In the material handling industry, there are many types and manufacturers of forklift attachments that can be added to equipment. This allows you to customize your equipment to your particular application.
Forks are so standard in the material handling industry that they almost seem to be part of the forklift itself. However, they are considered an attachment since they “attach” to the forklift carriage. That said, there are so many more options of attachments that can be used that forks are normally considered a basic addition to your equipment.
Fork positioners allows forklift operators to move the forks quickly and accurately to fit different pallet sizes without leaving their seats. This will allow drivers to change the configuration of the load they carry without getting off the forklift to move the forks into position.
One of the most common attachments is the side shifter. It allows you to shift a load from side to side. This is so that pallets can be loaded into small spaces, like trailers or racks that have a limited amount of room for the forklift to move in. When you use a side shifter, you can pull up to a specific area and move the load from side to side without re-positioning the forklift. It will help you to align the load directly with the available space so you can set the load up without moving the entire forklift side to side. Side shifters can be purchased in the same class as your equipment, i.e. class two, three or four.
Beyond the basic side shifter, there are many options depending on the job that needs to be done. These options include box clamps, barrel clamps, rotators, push-pull attachments, etc. In addition to the many models available, there are several manufacturers of those attachments.
When you decide to purchase any attachment for your forklift, it is preferred that you make sure that the attachment is correctly matched to your needs so that it will work to capacity. A mismatched attachment and forklift can result in less productivity and possibly worker injury due to an attachment that isn’t designed for the work it’s being expected to do.
Whenever you add an attachment to an existing forklift, be sure you have your dealer update your data tag to reflect the changes to the machine.
OSHA says that:
If a truck is equipped with front-end attachments other than factory installed attachments, the user shall request that the truck be marked to identify the attachments and show the approximate weight of the truck and attachment combination at maximum elevation with the load laterally centered. 1910.178(a)5.