, dairy products, fruit and corrugated box handling. These attachments have a unique mechanism that is able to grasp the sheet and drag the load back onto its tynes.
It is important to quickly note that the use of an attachment will have some impact on your forklifts stability and safe working load and you should be aware of its adjusted capabilities. The load capacity will be reduced and the center of gravity of the forklift will be altered. Exercise caution and drive the forklift as if it were partially loaded prior to picking up the load as the attachment itself carries weight and uses a portion of the lift capacity, plus you should travel at slower speed and turn gently. The attachment you are fitting should be included on the Load Rating Plate, properly attached and the operator appropriately trained. Attachments may have their own Load Rating Plate which needs to be taken into account and treated as part of the forklift for all your daily checks.
Here at WFL we are for everything forklifts! Head over to our product range of attachments to see the options we have available.