If you have ever seen a carpet roll or a large piece of coiled steel, you may have asked yourself, "How in the world did they lift that?!" Unless you use the right forklift attachment, it probably wasn't easy.
Most businesses that deal with these types of loads use specialized equipment to handle them safely, such as coil-lifting rams or carpet poles. Both are unique forklift attachments designed to perform a very specific job.
Coil-Lifting Rams vs Carpet Poles
Coil-lifting ram forklift attachments are long poles that can be attached to either the mast (carriage mount) or the forks (fork mount) of a lift truck.
The cylinder of the pole is inserted into the hole in the center of the load, then the forklift's hydraulics lift it so that it can be transported safely and efficiently to where it needs to go.
A carpet pole is designed exclusively for use with rolled carpet but works essentially the exact same way.
Some coil-lifting rams and carpet poles are adjustable, meaning they have a telescoping pole that can either extended or retracted depending on the size of the load to be lifted.
Companies that manufacture steel, textiles, and other rolled materials generally cut them according to standard sizes. So coil-lifting rams and carpet poles usually come in sizes that match these standards. Specifically, they are available in 108 inches, 120 inches, and 144 inches, depending on how they are to be used.
Weight capacity also can vary. Smaller coil-lifting rams and carpet poles top out at 1,800 pounds while larger capacity models can lift up to 2,500 pounds or even more.
The attachments themselves also are relatively heavy. Fork mounted rams can weigh anywhere from 389 to about 528 pounds. Carriage mounted attachments are a little lighter, generally in the 287- to 478-pound range.
Not Going Anywhere
Once they are attached to the forklift, they can't easily fall off. Fork mounted rams use fork pockets on 24-inch centers. Most coil-fitting rams and carpet poles also have a safety chain that secures it to the forklift "just in case".
Carriage mounted rams have Class II or Class III mounts, as well as a spring-loaded locking pin that secures the pole to the carriage quite firmly.
When you need to use coiled steel, carpet rolls, or other similarly shaped loads, just about the only way to do it safely is to use the proper equipment, such as fork-mounted or carriage-mounted carpet poles or coil-fitting rams.