Drum Attachments March to the Tune of a Different Drummer

griperWhen customers say they need a drum attachment for their forklift, the first question that’s usually asked is, “What do you need it for?”

The question isn’t meant to be sarcastic, it’s intended to clarify which of the many types of forklift drum attachments the customer actually needs.

Drums are commonly used in many different types of industries for various types of liquid and solid products, ranging from motor oil to ball bearings. Given their cylindrical shape and often heavy weight, drums are awkward to lift with a forklift using just traditional pallets.

They generally require the use of specialized forklift attachments.

Size and Quantity Matters

The type of forklift drum attachment you need will depend on the sizes and number of the drums you plan to handle. For example, a multi-purpose drum lift is used to lift single drums using either a collar or a series of ropes or ties that attach to the cylinder ringing the top of the drum.

Horizontal drum carriers are made to lift a single drum by picking up a drum that is sitting on its side from the top.

Among the most common type of forklift drum attachments are fork-mounted  truck lifters, which use the vehicle’s hydraulics to pinch a single drum between to tines so that it can be transported safely to its intended location. These types of attachments are also sometimes called drum grippers.

Double drum grippers can lift two drums simultaneously, but other types can carry even more.

Lifts 18 Kegs at Once

Some forklift drum attachments are designed to lift multiple drums or barrels simultaneously. For example, the owners of Camerons Brewery in Hartlepool, England, recently bought specialized forklift drum attachments that have the capacity to live 18 kegs of beer at the same time and load them onto the side of waiting delivery trucks.

Standard drum handlers are designed to lift 55-gallon drum containers, the most commonly used size in industrial applications. But you also can get models that are designed to lift smaller or larger capacity drums.

Forklift drum attachments are used to lift, stack, move, weigh, pour and rack drums and barrels. They typically are made of heavy duty materials — such as steel or aluminum — and feature a smooth coating so that they don’t accidentally scratch or puncture the drums they carry.

Mobile Drum Handlers

If you don’t have a forklift, you still can transport a drum by a mobile drum handler. This piece of equipment has built-in wheels that allow you to maneuver the drum anywhere you like. They often are made of stainless steel and feature wide ripping jaws that can be secured to the top of standard drums.

Mobile drum handlers come in manual and hydraulic-powered versions. Examples of mobile drum handlers include drum dollies, palletizers, vertical lift pourer, and spotters.

Both forklift drum attachments and mobile drum handlers offer a far better way to move drums than the unsafe and cumbersome old-fashioned way: Tipping the drum and carefully rolling it to where you want it to go.

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