When is a forklift more than a forklift? When it has attachments. Attachments allow your forklift to become more efficient and versatile with handling unique material handling products. An attachment can enable a lift truck to push, pull, clamp, lift, side shift and rotate any load imaginable. Let’s take a closer look at selecting a forklift attachment and what kind of options are out there.

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Types of Forklift Attachments and When to Use Them

The benefits of forklift attachments are numerous, but their success depends on your industry and the type of work you do. Here are some of the most common forklift attachments and their applications:

  • Bale clamp: The bale clamp, as you might expect, allows you to handle baled products that don’t use pallets. For instance, think of materials like hay, cotton and wool. You might find these clamps useful in agricultural and manufacturing environments.
  • Carton clamp: A carton clamp allows a forklift to pick up pallet-free containers, such as cartons or cases of products or large appliances.
  • Fork positioner: With a fork positioner, you can adjust the distance between two forks, making it easy to work with various pallet sizes. This attachment is common in distribution, warehousing and food manufacturing industries.
  • Fork clamp: A fork clamp lies in between a fork positioner and a clamp. It can clamp down on awkwardly shaped loads and position the tines as well.
  • Paper roll clamp: Paper roll clamps are specialized attachments that let paper manufacturers and printers handle rolls without damaging the material.
  • Bar arm clamp: Bar arm clamps are popular when working with textiles. Rolls of cloth fit onto the bar arms, which are available in varying lengths and sizes.
  • Push-pull clamp: A push-pull clamp allows you to avoid using pallets. By replacing pallets with slip sheets that slide onto a push-pull clamp, you can reduce shipping costs and speed up product movement. Beverage and food production are a few industries in which this attachment is common.
  • Fork rotator: Fork rotators allow the forks to be turned so loads can be dumped into other containers. This kind of application is common in industries like waste and recycling, food beverage processing and agriculture.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Forklift Attachment

When selecting a forklift attachment, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind:

  • Stability: An attachment can significantly change the stability of a forklift. It will change the weight and center of gravity — so keep these factors in mind, especially if you’re working with heavy loads.
  • Capacity: A forklift with an attachment must always be considered partially loaded. The weight of the attachments comes off of the forklift’s capacity, so keep this in mind when deciding if your loads are appropriately sized.
  • Load type: Remember that certain attachments are only designed for specific types of loads, such as pallets, bales or containers.

Can You Rent Forklift Attachments?

Absolutely — and companies in many industries choose to use rental forklift attachments for the cost savings and improved flexibility.

However, keep in mind that using attachments is not as simple as connecting them and getting to work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires retraining when an attachment is put on a forklift. Forklift attachment training is necessary because of how the attachment can affect stability and balance as well as alter the allowed load size.

As long as you keep these factors in mind, rentals are an excellent way to build your fleet’s capabilities. Here at LiftOne Rents, we offer a wide selection of attachments available for rental or for purchase. Contact us today to submit a request.