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How to use the Forklift Extensions safely?

  • liftool_admin
  • 10 Aug 2023

Sometimes, a forklift needs a little extra reach to access pallets. That’s exactly why forklift fork extensions, commonly referred to as forklift extensions, were created. From unloading trucks to retrieving or loading in extra-deep warehouse bays, the fork extensions for a forklift are utilized when the existing reach just won’t suffice.

Aside from adding much-needed length, a forklift extension also provides load stability and helps reduce the risk of an accident, thanks to the considerable leverage provided by extensions for a forklift.

Different sizes and load capacities of forklift extenders are available for various applications. For example, rough terrain forklift fork extensions differ from indoor warehouse lift extensions. When used properly, forklift extensions are a great way to increase productivity. However, when used improperly, they’re capable of compromising safety.

The Basics of Extensions for a Forklift

Forklift extensions are made with heavy-duty steel and have a safety heel restraint. Yet, they come with a few safety concerns. Forklift extensions can make a load unstable. Loading too much on forklift extensions can cause a lift to tip over. Fork extensions can even impair a driver’s vision.

Another common attachment is the forklift boom extension. This type of extension is mounted on the forks and can be telescoping. This means the boom can be extended to increase its length and used to handle long loads.

Forklift extensions are easy to use. They simply slide over the existing forks and lock in place under a fork hanger. Some heavy-duty forklift fork extensions have a welded notch on the end for added stability.

How Are Forklift Extenders Used?

Forklift extensions offer cost-effective solutions to increase the reach of a lift. They are best suited for occasional large loads that need a long fork. Fork extensions are made for light loads. If the load exceeds the maximum load center, longer forklifts are safer than fork extensions.

Using forklift extensions can save time and storage space. It can also lower labor costs and improve productivity. Fork extensions save space by allowing for double-deep pallet racks at each side of an aisle. This can increase warehouse capacity by up to 30% compared to single-deep racking.

Forklift extensions can help operators save time. This is due to the fact that these extensions allow operators to:

  • Handle different load sizes and shapes with one truck
  • Load and unload more pallets per pick than ever before
  • Load and unload trailers from just one side

No matter the size, a load should never exceed the maximum load weight limits. Long forks on a forklift are not intended for everyday use. They will wear out quickly if used too much.

How Are Forklift Extenders Used?

Forklift extensions offer cost-effective solutions to increase the reach of a lift. They are best suited for occasional large loads that need a long fork. Fork extensions are made for light loads. If the load exceeds the maximum load center, longer forklifts are safer than fork extensions.

Using forklift extensions can save time and storage space. It can also lower labor costs and improve productivity. Fork extensions save space by allowing for double-deep pallet racks at each side of an aisle. This can increase warehouse capacity by up to 30% compared to single-deep racking.

Forklift extensions can help operators save time. This is due to the fact that these extensions allow operators to:

  • Handle different load sizes and shapes with one truck
  • Load and unload more pallets per pick than ever before
  • Load and unload trailers from just one side

No matter the size, a load should never exceed the maximum load weight limits. Long forks on a forklift are not intended for everyday use. They will wear out quickly if used too much.

Safety Tips for Using Forklift Extensions

Fork extensions can be hazardous. The biggest danger associated with fork extensions: decreased lifting capacity due to the attachments’ weight. Other dangers include forklift tip-overs and falling loads. Fork extensions can also increase the load center by moving the load further away from the fulcrum point. This puts a truck at greater risk of a tip-over.

To help prevent accidents when using a forklift extension, forklift operators should:

  • Review the forklift’s weight capacity and avoid overloading your forklift. You should always refer to the load chart that outlines the max lift limits at different load centers.
  • Use forklift extenders built to match the width of the fork. The inside width of the fork extension should not exceed the width of the fork by more than half an inch.
  • Avoid picking up a load with the tip of the extension. The center of the load must be over the fork, and it should not exceed 50% of the length of the fork extension.
  • Know the mechanical limitations of the forklift extenders.
  • Treat an unloaded forklift with fork extensions as partially loaded.
  • Train workers on the limitations of long lifts on a forklift.
  • Retrain workers if a new attachment is added to a forklift.
  • Inspect forklift extensions every six months and look for problems with load-bearing components and cracks in load-bearing welds.

The aforementioned tips can help workers safely use forklift fork extensions. In addition, enrolling workers in an in-depth forklift certification training program can reinforce the value of these tips. The program can also ensure that workers are well-equipped to avoid forklift accidents.

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