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Picking a Forklift Attachment

  • December 7, 2012

How many different attachments are there for my forklift? There’s no real answer.  The hundreds of forklift attachment manufacturers are constantly creating custom attachments for thousands of different uses.   For your business how can you find which forklift will suit your businesses needs and greatly increase your efficiency?

First, ask yourself what your business is and what are you trying to accomplish with your forklift?  Some of the most unique items are being lifted today.  There are attachments for tires, paper rolls, refrigerators to name some.  There are lifts for weighing, picking up, and rotating.  The following are just some of the categories of attachments manufactured by the leading attachment manufacturers:  fork positioners, clamps, rotators, push/pulls, pickers, multiple load handlers, and side shifters.

What do they do?

-Fork positioners: allow lift truck operators to move the forks quickly and accurately to fit different pallet sizes without leaving their seats.

-Clamps: Carton clamps are designed for palletless handling saving money on pallets, Paper roll clamps are special clamps for handling round materials on rolls, the many other clamps are used for clamping and handling materials of different sizes.

-Rotators: enable trucks a 360° cyclical motion in both directions.

-Push/pulls: allows the operator to move materials horizontally without moving the truck.

-Pickers: improves efficiency by increasing the amount of pallet layers being handled.

-Multiple load handlers: improves efficiency with the ability to handle single or double pallets.

-Side shifters: enables an operator to shift a load from side to side to reduce handling time and increase maneuverability.


Next, match those descriptions to narrow down your search. Within every category there are multiple lifts which range in different capacities and function.  Depending on the load size, your business will have to purchase an attachment to match those needs.  Typically, a forklift attachment will have a number in the model number which should indicate the maximum capacity of the attachment.  Each category may include attachments with different functions, for example in the multiple load handler category there are double forks with side shifters, double wide forks, and standard single-double attachments.  Also, every attachment may have different forks depending on the needs of the business:

Different Forks

-Stainless Steel Clad Forks: for highly sanitary applications

-Spark Retardant Forks: for hazardous locations

-Folding Forks: enables trucks to maneuver in restricted areas

-Fork Extentions: to increase the length of the fork blade

-Drum Forks: for material handling of barrels and drums

-Lumber & Plywood forks: for longer material handling

-Block Forks: handling bricks and blocks

-Coil handling Forks: narrow forks for handling coils

-Quick detach Forks: easily and quickly removed from carriage

-Magnetic Fork add-on: for metal materials

There are many options of forklift attachments for your business, and ultimately having the correct attachments on your fleet could double your efficiency.  It’s important to consult an expert when finalizing your plans to make the purchase, because there may be a better option!


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