A forklift truck. Attachments
Below is a list of common forklift attachments:
· Dimensioning devices-fork truck mounted dimensioning systems provide dimensions for the cargo to facilitate truck trailer space utilization and to support warehouse automation systems. The systems normally communicate the dimensions via 802.11 radios. NTEP certified dimensioning devices are available to support commercial activities that bill based on volume.
· Sideshifter - is a hydraulic attachment that allows the operator to move the tines (forks) and backrest laterally. This allows easier placement of a load without having to reposition the truck.
· Rotator - To aid the handling of skids that may have become excessively tilted and other specialty material handling needs some forklifts are fitted with an attachment that allows the tines to be rotated. This type of attachment may also be used for dumping containers for quick unloading.
· Fork positioner - is a hydraulic attachment that moves the tines (forks) together or apart. This removes the need for the operator to manually adjust the tines for different sized loads.
· Roll and barrel clamp attachment - A mechanical or hydraulic attachment used to squeeze the item to be moved. It is used for handling barrels, kegs, or paper rolls. This type of attachment may also have a rotate function. The rotate function would help an operator to insert a vertically stored paper into the horizontal intake of a printing press for example.
· Pole attachments - In some locations, such as carpet warehouses, a long metal pole is used instead of forks to lift carpet rolls. Similar devices, though much larger, are used to pick up metal coils.
· Carton and multipurpose clamp attachments - are hydraulic attachments that allow the operator to open and close around a load, squeezing it to pick it up. Products like cartons, boxes and bales can be moved with this type attachment. With these attachments in use, the forklift truck is sometimes referred to as a clamp truck.
· Slip sheet attachment (push - pull) - is a hydraulic attachment that reaches forward, clamps onto a slip sheet and draws the slip sheet onto wide and thin metal forks for transport. The attachment will push the slip sheet and load off the forks for placement.
· Drum handler attachment - is a mechanical attachment that slides onto the tines (forks). It usually has a spring-loaded jaw that grips the top lip edge of a drum for transport. Another type grabs around the drum in a manner similar to the roll or barrel attachments.
· Man basket - a lift platform that slides onto the tines (forks) and is meant for hoisting workers. The man basket has railings to keep the person from falling and brackets for attaching a safety harness. Also, a stap or chain is used to attach the man basket to the carriage of the forklift.
· Telescopic forks - are hydraulic attachments that allow the operator to operate in warehouse design for "double-deep stacking", which means that two pallet shelves are placed behind each other without any aisle between them.
· Scales -Fork truck mounted scales enable operators to efficiently weigh the pallets they handle without interrupting their workflow by travelling to a platform scale. Scales are available that provide legal-for-trade weights for operations that involve billing by weight. They are easily retrofitted to the truck by hanging on the carriage in the same manner as forks hang on the truck.
· Single-double forks - are forks that in the closed position allow movement of a single pallet or platform but when separated, turn into a set of double forks that allow carryin two pallets side by side. The fork control may have to replace the side-shifter on some lift trucks.
Any attachment on a forklift will reduce its nominal load rating, which is computed with a stock fork carriage and forks. The actual load rating may be significantly lower.
A forklift truck. Replacing or adding attachments
It is possible to replace an existing attachment or add one to a lift that doesn't already have one. Considerations include forklift type, capacity, carriage type, and number of hydraulic functions (that power the attachment features). As mentioned in the preceding section, replacing or adding an attachment may reduce (down-rate) the safe lifting capacity of the forklift truck (See also General operations, below).
Forklift attachment manufacturers offer on-line calculators to estimate the safe lifting capacity when using a particular attachment. However, only the forklift truck manufacturer can give accurate lifting capacities. Before installing any attachment you should contact your local authorized dealer of your forklift brand and ask them to begin re-rating your lift according to the attachment you want to install. Once re-rated the forklift should have a new factory authorized specification plate, to replace the original plate, installed showing the new rating for the lift.
In the context of attachments, a hydraulic function consists of a valve on the forklift with a lever near the operator that provides two passages of pressurized hydraulic oil to power the attachment features. Sometimes an attachment has more features than your forklift has hydraulic functions and one or more need to be added. There are many ways of adding hydraulic functions (also known as adding a valve). The forklift manufacturer makes valves and hose routing accessories, but the parts and labor to install can be prohibitively expensive. Other ways include adding a solenoid valve in conjunction with a hose or cable reel that diverts oil flow from an existing function. However, hose and cable reels can block the operator's view and are problematic, easily damaged. The Ditto Valve kit uses a solenoid valve and special HydWire hoses, in which the wire reinforcing braid doubles as an electrical conduit. These hoses replace those already on the forklift, nesting in the original reeving, keeping it safe from damage and out of the operators field of vision.
A forklift truck. Fork lift safety
Forklift safety is subject to a variety of standards world wide. The most important standard is the ANSI B56—of which stewardship has now been passed from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation after multi-year negotiations. ITSDF is a non-profit organization whose only purpose is the promulgation and modernization of the B56 standard.
Other forklift safety standards have been implemented in the United States by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and in the United Kingdom by the Health and Safety Executive.
In many countries forklift truck operators must be trained and certified to operate forklift trucks. Certification may be required for each individual class of lift that an operator would use.
Health care providers should not recommend that workers who drive or use heavy equipment such as forklifts treat chronic or acute pain with opioids.Workplaces which manage workers who perform safety-sensitive operations should assign workers to less sensitive duties for so long as those workers are treated by their physician with opioids.
Palletized load system
The Palletized Load System (PLS) is a logistics supply program that entered service in the United States Army in 1993. It performs line haul (long distance), local haul (short distance), unit resupply, and other missions in the tactical environment to support modernized and highly mobile combat units. It provides rapid movement of combat configured loads of ammunition and all classes of supply, shelters and containers.
The system consists of a prime mover truck (the "tractor") with an integral self-loading and unloading capability, a payload trailer (M1076), and demountable cargo beds, referred to as flatracks. The PLS prime mover truck carries its payloads on its demountable flatrack cargo beds, or inside 8×8×20 foot International Organization for Standardization (ISO) intermodal containers, or shelters. The PLS prime mover truck comes in two mission-oriented configurations: the M1074 and the M1075. The M1074 is equipped with a variable reach Material Handling Crane (MHC) to support forward-deployed artillery units. The M1075, without MHC, is used in conjunction with the M1076 trailer in support of transportation line haul missions. The M1076 trailer, capable of carrying payloads up to 16.5 short tons, is equipped with a flatrack that is interchangeable between truck and trailer. The tractor and trailer form a self-contained system that loads and unloads its cargo without the need for forklifts or other material handling equipment. Without leaving the cab, the driver can load or unload the truck in less than one minute, and both truck and trailer in less than five minutes.
A pallet /ˈpælɨt/, sometimes inaccurately called a skid (a skid has no bottom deck boards), is a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift,pallet jack, front loader, work saver or other jacking device. A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies. Goods or shipping containersare often placed on a pallet secured with strapping, stretch wrap or shrink wrap and shipped. Since its invention in the twentieth century, its use has dramatically supplanted older forms of crating like the wooden box and the wooden barrel, as it works well with modern packaging like cardboard boxes and Intermodal containers commonly used for bulk shipping.
While most pallets are wooden, pallets can also be made of plastic, metal, paper, andrecycled materials. Each material has advantages and disadvantages relative to the others.
Although pallets come in all manner of sizes and configurations, all pallets fall into two very broad categories: "stringer" pallets and "block" pallets. Various software packages exist to assist the pallet maker in designing an appropriate pallet for a specific load, and to evaluate wood options to reduce costs.
Stringer pallets use a frame of three or more parallel pieces of timber (called stringers). The top deckboards are then affixed to the stringers to create the pallet structure. Stringer pallets can have a notch cut into them allowing "four-way" entry.
Block pallets are typically stronger than stringer pallets. Block pallets utilize both parallel and perpendicular stringers to better facilitate efficient handling. A block pallet is also known as a "four-way" pallet, since a pallet-jack may be used from any side to move it.
Perimeter base pallet
All stringer and some block pallets have "unidirectional bases," i.e. bottom boards oriented in one direction. While automated handling equipment can be designed for this, often it can operate faster and more effectively if the bottom edges of a pallet have bottom boards oriented in both directions. For example, it may not need to turn a pallet to rack it, and operation is less sensitive to pallet orientation.
The least expensive way to improve a pallet is usually to specify better nails. With non-wood pallets, a controlled coefficient of friction is often helpful to prevent the pallet from slipping from forks and racks. Stiffer pallets are more durable, and are handled more easily by automated equipment. If a pallet does not need to be lifted from all four sides, two-way pallets with unnotched stringers may be used, with the additional benefits of added rigidity and strength. Specifying tolerances on flatness and water content may help the supplier meet target requirements. Inspection of pallets, whether in person or by a third-party (such as "SPEQ" inspected pallets) offer additional assurance of quality.
The cheapest pallets are made of softwood and are often considered expendable, to be discarded as trash along with other wrapping elements, at the end of the trip. These pallets are simple stringer pallets, and liftable from two sides.
Slightly more complex hardwood block pallets, plastic pallets and metal pallets can be lifted from all four sides. These costlier pallets usually require a deposit and are returned to the sender or resold as used. Many "four way" pallets are color-coded according to the loads they can bear, and other attributes.
Wooden pallet construction specifications can depend on the pallet's intended use: general, FDA, storage, chemical, export; the expected load weight; type of wood desired: recycled, hard, soft, kiln dried or combo (new & recycle); and even the type of fasteners desired to hold the pallet together: staples or nails.
Paper pallets, also referred to as "ecopallets", are often used for light loads, but engineered paper pallets are increasingly used for loads that compare with wood. Paper pallets are also used where recycling and easy disposal is important. New designs of ecopallets have been made from just two flat pieces of corrugated board (no glue/staples) and weigh just 4.5 kg (9.9 lb), offering dramatic freight savings. Ecopallets are also ISPM 15 exempt, negating fumigation and barrier "slip" sheets. They are cleaner, safer, and provide a cost-saving eco-friendly alternative to other pallet materials. Some engineered Corrugated pallets offer a significant reduced height, providing substantial freight cost reduction. Low profile hand pallet trucks allow picking up pallets as low as 25 mm.
Plastic pallets are often made of new HDPE or recycled PET (drink bottles). They are usually extremely durable, lasting for a hundred trips or more,and resist weathering, rot, chemicals and corrosion. They often stack. Plastic pallets are exempt by inspection for biosafety concerns, and easily sanitize for international shipping. HDPE is impervious to most acids and toxic chemicals clean from them more easily. Some plastic pallets can collapse from plastic creep if used to store heavy loads for long periods. Plastic pallets cannot easily be repaired, and can be ten times as expensive as hardwood, so they are often used by logistics service providers who can profit from their durability and stackability. The large supply chains have increased the use of plastic pallets as many organisations seek to reduce costs through waste, transport and health & safety. Pallets and dolly combined for example the Pally eliminate pallet instability and the need for additional lifting equipment, but also create valuable space in busy operating environments and deliver significant time and cost savings by reducing supply chain handling.Plastics' reusability has contributed to an increase in usage of plastic pallets.
Steel pallets are strong and are used for heavy loads, high-stacking loads, long term dry storage, and loads moved by abusive logistic systems. They are often used for military ammunition.Metal pallets make up less than 1% of the market. Materials include carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Of these, carbon steel offers excellent durability at the lowest cost. Stainless steel doesn’t require a paint coating, and is preferred for such applications as clean room environments. Aluminum offers the durability of steel at a lighter weight. Carbon steel units are expensive compared to wood, and stainless and aluminum cost about 2-3 times that of carbon steel. Long term costs, however, can be lower than wood. General advantages of metal pallets are high strength and stiffness, excellent durability, bug free, no splinters, sanitary, and recyclable. Disadvantages include a higher initial price, significant weight, low friction, and susceptibility to rusting (carbon steel). Metal is primarily used in captive or closed loop environments where durability and product protection are key performance requirements. Metal units today are increasingly price competitive and lighter in weight. Primary industries that use metal pallets include automotive, pharmaceutical, lawn tractors, motorcycles, and tires.
Aluminum pallets are stronger than wood or plastic, lighter than steel, and resist weather, rotting, plastic creep and corrosion. They are sometimes used for air-freight, long-term outdoor or at-sea storage, or military transport.
Old and discarded wooden pallets can be used in pallet crafts and various furniture pieces.
Discarded wooden pallets should not be used for firewood or crafts unless it has been determined that the wood in these pallets has not been treated with wood preservatives, fungicides and/or pesticides. Various pyrethrins and propiconazole are common treatments for wooden pallets. In addition, imported palletized goods are routinely fumigated with highly toxic pesticides. During use, harmful materials or chemicals also may spill on the pallet wood and be absorbed.
Craft publications have advised readers to use pallets to build a skateboarding obstacle called a manual pad, barricades during amateur paintball games, or other sport-related items. Other publications have suggested using pallet wood for small animal cages or fences. Pallet wood has been recycled for use as furniture wood by at least one company.
The acoustic guitar maker Taylor Guitars once produced a high quality "pallet guitar" made from pallet wood, in order to demonstrate the importance of construction technique versus expensive exotic woods.
I-Beam Design, an architecture and interior design firm based in New York, NY won an award in a 1999 competition sponsored byArchitecture for Humanity for their submission of “The Pallet House”, a design solution to house the returning refugees of Kosovo. Full-scale prototypes of The Pallet House were featured in the "Casa per Tutti" Exhibit at the Milan Triennale and the Earth Awards in HRH Prince Charles’ Royal Gardens as part of The Prince’s Charities Foundation’s Conference on a Sustainable Future organized in collaboration with IBM and The Financial Times. The Pallet House is an affordable transitional home that can become permanent over time. It can be used as refugee housing or as affordable housing as well. Due to the nature of the Pallet module, the wall cavity can be insulated with a variety of materials that are accessible to the user.
The two Austrian students Andreas Claus Schnetzer and Gregor Pils from the University of Vienna created a home entitled Pallet house and as the name suggests, reused pallets to form a modular, energy efficient and affordable housing. The idea was born in 2008 during a competition and the Pallet house has been exhibited in several European cities including Venice, Vienna, Linz and Grenoble. It could become a clever approach to low income housing.
Denver, Colorado will be host to an Inaugural Pallet-Fest on October 11 & 12.The festival will showcase the versatility of materials usually considered waste and will include large art structures made with upcycled materials, a pallet maze, a pallet amphitheater with live musical performances, sustainable living demonstrations, an upcycled fashion show, vendors and artists selling upcycled goods, a parkour course and more. This event was crowdfunded and organized by Upcycle Events.
Items made from pallet wood are likely to be durable and demonstrate good weather resistance due to these treatments. However, close contact with pallet wood or inhalation of dusts from sanding or sawing can be a source of exposure to pesticide and fungicide chemicals. It is likely that the January, 2010 recall of Johnson and Johnson Tylenol[TM] and other drugs was due to their being stored on wooden pallets that had been treated with the fungicide/pesticide 2,4,6-tribromophenol. This chemical can be degraded by molds to produce 2,4,6-tribromoanisole whose strong, musty odor caused consumers to complain. There is no acute or chronic health data on 2,4,6-tribromoanisole, but it is believed that the contaminated drugs caused nausea and other health effects in some people.
Both wood and plastic pallets are possible fire hazards. The National Fire Protection Association requires that both types "shall be stored outside or in a detached structure" unless protected by fire sprinklers.
Manual pallet jacks have existed since at least 1918.Early types lifted the forks and load only by mechanical linkages. More modern type uses a hand pumped hydraulic jack to lift.
Manual pallet jack
A manual pallet jack is a hand-powered jack. Most commonly seen in retail and personal warehousing operations.
Powered pallet jack
Powered pallet jacks,also known as electric pallet trucks, walkies, single or double pallet jacks, or power jack, are motorized to allow lifting and moving of heavier and stacked pallets. Some contain a platform for the user to stand while moving pallets. The powered pallet jack is generally moved by a throttle on the handle to move forward or in reverse and steered by swinging the handle in the intended direction. Some contain a type of dead man's switch rather than a brake to stop the machine should the user need to stop quickly or leave the machine while it is in use. Others use a system known as "plugging" where in the driver turns the throttle from forward to reverse (or vice versa) to slow and stop the machine, as the dead man's switch is used in emergencies only.
· Reversible pallets cannot be used.
· Double-faced non-reversible pallets cannot have deck-boards where the front wheels extend to the floor.
· Enables only two-way entry into a four-way notched-stringer pallet, because the forks cannot be inserted into the notches.
The jack is steered by a 'tiller' like lever that also acts as the pump handle for raising the jack. A small handle on the tiller releases the hydraulic fluid, causing the forks to lower. The front wheels inside the end of the forks are mounted on levers attached to linkages that go to levers attached to the jack cylinder. As the hydraulic jack at the 'tiller' end is raised, the links force the wheels down, raising the forks vertically above the front wheels, raising the load upward until it clears the floor. The pallet is only lifted enough to clear the floor for subsequent travel. Oftentimes, pallet jacks are used to move and organize pallets inside a trailer, especially when there is no forklift truck access or availability
An intermodal container