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With nothing in it, a 55 gallon steel drum weighs approximately 44 pounds. Filled with oil or a similar substance, that weight increases to 500 pounds or higher. That’s far too heavy to be moved by workers using a hand truck or other manual equipment.
Yet a forklift drum attachment can easily lift a full 55 gallon container and move it to wherever it belongs quickly and easily. Plus, different types of forklift drum attachments can be used for different tasks.
Simplifies the Task of Lifting Heavy Drums
A standard drum lifter connects uses a clamp to connect with the top of the drum. The clamp is attached to a sheath that fits easily over the prongs of the forklift, supporting the base of the drum and providing enough lift to pick up the heavy drum. Standard forklift drum lifters typically come in single-drum or double-drum options. A double-drum lift will lift two drums side by side.
A second type of forklift drum lifter uses a side clamp to grasp the drum in the same way you would grab a beer can with your hand. Like the standard drum lifter, the clamp forklift drum lifter has a sheath that fits over the forklift’s tines. When the clamp is pushed against the drum by moving the forklift forward, the handles close and grip the drum, locking under the rolling hoop when the drum is raised.
To release a clamp forklift drum lifter, you simply lower the drum to the ground and reverse the forklift. Clamp forklift drum lifters also come in both single and double drum models.
Providing Additional Security
If extra security is needed, a third type of forklift drum lifter comes with a clamp that can be sealed around the drum using an eccentric lock. A second safety catch helps insure against accidental release. But unlike the other types of forklift drum lifters, this model requires the operator to exit the vehicle to secure and unsecure the safety lock.
Lifting drums is not the only job that can be performed by a forklift drum lifter. Some models are designed to rotate the drum vertically either partially or completely. This is helpful for tipping a drum in order to empty it of its contents. Most models allow the operator to rotate the drum 360 degrees along the vertical parameter.
A second type of forklift drum lifter with a rotator appliance includes a hand chain that lets the operator rotate the drum manually when it is lifted higher than the chest height of the operator, rather than using on-board equipment.
Lifting Less Durable Plastic Drums
When plastic barrels are being used, specialized forklift drum lifters must be incorporated. These include optional cradles that can be fitted onto existing forklift drum lifters so as not to damage the less durable plastic barrel. Many cradles come with an optional chain combination belly strap to hold the drum or barrel firmly in position.
Forklift drum attachments can make the difficult task of moving heavy 55 gallon drums easier and more efficient while reducing the risk of worker injury or accident