Forklift fork extensions affect the load capacity, stability, and maneuverability of a forklift. As with all forklift attachments, it’s important for operators to use them in accordance with manufacturer and OSHA guidance. When used properly, fork extensions can facilitate the safe transport of large, bulky loads. In this blog, our equipment experts explain more about forklift fork extensions and how to use them safely.
Forklift Fork Extensions
Fork extenders are a type of forklift attachment used to temporarily extend the length of a lift truck’s forks. Forklift fork extensions are made of steel, come in a variety of lengths, and are installed directly on top of your factory-installed forks with an easy to secure safety restraint. The securing mechanism is typically a loop or pin.
OSHA Guidance for Forklift Fork Extensions
When used correctly forklift fork extensions can expand the versatility of your material handling equipment and improve warehouse safety by adding stability to bulky load handling. When used incorrectly, they can be very dangerous. These are a few safety rules to keep in mind when using fork extenders.
- 1) Forklift fork extensions must not exceed 1.5x the length of the fork.
- 2) Only use extenders that match the width of your forks.
- 3) Never exceed the load capacity printed on the fork extenders.
- 4) When picking up a load, the load center should never exceed 50% of the fork extension.
- 5) Per OSHA guidance, fork extenders must be properly secured so they cannot be accidentally dislodged.
- 6) Don’t forget to factor in the added weight of the fork extensions in your load capacity calculations.
Fork extensions are hard on your equipment and are not designed for everyday use. If you find that you need longer reach for daily use, we recommend investing in longer forks and having them professionally installed. Contact your local Papé Material Handling dealership for help finding the right forklift attachment for your specific equipment and application.