Forklift Attachments: Types, Brands, and Uses

Forklifts are essential machinery in warehouses, construction sites, and various industrial settings, renowned for their ability to lift, move, and transport heavy loads with ease. Enhancing their versatility and efficiency are a wide range of attachments designed to handle specific tasks and materials. From fork extensions and side shifters to bale clamps and drum handlers, these attachments enable forklifts to perform specialized functions, such as rotating, gripping, and extending reach. By choosing the right attachments, businesses can significantly boost productivity, ensure safer operations, and adapt to diverse material handling needs.

What can forklifts be used for?

Forklifts are versatile pieces of equipment widely used across various industries for numerous applications. In warehouses and distribution centers, forklifts are essential for loading and unloading goods from trucks and shipping containers, as well as transporting materials within the facility. They are also used for stacking and unstacking pallets, optimizing storage space, and for order picking to ensure quick and accurate retrieval of products. In construction, forklifts transport materials like bricks, steel beams, and concrete blocks, aiding in building processes. Specialized forklifts handle shipping containers in ports and shipping yards, while others designed for cold storage environments move goods in refrigerated warehouses, ensuring safe handling of perishable items. In agricultural settings, forklifts move produce, bales of hay, and farming equipment, facilitating efficient farming operations. Retail environments benefit from forklifts by managing inventory and moving products between storage areas and sales floors. Additionally, forklifts assist in event setups by moving heavy staging, lighting, and sound equipment, and in the automotive industry, they transport car parts, engines, and other heavy components. In mining, forklifts transport mined materials and equipment, demonstrating their adaptability and importance across diverse industrial and commercial applications.

What are the different types of forklift attachments?

Forklift attachments come in a variety of types, each designed to perform specific tasks and enhance the versatility of forklifts. Here are some common types of forklift attachments:

Fork Extensions: Extend the length of the forklift’s forks to handle longer loads safely.

Side Shifters: Allow the forks to move left and right, enabling precise positioning without moving the entire forklift.

Rotators: Enable the forks to rotate, making it easier to dump or invert loads.


  • Bale Clamps: Handle non-palletized loads such as bales of paper, cotton, or textiles.
  • Carton Clamps: Ideal for handling cartons, appliances, and other boxed goods without pallets.
  • Drum Clamps: Specifically designed to lift and transport drums.
  • Jibs and Booms: Convert a forklift into a mobile crane to lift and transport irregularly shaped or heavy loads.

Fork Positioners: Adjust the distance between the forks to handle different pallet sizes without leaving the cab.

Multiple Load Handlers: Allow the forklift to carry multiple pallets at once, increasing efficiency in high-volume operations.

Paper Roll Clamps: Designed to handle large rolls of paper without damaging them.

Push/Pull Attachments: Allow for the handling of slip sheets instead of pallets, reducing the need for pallets and saving space.

Layer Pickers: Used in distribution centers to pick multiple layers of products at once, speeding up order fulfillment.

Snow Plows: Attach to the forklift to clear snow from driveways and pathways in industrial settings.

Load Extenders: Provide extra reach to handle loads that are set back on shelves or in hard-to-reach areas.

Tilting Carriages: Allow the forks to tilt forward or backward, aiding in the precise placement of loads and dumping operations.

By selecting the appropriate attachments, businesses can significantly enhance the functionality and efficiency of their forklifts, tailor them to specific operational needs, and ensure safer and more effective material handling.

How do I know which type of forklift attachment is best for my needs?

Choosing the right forklift attachment depends on your specific operational needs and the types of materials you handle. Start by evaluating the nature of your loads, such as their weight, size, shape, and how often they need to be moved. Consider the tasks you perform regularly, like lifting, rotating, or stacking, and the environment in which you operate, whether it’s a warehouse, construction site, or cold storage. Consulting with attachment manufacturers and suppliers can provide insights into specialized options tailored to your requirements. Ensuring compatibility with your forklift model and focusing on safety and efficiency will help you select the most suitable attachment for your operations.

Popular Forklift Attachments Manufacturers

Several manufacturers are well-known for producing high-quality forklift attachments. These companies are recognized for their innovation, reliability, and extensive range of products designed to enhance the functionality of forklifts. Here are some popular forklift attachment manufacturers:

Cascade Corporation: Cascade is one of the leading manufacturers of forklift attachments, forks, and accessories. They offer a wide range of products, including clamps, fork positioners, and rotators, known for their durability and performance.

Bolzoni Auramo: Bolzoni Auramo is a global provider of forklift attachments and material handling solutions. They specialize in attachments for various industries, including paper handling, recycling, and logistics.

Long Reach by Fork-Co: Long Reach is a brand under Fork-Co that produces a wide range of forklift attachments, such as fork extensions, booms, and drum handlers. They are known for their robust and versatile solutions.

Rightline Equipment: Rightline Equipment provides a variety of forklift attachments, including fork positioners, paper roll clamps, and bale clamps. They focus on delivering high-quality, reliable products to enhance forklift performance.

Brudi by WTP Forklift Attachments: Brudi, part of WTP, specializes in the design and manufacturing of innovative forklift attachments, including push/pull attachments, side shifters, and multi-pallet handlers.

Loron: Loron is known for its high-quality, custom forklift attachments, including fork positioners, rotators, and special application clamps. They are dedicated to providing innovative solutions tailored to meet specific material handling needs.

Where Can I Buy Forklift Attachments?

Forklift attachments can be purchased through online marketplaces like FleetNow, heavy equipment dealers like ACE Attachments, or through local dealers which can be found through manufacturers’ websites.

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