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Looking to increase the versatility and load-bearing power of your trucks? Try adding forklift extensions to your toolkit.
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Forklift Extensions: Here’s What You Need to Know
Also called forklift extenders or long lifts on a forklift, forklift extensions are special kinds of attachments, and they fit right over the forks of a lift.
Long lifts on a forklift attach to the regular forks to increase lifting capacity and stability. Forklift extenders make it easier for trucks to handle large and odd-shaped loads. They also provide stability and reduce the risk of damage to the load.
- The forks should be kept pointed down when traveling without a load and kept pointed up while traveling with a load. Forklift trucks have been used in stacking and unloading of ships and barges during world wars when the need arises for a quick and efficient way to load arms and supplies.
- The term piggyback forklift was first used by Teledyne Princeton Delivery Systems. A Princeton forklift hooks onto the back of a truck or trailer with a unique mounting and hooking system. Princeton piggyback forklifts are about the second most used brand within the truck mounted forklift industry.
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. Each type of job has its own safety requirements for forklift extenders, but OSHA has minimum safety requirements for fork extensions.
When used properly, forklift extensions are a great way to increase productivity. However, when used improperly, they’re capable of compromising safety.
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.
What Is Considered a Forklift Extension?
A forklift extension is a forklift accessory designed to improve the reach and load-bearing potential of a lift. The extensions used vary based on the type of lift. Furthermore, forklift extensions are labeled according to the manufacturer, loading capacity, and other identifying features.
Forklift certification training offers insights into fork extensions and other lift accessories. The training teaches forklift operators how to safely use and maintain different lift accessories. It also verifies that forklift operators can comply with OSHA requirements.
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.
Forklift extensions and forklift extenders are easy to attach to a lift. They slide over the normal forks on a truck, and lock into place under a fork hanger. Many fork extensions are made with a welded loop on the end. This keeps it in place and makes it simple to install or remove the extensions.
When used correctly, long forks on a forklift don’t extend the load center past the forklift’s ratings. As a result, they don’t increase a forklift’s chances of tipping over.
Are Forklift Extensions Legal?
Forklift boom extensions are legal, but they come with rules to prevent accidents. They should not exceed 1.5 times the length of the forks and must be able to support an evenly distributed load of three times its rated capacity. And, the rated load center should equal 50% of the fork extension’s load supporting length.
Forklift extenders should be clearly stamped and labeled with the following:
- Individual load rating
- Supporting fork size
- Manufacturer’s mark
- Serial number
- Year it was made
- Required blade cross-section and minimum blade length for the parent fork
If forklift fork extensions aren’t installed at the factory, the truck should be marked to identify:
- Any attachments
- Approximate weight of the lift truck
- Approximate combined weight of the attachment and truck at max elevation with the load laterally centered
Any changes that affect the capacity or safety of the forklift must have written approval from the company that makes the forklift. This helps ensure that workers will not exceed forklift load limits for any type of forklift extenders. Using fork extensions without written approval violates OSHA standards.
What Is the Maximum Length of Forklift Extensions?
The maximum length of a forklift extension is 1.5 times the length of the fork. Additionally, it is important to remember that forklift extensions are designed for light loads. If a load exceeds the maximum allowed load center, longer forks should be used instead of forklift extensions.
How to Install Forklift Extensions
Fork extensions fit over the front of a forklift, and they must be installed properly. Otherwise, the extensions could fall off or get damaged while in use.
Typically, fork extensions can be placed over the tops of a fork and locked at the base of the blades. Various mechanisms are used to secure the extensions in place, including loops and pins.
It is critical to follow the installation instructions provided with forklift extensions as well. Also, forklift operators must ensure that the extensions are securely in place before they use their lift or its extensions.
Safety Tips for Using Forklift Extensions on a Forklift
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 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.
Forklift Extensions FAQs
There is a lot to like about forklift extenders. In order to get the most value out of your extenders, you should learn as much as possible about them. Now, let’s look at some of the most common questions surrounding forklifts and forklift extensions.
Q: How do you put in forklift extensions?
A: To install forklift extensions, you’ll need to lift a forklift truck’s forks approximately 1-in. from the ground. Next, lift the nose end of a forklift extension at a 45° angle. Place the opposite end of the extension onto the tip of the fork. Slide the extension onto the fork until it reaches the fork’s heel. Remove the lock pin, ensure the extension is fully back to the fork’s heel, and reinstall the pin. Install both extensions, then align the lift’s forks with the open end of the extensions. Drive the lift forward until the extensions reach the heel of the forks. Raise the extensions a few feet and pull them outward to verify they are properly in place.
Read the forklift extensions manufacturer’s installation instructions. They provide a step-by-step guide to install forklift extenders.
Q: How much can a 5,000-lb. forklift lift?
A: A forklift with a weight capacity of 5,000 lbs. can usually lift that amount of weight with 48-in. forks. If the lift’s forks are extended to 60-in., its weight capacity may fall to 4,000 lbs.
Q: Can forklift forks be welded?
A: Forklift forks can be welded. However, any welding or other forklift repairs or maintenance should be performed by an expert technician.
Q: How long are the forks on a forklift?
A: The length of the fork varies depending on the size of the lift. Common forklift lengths include 48-, 72-, and 96-in.
Forklift safety training addresses these questions and many others. It allows workers to learn the ins and outs of safe use of forklift extensions and comply with OSHA regulations.
Why You Need Forklift Safety Training
Are you aware of OSHA forklift rules? If not, check out our blog on OSHA forklift rules. It covers some of the most common OSHA safety guidelines. Knowing what OSHA expects can help prevent accidents and keep your workers safe.
Some of the OSHA forklift rules reviewed include:
- Basic guidelines
- The importance of power supplies and batteries
- Proper lighting techniques
- Loading and unloading
CertifyMe.net offers extensive online training courses that provide tips for working safer every day. These tips include:
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- How to inspect forklifts
- How personal protective equipment (PPE) impacts forklift safety
- Checking fluid and battery levels
- Why workers should use measured and steady braking
To learn more or to sign up for our courses, please contact us online or call us today at 1-888-699-4800.
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Clark Forklift History
With its ‘Build to Last' slogan, Clark Forklift managed to sustain its operations and reputation by providing quality and cost-effective forklifts. Its long-standing reputation about different kinds of forklifts; electric forklifts, diesel and LPG-powered forklifts for industrial applications is anchored on a long history of innovation, dating back to 1917.
It’s not hard to show to people how Clark Forklifts and Parts are some of the most reliable machinery in the market today precisely because their products’ quality and high-performance speak for themselves. For starters, it’s quite easy to get a hold of a series of testimonials that present how the Clark Forklifts today help their companies improve their business goals.
From the thriving amusement park Luna Park Sydney to other loyal customers all over, Clark has proven that it can supply the service forklifts needed to run business operations in an organized, efficient and safe working environment.
The rich and thriving history of Clark has since started in 1917 when the company invented the first forklift truck. From then, it found its strength and energy to manufacture and distribute over 1 million units of forklifts across the international market. Right now there are around 350,000 Clark forklifts being actively employed, and that remarkable record is what’s giving the company the trustworthiness for many customers to avail of the company’s progressive and problem-centered services and products.
Supreme Internal Combustion Forklifts
It must be added here that the internal combustion forklifts from Clark have never been a disappointment. They are built over years of truck innovation, industry-firsts, and impeccable engineering, especially with the CLARK S-Series forklifts. This S-Series has been a product developed for over 3 years already, which implies that its prototyping and input has undergone already a rigorous level of field testing.
The CLARK S-Series Internal Combustion Forklifts also have an interactive LCD dash, onboard reporting of control functions that make the operators’ life run easily and a full-on telemetry system. Its Australian ergonomics, CLARK Vertical Mast System and Load Weight Scale are also outstanding and have indeed captured the attention of the most demanding business owners.
Battery Electric Forklifts
As people already know, Clark has been a global leader in manufacturing forklift trucks for more than 90 years already. And this dedication and tradition for quality that’s 'Built To Last' is also the essence ingrained in every battery electric forklift available in their line-up. One example in this series of battery electric forklifts is the CLARK ECX 20/32 Series. Such series is exemplified in the market for its cushion tire and fuel-efficient and attractive style machine structure. It gives high value to the comfort of the operator and yet it is equipped with the robust muscle and durability that gets any job in the market done.
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Clark is notable, too, for the reliability it has shown for its customers, and it’s this trust it from loyal customers that makes the firm a globally leading business that has built manufacturing locations across Asia, Australia, Europe, and the USA. These locations are dedicated to bringing the best out of the company as a brand to retain its reputation of being an outstanding service and solutions provider.
It must be mentioned, too, that the company’s South-East Asia location is managed by Clark International South Pacific with it is Head Office being at Sydney, Australia. It’s this kind of topnotch leadership across various countries that keeps Clark performing at its top performance.
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The Basic Tructractor and Modern C60-80 Heavy-Duty Four Wheel Lift Trucks
From the start of 1917, the company offered the first Tructractor, built in Buchanan, Michigan, which was the world's first internal combustion-powered truck for industrial purposes. The original configuration was a flatbed that can be loaded and unloaded manually. The workers and employees of Clark, initially used this simple machine to move materials between its various departments.However, as soon as casual visitors and fellow businesspersons noticed this simple machine, many asked for reproductions of these machines for their outfits. Clark resorted to build eight machines in 1918 and increased the production to 75 units after a year. Different models of lift trucks were introduced with the onset of year 1922, including the Truclift, the world's first hydraulically powered lift truck. This innovation was a paradigm shift; leaving behind the orthodox mechanical gears, winch and cable system. Clark had always been taking pride in excellence; the company kept introducing more innovative modified machines to suit the growing user requirements. Some of the popular models of forklifts introduced by Clark include Duat tow tractorbuilt in 1923, with a pull capacity of 1500 lbs.Clarktor tow tractor capable of pulling 2000 to 26000 lbs was introduced in 1926, Carloader in 1938, Utilitructhe very next year and the Clipper in 1941. All of these machines werehighly specialized forklifts that workedpromisingly for various industrial applications.
By 1941, Clark decided to manufacture forklift trucks for use in war by the Allied. It was peak time in World War II when Clark grabbed the opportunity, immensely enhanced its manufacturing capacity and served almost every airfield under the control of Allied with the presence of its Forklift or the tow tractor.
The innovation spree kept its course unintimidating and new forklift, known as the Planeloader, came into existence for off-road works in 1943. The basic aim was to serve the military purposes but agriculture industry and contractors cheerfully accepted it. Owing to theinnovative and successful forklift model, Clark was honored to be the first recipient of the Army Navy ‘E' Award. During this time, Clark became the first manufacturer to put consumer warnings on forklift trucks.
Clark stepped into overseas production by the year 1948, by joining up with Tutt Bryant Limited, Sydney, Australia. Another milestone was achieved in 1956 when it introduced its Clarklift family line. This new line featured forklift trucks that are electrically-powered and run by internal combustion engine. New models were introduced, all anchored on safety and reliability. The innovations and changes for safety and reliability were not just seen in the actual units manufactured, but also in the user manuals provided by the company. In fact, Clark was the first to come up with the ‘Employer's Guide to Material Handling Safety'. By 1997, the company registered its one millionth Clark forklift truck called the CDP25H Megastat and journey went on traversing the path of excellence.
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Clark Continues Tradition of Excellence and ‘Built to Last' Slogan
Maintaining the rich legacy, Clark progressed by leaps and bounds and today it offers a complete line of forklift trucks that works in various and diversified industrial environments. At present, more than 250,000 Clark lift trucks are used in North America and the volume increases to over 350,000 pieces operating globally. Clark is now operating in the industry with five major lines; with lift trucks of 15,000 to 18,000 lbs weight carrying capacity. Companies and individual buyers can choose from electric, diesel, LPG-powered, dual fuel electric powered forklift trucks. For example, if there is a need to operate on demanding industrial work, then the C-40 series is highly recommended.Moreover, the C50s and C55s GEN2 Series also promise compliance to the excessive industrial workload. These diesel/LPG pneumatic-powered forklift trucks have a load capacity of at least 8,000 lbs. The C-40 series is backed by a two-stage filter system that takes out 98 percent of the incoming dirt and dust before being processed by the filter media. Electric forklifts are also available in GTX 16/18/20s that feature low step height that facilitates ease of exit and entry. These series of forklifts from Clark can move loads at the tightest turns with 90° turn axles.Within the past nine decades, Clark as one of the most progressive and forthcoming manufacturer in the fields of production, innovation and customer needs evaluation. Its customer support network is present on over 230 locations in North America rendering complete and timely support.
Clark was the pioneer in introducing operator restraint system meant to ensure the protection and safety of forklift operators. All the competitors in industry subsequently adopted the system as a standard feature. Clark kept its tradition in picking the First Slot in the world for embracing ISO 9001 standard for the entire range of its forklift production worldwide. The entire chain of Clark manufacturing units worldwide are now ISO 9001 compliant. Clarks Korean facility has also been an ISO 14001 certification compliant since 2001, which ensures the company's efforts to remain environment friendly.
Clark also maintains an online parts store to accommodate requests for purchase and replacements. Those looking to repair and improve their forkliftsalsoreap benefits from the facility. A merchandising section on its website is available for those who want to shop for Clark memorabilia and collections. The company's North American Parts Distribution Center is located in Louisville, Kentucky, stocking more than 40,000 items and 150,000 product applications, all ‘Built to Last'. Today, Clark shines with its production units in Korea, Germany, Brazil and China besides an Omni presence in United States. The company is keeping its rich legacy of ever-growing innovation and dominance in the industry, traversing swiftly into the future on a path of excellence.
Clark Forklift Parts
The company's North American Parts Distribution Center is located in Kentucky, USA, and comprises of more than 40,000 components with several product applications. All of Clark's products are designed, manufactured and delivered with a single motto “Built to last”, which aims at making customers' investment in its products and parts worthy. The company makes use of its excellent delivery techniques, years of experience, and competent pricing to enable customers to enjoy their forklift maintenance painlessly as well as cost-effectively.
Clark has a wide network of more than 200 dealer locations, with every dealership focusing on providing customers with as many choices as possible to meet up with their business needs pertinent to performance and productivity. This is the reason why the company is believed to offer the best value in products and services in the overall material handling industry. Few of the products manufactured by Clark include couplings, tail lights, replacement forks, gear parts, rotators, wiring, sensors, bushings, gears, and brake assembly.
The company also remanufactures a complete line of control cards, electric DC motors, hydraulic components, steer axles, transmissions and engines. Clark has also introduced a service and parts lookup system called PartsPRO. This new system enables customers to perform maintenance on their own and order parts and schedule service for their material handling equipments directly online. Focus on safety is another factor that accounts to the huge success of the company by achieving customer satisfaction. It offers a complete range of products, parts, and services to help organizations enhance material handling safety in their company.