Benefits of drum handler forklift attachments

A 200-litre steel drum weighs approximately 20 kg when empty. However, when filled with oil or a similar substance, that weight can reach more than 200 kg. That’s far too heavy for workers to move with a hand truck or other manual equipment.

On the other hand, a forklift drum attachment can easily lift a full container and move it quickly and easily to wherever it belongs. Furthermore, different types of forklift drum attachments can be used for various tasks.

Lifting heavy drums made easy

A standard drum lifter connects to the top of the drum via a clamp. The clamp is attached to a sheath that easily fits over the forklift’s prongs, supporting the drum’s base and providing enough lift to pick up the heavy drum. Drum handlers for forklifts are typically available in single-drum or double-drum configurations.

A second type of forklift drum handler employs a side clamp to grasp the drum in the same way a beer can is held in your hand. Like the standard drum handler, the clamp forklift drum handler has a sheath that fits over the tines of the forklift. When the forklift is moved forward, the clamp is pushed against the drum, and the handles close around and grip the drum, locking under the rolling hoop when the drum is raised.

Simply lower the drum to the ground and reverse the forklift to release a clamp forklift drum handler. Clamp forklift drum handlers are also available in single and double drum configurations.


A forklift drum handler is capable of more than just lifting drums. Some models are designed to partially or completely rotate the drum vertically. This is useful for tipping a drum and emptying its contents. Most models allow the operator to rotate the drum 360-degrees along the vertical axis.

A second type of forklift drum handler with a rotator appliance includes a hand chain that allows the operator to manually rotate the drum when it is lifted higher than the operator’s chest height, rather than using on-board equipment.

Lifting plastic drums

When using plastic barrels, specialised forklift drum handlers are necessary. Among these are optional cradles that can be fitted to the existing forklift drum handler to avoid damaging the less durable plastic barrel. In addition, many cradles include an optional chain-and-belly strap to keep the drum or barrel firmly in place.

Drum attachments for forklifts can make the difficult task of moving heavy drums more manageable and more efficient while also lowering the risk of worker injury or accident.

Contact Micron Engineering for details

If you’re looking to buy or replace an old, outdated drum handler, contact Micron Engineering today. Our material handling specialists can help you choose the most suitable solution.

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