Although the mechanical basics of forklifts have not radically changed over the years, manufacturers now provide higher degrees of customisation. This serves as a response to customers looking to manage the labour costs, improve efficiency and simplify the job of the operator. The wide variety of attachments that are now available have enabled this change. However, as forklift attachments and advances continue to develop, manufacturers need to work more closely with the end user to ensure it is a good match for their business.
This article will scrutinise the benefits of customisation, mainly concentrating on forklift attachments, and what needs to be considered when acquiring these attachments.
Regardless of how general the standard range is, certain applications will require certain products. This is particularly evident for tasks concerning heavy or abnormally shaped loads or in complicated situations. Customisation can enhance productivity within these circumstances, making the job easier for the forklift operator.
- Fuel Savings
Forklift attachments can capitalise fuel efficiency by minimising the number of movements that are needed to complete a task. Although the attachment may necessitate small amounts of fuel for its operation, some forklift owners have recounted fuel savings by as much as 50% upon the employment of specific attachments.
For instance, a side shift attachment offers driver flexibility in placing a load by allowing the forklift carriage to slide left and right, and reducing the need for time and fuel wasting movements.
When applied properly, forklift attachments drastically reduce handling times and significantly increase the amount of work completed throughout the course of a day. A forklift that can handle two or more pallets at once will undoubtedly be faster when moving numerous loads from one point to another.
A single forklift equipped with one or more attachments can be used around the site for a number of materials handling applications, as well as, with typical forklift operations, reducing the amount of forklifts needed on the site.
- Improved Safety
When chosen wisely, attachments can improve workplace safety, as they are able to make the load more secure. For instance, working at height is one area where attachments are necessary and accidents can be prevented, specifically by using forklift designed cages or working platforms.
What to Consider
Forklift attachments reduce your forklift minimal load rating, consequently, your forklifts capacity will need to be de-rated by an experienced professional or attachments specialist.
- You will need to replace your forklifts plate
- Your drivers may need additional training on the proper use of the attachment
- Your new attachment will need to be included in risk valuations and daily inspections.
It is best to book an application review in order to get vital advice regarding what will work for your particular application(s). Your dealer will assess factors that will affect the load, including the proportions and stability and will consider your operating environment, taking into account potentially challenging conditions such as corrosion, gradients or uneven working surfaces.
A good dealer will consider the economic benefits of introducing attachments to ensure they are of benefit to your application and your business. Forklifts are versatile machines and can be equipped to do a variety of specialised tasks in your plant or warehouse. There are a number of benefits to introducing attachments to your forklifts; however, it is important to ensure the customisation of your forklifts is of benefit to you and your business.
MICRON Engineering is the market leader in Southern Africa for the supply of forklift attachments and other material handling equipment. We have achieved this coverage by actively designing, manufacturing and sourcing the best products and solutions the world has to offer. Apart from our diverse and excellent equipment, MICRON Engineering has realised the key to success is focused on creating a sophisticated after-sales support network, ensuring high levels of uptime during the contract life of your product. With service centres countrywide and engineering backup in Johannesburg and Durban, MICRON Engineering is able to offer technical support in all the major South African centres.