Forklift attachments come in many different shapes and sizes and by using the appropriate one, a forklift can be made to handle an enormous variety of different types of load in safety.
Care must be taken to select the correct attachment and it should also be noted that any attachment will cause the forklift truck's capacity to de-rate.
It's not possible to cover every attachment here because there is so many different types but the main ones are:
This is easily the most popular attachment and is absolutely invaluable for any forklift jobs that require right/left accuracy in positioning. Because this device helps the forklift operator so much it's use is forbidden during a practical forklift test. Rotating versions of this device are also available.
Most operators agree that a sideshift cuts down operator visibility although some forklift manufacturers have taken steps to improve this over the years. A good example of this is the Linde "View". How I wish I had this when I was driving forklifts.
Another problem with a sideshift is that they de-rate the forklift truck's capacity. This is not normally due to their weight but the fact that they, in effect, "push" the forks out a little bit thereby effectively increasing the truck's load centre.
Paper roll clamp
These, as the name suggests, are for handling large rolls of paper such as that used in the newspaper industry. Typically they not only clamp the paper roll but also rotate it so it can be stacked upright or lying on it's side. This, of course requires two, separate hydraulic controls and this is usually achieved with either two extra hydraulic control levers or with just one lever with and electrical switch attached to it.
Paper roll clamps are designed for only one purpose and they are excellent at the job. They, of course, should not be used to any other task. It should be noted that forklift operators should be subjected to additional specific job training using these devices as it's easy to operate the wrong lever and drop the roll which actually happened to one of my trainees when I was conducting a course on a Linde truck fitted with this device in Shropshire. I won't mention the company:-)
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