Making life easier- A guide to forklift attachments

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be looking at forklift attachments, discover what is available and how they can be used to assist in day to day operations.

But before we look at the attachments themselves let’s look at the benefits to workplace safety by using forklift attachments.

Forklift attachments are used regularly, as without them it would be impossible to move certain loads within a workplace. Many people perceive forklift attachments as only being used for unique objects or specific tasks when in reality, there are forklift attachments that can suit almost any job which will make it faster, safer and a lot easier.

Operators may be perfectly trained and capable of driving and operating a normal forklift, but they must also receive the proper training for the attachment they are operating.

This article is aimed at getting you familiar with forklift attachment safety and the different types of forklift attachment and their uses. Hopefully you will gain a better understanding of what their capabilities are, and which attachment may suit your application best.

The forklift norm is to have two forks (tynes) moving vertically carrying pallets/loads from point A to B, but have you ever thought that a forklift could be so much more?

With a large variety of hydraulic and non-hydraulic attachments, your forklift has the potential to do a number of tasks that you never thought possible.

There are a number of benefits of having a forklift attachment including decreasing:

  • Time it takes to move a load
  • Man power
  • Employees hours (operating forklift)
  • Number of employees
  • Fuel consumption
  • Chance of damaging stock

Attachment Safety

It is important to note that when you use an attachment on a forklift, the load capacity will be reduced and the centre of gravity of the forklift will be affected, making it less stable than it would be without the attachment.

forklift safety

This is because you are putting weight in front of the fulcrum point (the point or support on which a lever pivots) of the forklift prior to picking up your load. It is therefore necessary to drive the forklift as if it were partially loaded, even prior to picking up the load.

For this reason, it is advisable when working with any attachment to travel at a slow speed and make turns slowly and gently.

The attachment you are fitting should be listed on the data plate giving you the capacity of the truck.

It is extremely important that prior to fitting any attachment you must ensure that you are given the training required to enable you to be competent in the fitting, operating and removal of the attachment.

The following checks must be made before using an attachment on a forklift:

  • The attachment must suit the truck you are fitting it to, and must be suitable for the type of load you are lifting
  • It must be properly attached to the forklift with a suitable locking device
  • The data plate on the truck must allow for the use of the attachment

Ensure operators always know what the forklift capabilities with an attachment on are, before they begin to operate it and your operators must have training for the specific attachment before use.

Come back next week when we take a look at the variety of attachments available.