Forklifts are such an essential piece of equipment in a warehouse for everyday operations. They offer enhanced mobility and are practical, effective tools enabling workers to efficiently carry, push, pull, lift, stack, rotate and tier materials within a warehouse. On their own, they are pretty impressive; however, the number of forklift attachments that are available offer businesses a great deal more functionality and added features that enhance lift truck value to owners and operators.
Increased productivity, reduced labor costs, and improved safety make utilizing forklift attachments attractive benefits to business owners. The trick is discerning which attachments best benefit the needs of your operation to tailor suit your equipment mix to your facility. Out of the many forklift attachments available on the market today, there are some that prove to be more popular and versatile and are found to be more commonly used.
Most Popular Forklift Attachments
Quite possibly the most common attachment used in industries such as agriculture, warehousing, paper handling, construction, and food and beverage, side shifters permit both forks to move side by side horizontally allowing for better alignment with pallets. In doing so, they help the lift operator make small adjustments that make it simpler for the operator to line up pallets without having to move the entire forklift. Main benefits of using side shifters are reduced fuel consumption, faster loading and maneuvering of pallets, and improved warehouse space utilization. Additionally, use of side shifters minimize the potential damage that could be caused to pallets during transport.
Similar to side shifters, fork positioners allow for horizontal side to side movement of the fork’s tines; however, fork positioners allow operators to adjust the tines closer together or further apart depending upon the specifications of the pallet being transported. In addition, fork positioners are useful in moving loads or material that are not standard or are awkward.
Forklift clamps come in a variety of forms, including paper roll clamps, carton clamps, drum clamps, pipe clamps, bale clamps, etc., but they all serve the same basic task. These industrial clamps are used for gripping and handling large, non-standard sized loads. The most popular variety of clamp is the paper roll clamp which promotes increased productivity in paper handling operations, reduces damage of paper rolls, provides increased handling times and boasts impressive flexibility and versatility due to their ability to rotate 360 degrees.
Just as the name implies, fork rotators allow for the forks to rotate in a revolving motion in either direction. This ability is especially useful for inverting or dumping loads or repositioning of lopsided loads or pallets without the need for specialized equipment or additional personnel which helps to improve productivity and greatly reduces downtime.
Push-Pull attachments are particularly useful in the food and beverage industry and offer a cost-effective and space saving option. The standard wooden or plastic pallets are substituted with an inexpensive cardboard or plastic slip sheet which allow operators to push and pull loads off of the forks with this attachment. The elimination of pallets allows for increased shipping volume and to free up space within a facility.
Multiple Load Handlers:
These attachments increase productivity by allowing operators to add a second or third pair of forks to the truck, enabling navigation through narrow aisles and promoting efficiency by taking fewer trips to move multiple pallet loads. These attachments are often found useful in the food and beverage handling facilities.
Benefits of Forklift Attachments
The use of forklift attachments makes most jobs increasingly easier and add value to standard forklifts while increasing productivity and efficiency within a warehouse. The versatility of these handy attachments reduces operator stress, which is an added bonus to your entire operation.
Using the right forklift attachment for your particular situation can save you time and money. At Shoppa’s Material Handling, our equipment specialists are available to answer any of your questions and to listen to your needs to assist you in selecting the suitable attachment to get the job done. Contact Shoppa’s today!
Don’t Forget the Guard!
While forklift attachments do increase the versatility and productivity of the equipment, it comes with safety and responsible use. In an effort to prevent accidental unclamping of the attachment, ANSI requires all lift trucks with a load bearing clamp, such as paper clamps, carton clamps, etc, have two distinct motions by the operator in order to open or release the clamp. Be sure and ask your forklift service provider about clamp guard compliance.