Never too hard to handle by csgirla


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									                                           Forklift attachments

Not every product can be lifted by forks alone                                                                                                                                                             Main image:
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Paper roll clamp

but with the right attachment in place, there’s                                                                                                                                                            Paper rolls are among many products
                                                                                                                                                                                                           that don’t really lend themselves to

really very little the lift truck isn’t able to handle.                                                                                                                                                    being handled by conventional forks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           (Image copyright Getty Images).
                                                                                                                                                                                                           1. Brick and block clamp
                                                                                                                                                                                                           The construction sector is a big user

Never too hard
                                                                                                                                                                                                           of attachments, especially clamps
                                                                                                                                                                                                           like this Kaup unit which allow for
                                                                                                                                                                                                           transport of unpalletised loads.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           (Image courtesy of B&B

       to handle...
                                                                                                                                                                                                           2. Foam sheet clamp
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Attachments can be used to
                                                                                                                                                                                                           handle even delicate products,
                                                                                                                                                                                                           like these foam sheets.(Image
                                                                                                                                                                                                           courtesy of Bolzoni-Auramo).
                                                                                                                                                                                                           3. Rotating clamp
                                                                                                                                                                                                           The ability to rotate loads as

                                         By Robin Meczes                                                                                                                                                   well as grip them adds an extra
                                                                                                                                                                                                           dimension to many attachments.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           (Image courtesy of Bolzoni-Auramo).

                                                  ersatile though it is, the standard lift        such as clamps, jibs, booms or rams that let         – such alternatives are often fixed, rather than
                                                  truck does not really lend itself to            the truck pick up or suspend a huge variety of       mobile, cannot usually be used for vehicle
                                                  handling products that do not sit nicely        products including cartons, white goods, kegs,       loading and unloading or putting items away
                                         on forks. But despite this, a huge number of             drums, tubes, pipes, reels or rolls – as well as     in racking and cannot generally be as quickly
                                         special handling attachments on the market               highly irregular shapes like whole engines or        adapted to different load types. A single lift
                                         means that there is really no such word as               special castings.                                    truck equipped with one or more attachments,
                                         ‘can’t’ in the dictionary of lift truck handling.           Perhaps not surprising, then, that so many        on the other hand, can be used around a site
                                           From the simple – like double pallet handling          industrial sectors take advantage of the added       for many special handling applications as well
                                         attachments – through to the sublime – like              versatility offered by lift truck attachments.       as conventional fork work – all in the course of
                                         vacuum attachments for handling sheets of                With a lot of unpalletised loads such as blocks      a single shift.
                                         glass – there really is very little the forklift truck   and paving slabs, the construction sector is a
                                         doesn’t get to grips with.                               particularly big user, for instance. Companies        “The benefits of using attachments are
                                           Loads that forks will not easily get hold of           involved in handling drums and kegs are               almost as diverse as the number and
                                         may be a firm’s core product or may need only            another big user of attachments – apart from          nature of attachments available.”
                                         occasional handling. But either way, they pose           the obvious difficulties in getting a load carrier
                                         a tricky handling problem that in many cases             underneath a drum, such loads tend to be well           Where attachments are used to carry
                                         can only be solved using a lift truck attachment.        over the limit for manual handling.                  a product without a carrier, like a clamp used to
                                         Many handling requirements can be solved                    Sometimes, of course, it’s not the product        handle white goods, the saving in load height
                                         with standard attachments but even where                 itself that drives the need for an attachment,       from the lack of a pallet can make for better
                                         they cannot, most attachment manufacturers               but the handling throughput required. The            space utilisation, especially in terms of lorry
                                         are usually prepared to create something
                                         bespoke, whether simply by adapting a
                                                                                                  drinks industry is a good example and tends
                                                                                                  to favour attachments that allow two or
                                                                                                                                                       loading. Attachments can make for a more
                                                                                                                                                       secure load, too – a tall fridge, for instance,
                                         standard attachment or designing something               more loads (usually pallets) to be handled           might be far less stable on a conventional
                                         completely new.                                          simultaneously.                                      pallet being moved over a bumpy yard than
                                                                                                     In other cases, attachments are installed to      when clamped securely from each side, and
                                          “Loads that forks will not easily get hold of           allow specific manipulation of a load, such as       a heavy lead pipe stands a lot less chance
                                          may be a firm’s core product or may need                rotation. This can come in very handy if a lift      of coming adrift when held centrally from
                                          only occasional handling. But either way,               truck is being used to empty loose product           within by a ram.
                                          they pose a tricky handling problem...”                 into a hopper at one end of a food processing           A truck which can handle two or more pallets
                                                                                                  line, for example, or to transfer products from      at once, meanwhile, is clearly going to be
                                           Some attachments merely compliment                     one pallet box to another, where the original        faster at moving multiple loads from one point
                                         the basic fork arrangement - fork positioners            unit load has become unstable or is otherwise        to another. And while it could be argued that
                                         to alter the space between a truck’s forks,              unsuitable for some reason.                          it might be simpler to use two conventional
                                         for instance, or sideshifters that allow trucks                                                               fork-equipped lift trucks, rather than one with a
                                         without an integral sideshift to move the forks          Infinite flexibility                                 double pallet handling attachment, that would
                                         sideways. Others are used to replace the                 The benefits of using attachments are almost         mean two trucks to buy, run and service, two
                                         standard truck forks, like double pallet handling        as diverse as the number and nature of               drivers to be employed instead of one, and
                                         attachments to let you pick two pallets up               attachments available. While other methods of        twice as many trucks operating in any given
                                         side by side. And others still do away with              handling awkward loads are usually available         area at the same time – obviously a health and
                                         the idea of handling with forks altogether,              – conveyors or cranes being key examples             safety issue in its own right. ➔                                                            3

                                                                                                                                                  Truck attachments                8 9
             Forklift attachments                                   Fork lift truck attachments

                                                                 lifted along with any load, it reduces the truck’s   your production process you might want to            move twice as much in any given time as a
                                                                 effective load capacity and on top of that,          have a spare attachment and a spare truck            single conventional fork truck, since apart                  Selected
                                                                 attachments which cause a load to be held            to fit it to in case one of them goes down           from the extra time required to actually                     attachment
                                                                 further out from the truck’s mast than normal        suddenly. This will, however, depend on the          fit the attachment, your truck operator is
                                                                 will affect the load centre, again reducing total    type of attachment you’re using – you’re not         likely to take much more time to position
                                                                 lift capacity.                                       going to want to spend too much on a spare           all the forks correctly before picking up                    Cat Lift Trucks has three
                                                                                                                      attachment that’s never used, after all.             the combined load and the additional load                    preferred manufacturers of
                                                                  “Visibility through the truck mast can                Whether you leave an attachment                    width may subsequently make it both                          forklift attachments -
                                                                  also be significantly worsened by the use           permanently mounted on a particular lift truck       harder and more time-consuming for him to                    Cascade, Bolzoni-Auramo
                                                                  of some attachments.”                               or install and remove it only as necessary is        manoeuvre.                                                   and Kaup.
                                                                                                                      another important strategic decision. Simple            It may be much quicker in such instances
                                                                    Truck deration calculations are not for the       attachments – fork extensions, for instance          to use a different solution altogether, like                 US-based Cascade supplies
                                                                 layman and should only be carried out by             – can be quick to apply and remove; those            Cat Lift Trucks’ NPV20ND platform double                     a huge range of attachments
                                                                 your lift truck supplier. Remember that such         that are more complex – like hydraulic               pallet handler, for example - essentially a                  including sideshifters,
                                                                                                                      telescopic forks or double pallet handlers           powered pallet truck with a compact duplex                   fork positioners, integral
                                                                 calculations apply only to the use of a specific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        carriages, clamps, push-pull
                                                                 truck with a specific attachment and a specific      – may take much longer and are often left            mast and two sets of forks to transport two
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        attachments, rotators and
                                                                 load, so it’s important, if you have a truck         on permanently. Leaving attachments in               pallets simultaneously, one above the other.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        multiple load handlers.
                                                                 that uses a particular attachment, that you          place, of course, obviously denies you the              None of these various strategic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The firm also supplies
                                                                 don’t suddenly try using that attachment on          use of the truck for conventional fork work          considerations is prohibitive, however, and                  both remanufactured and
                                                                 another truck (however similar you may believe       which is fine if the attachment is in constant       when all is said and done, there really is                   customised attachments.
                                                                 the two to be) or start carrying a different         use but a bit of a waste of truck capacity           very little the lift truck cannot handle with
                                                                 load. Tempting as it may be, if you’re using         otherwise. Fortunately, some attachments             the aid of an attachment - and little reason,                Italian firm Bolzoni Auramo,
                                                                                                                      now come with automatic quick-connect                therefore, to look for another handling                      a well-established producer
                                                                 a ram to carry a 2m long lead pipe, using the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6   of attachments, has a range
                                                        4        same attachment for a 3m long pipe without
                                                                 checking could be disastrous.
                                                                                                                      systems for hydraulics which dramatically
                                                                                                                      reduce the amount of time taken to connect
                                                                                                                                                                           solution where a lift truck attachment is
                                                                                                                                                                           available for the job. n                                     that incorporates paper roll
                                                                                                                      or disconnect attachments and also avoid                                                                          clamps, pulp and waste paper
             ➔ Continued from page 9                             Think it through                                     the operator leaving the safety of his cab                                                                        bale clamps, sideshifters,
                                                                 There are also some strategic issues to be           to manually engage or disengage the                  4. Appliance clamp         5. Cat® NPV20ND                   fork positioners, multi-pallet
Attachment                                                                                                                                                                 Operators’ line of sight   Multi pallet handler.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        handlers, carton clamps,
examples     A word of warning                                   aware of when employing attachments.                 hydraulics.                                          can be seriously impeded   “A truck which can handle
             There are, of course, some downsides to                Chief among these, perhaps, is maintenance.         Bear in mind also that not all attachments         by some attachments or     two or more pallets at            push-pull devices, rotators,
             attachments. There is the cost, for one thing                                                            will necessarily make handling quicker.              by the loads they allow    once is clearly going to          reach forks and tyre clamps.
                                                                 Attachments most certainly are not ‘fit-and-
             – some attachments (the more complex or
                                                                                                                                                                           the truck to carry.        be faster at moving goods         Among its latest products is
A                                                                forget’ items – they’re often subject to intense     Double pallet handlers that hold pallets side        (Image courtesy of         from one point to another.”       the AR series of paper roll
             bespoke ones, usually) can be very expensive        wear and tear and most attachments will need         by side, for example, do not always let you          Bolzoni-Auramo).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        clamps which can lift rolls
             (costing more than the truck they’re fitted to,     regular servicing every 250-300 hours or so. The                                                                                                                       of paper up to 1,860mm in
             in some cases), though in situations where          servicing itself isn’t terribly complicated, but                                                                                                                       diameter and up to 4,600kg
             no other handling option is available or where      unless you keep the attachment permanently                                                                                                                             in weight and can also rotate
             the use of an attachment avoids the need for        fixed to a truck with an hourmeter, keeping                                                                                                                            them through 180 degrees.
             another, completely separate handling solution,     track of the hours the attachment has actually
             this is often largely academic.                     clocked up can be. You also need to bear in                                                                                                                            German manufacturer Kaup,
                Visibility through the truck mast can also       mind that the attachment will almost certainly                                                                                                                         meanwhile, supplies reach
C            be significantly worsened by the use of some        need servicing at different intervals to the                                                                                                                           forks, rotators, multi-pallet
             attachments, though clearly, this depends on        truck it resides on which could, without proper                                                                                                                        handlers, fork positioners,
             the item in use. It also depends to some degree     planning, leave you with either a truck or an                                                                                                                          sideshifters, clamps,
             on whether the attachment is a permanent            attachment you can’t use – albeit temporarily.                                                                                                                         pantograph-pushers, rams,
D            fixture fitted directly to the truck mast, or one      Operators of lift trucks that use attachments                                                                                                                       loading buckets, snowploughs
             designed to be fixed and removed as required,       should also be properly trained in the use of                                                                                                                          and crane jibs, among other
             in which case it is more likely to be fitted onto                                                                                                                                                                          attachments. The firm has
                                                                 each one, however simple, and for health and
             the existing fork carriage – adding a further
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        recently introduced the
                                                                 safety purposes you’ll need to ensure that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        T 429-1-2-3 triple pallet
E            obstruction to the carriage’s existing hindrance    operators who aren’t properly trained in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        handler, which can lift up
             to forward vision.                                  use of a particular attachment don’t go near it.                                                                                                                       to 4,500kg at 600mm load
                Perhaps the most serious downside to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        centre, and also the new
             attachments, however, is deration - the effect       “Attachments most certainly are not ‘fit-                                                                                                                             S-class push-pull attachment
             of the attachment on the truck’s lift capacity.      and-forget’ items – they’re often subject                                                                                                                             for handling loads on
             Since the attachment’s weight itself has to be       to intense wear and tear and most                                                                                                                                     slip-sheets rather than pallets.
                                                                  attachments will need regular servicing.”
             A. Reach Forks.
             B. Multi Pallet Handler.
                                                                     The number of attachments you require and
G            C. Push/Pulls.
             D. Appliances Clamp.                                the number of lift trucks they are fitted to is
             E. 360° Rotation Forks.                             another important issue. If you only need an
             F. Bale Clamp.                                      attachment for occasional handling there’s
             G. Paper Roll Clamp.
                                                                 little problem, of course, but if it’s central to                                                                                                         5

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