Attachments 'save billions' for business
Re-think your forklift truck's spec to streamline your costs
Businesses could "save billions" by fitting attachments to their forklift trucks, according to materials handling experts. In one European industry, for example, businesses are - on average - believed to be saving as much as 600,000 Euros each in stock damage alone.
We've spoken Carlo Fallarini, sales and marketing director of Bolzoni Auramo, one of the world's leading supplier of forklift attachments, to find out more about how attachments could help your business.
He explains, "For many forklift users out there, the best time to consider the world of attachments is when the time comes to replace your truck.
"While it's tempting to simply stick with what you (and your drivers) know, there are three key benefits associated with attachments which can't be ignored."
3 ways attachments can benefit your operations
1) Fuel savingsSide shifters reduce the number of truck movements required.Forklift attachments allow you to maximise fuel efficiency by reducing the number of movements required to complete a task. A truck fitted with a side shift, for example, offers a driver flexibility in placing a load by allowing the fork carriage to slide left and right.... without the need for time and fuel wasting manoeuvres," explains Carlo. Even though an attachment requires a small amount of additional fuel for its operation, some truck owners have reported fuel savings of as much as 50% following introduction of a side-shift.
2) Raised productivity[Multi-fork positioners] Multi-fork positioners allow drivers to handle multiple pallets. When applied properly to a lift truck, attachments reduce handling times and substantially increase the amount of work that can get done in the course of a working day, says Carlo. He explains: "In fast-paced manufacturing and distribution businesses, trucks are often fitted with multi-fork positioners. These feature hydraulically-operated and spreadable forks which allow your driver to handle several pallets at the same time."
3) Enhanced safetyWorking at height without special equipment exposes employees to unnecessary risk. Carefully chosen attachments increase workplace safety, allowing your staff to work in confidence, comments Carlo. Working at height is one area where attachments are not just ‘nice to have'...they are absolutely essential. In a recent case in Wales, a young worker suffered a fractured hip following a fall from a makeshift platform that was created by a colleague from a wooden pallet and wire. In court, his employers were found guilty of breaching regulations and fined £20000. Accidents such as this can be avoided by using specially designed forklift cages or working platforms. This type of attachment is usually big enough to comfortably hold two workers and their equipment in safely.
Assess the benefits
Book an application review to get advice on what is best for your site. Your dealer will look at factors affecting the load, such as dimensions and stability. Special attention will be given to your operating environment, including any challenging conditions, such as corrosion, gradients or uneven working surfaces.
Before making final recommendations, a good forklift dealer will weigh up the economic benefits of introducing an attachment to ensure that it will benefit your application and your business.
- Action points
- Attachments reduce your forklift's nominal load rating, so your truck's capacity will need to be derated by an experienced dealer or attachments specialist. You will also need to replace your truck's plate.
- You are legally obligated to ensure that your forklift truck's attachment carries a valid Report of Thorough Examination.
- Your drivers may require additional training on the correct use and practice of the attachment. This shouldn't take very long and may be included within the cost of the attachment.
- Fingertip hydraulic controls deliver your drivers precise control and the ultimate in driver ergonomics. Pioneered by Mitsubishi, this is fitted as standard to most Mitsubishi models and an option on others.
- Risk assessments and daily checks will need to include your new attachment.