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A neophyte in forklift operation is probably not aware of all the accessories available that help make his job more efficient. However, those who have operated lifts for years have learned the skills of driving the machine, the nuances of using the lift precisely to maneuver heavy loads of SKUs to the docks for shipping, and they also know about accessories that allow a forklift to be more productive.
It is these workers who warehouse managers should consult before buying new or replacement forklift accessories. Who else will know better what accessories should be purchased and what accessories should be ignored?
Managers should consult forklift operators on such things as how forklifts are being used, what accessories are needed to make the operation of a forklift easier and more efficient, and what accessories can help take the forklift beyond its common job of lifting and moving heavy items.
Beyond lifting and carrying heavy items forklifts can also be used to scoop up and dump smaller items, clean the warehouse floor, and safely lift people up to gather items from high places.
If you need a forklift to gather up and dump items, then you may want to consider purchasing a forklift hopper. Designed to attach on to the front of a lift, a hopper is a large basket that can be filled with smaller items the forklift operator gathers during his task of lifting and moving heavier SKUs. The smaller items can be stored in the hopper until a number of orders are fulfilled and then carried to a specific location where they are dumped. The add-on piece can enhance productivity because two jobs can be achieved during one assignment. Many hoppers are made of plastic, which can crack due to the weight of a load or through wear and tear over time. So it may become necessary to replace them.
It may sound odd to some that a mighty machine like a forklift can be used as a cleaning tool. However, there are sweeping attachments that make a lift into one awesome broom. A forklift broom is designed to attach to the front of the lift and sweeps the floor as the lift is driven forward. It certainly beats having 10 to 20 employees sweeping the floor with ordinary brooms.
Because of the nature of the beast, there is heavy temptation to use a forklift to lift a person up to the top of a storage unit to grab a heavy item or two. Such an action can be dangerous to attempt because the person being lifted can easily fall from the lift. However, there is an accessory called a maintenance platform that can be attached to the lift. These platforms include a safety cage with a non-slip floor. So the action can be performed safely.
It is not unusual for a forklift operator to get involved in inventory and shipping issues beyond his task of driving and lifting products from shelves. In today’s warehouse he is required to journey to specific storage units to pick specific SKUs to fulfill orders. Data provided by a computer can help him quickly find the proper storage unit and SKU. Accessory mounts allow the forklift driver to use a computer. The mounts permit the computer’s position to be adjusted for optimum viewing and they are rugged and designed to absorb the vibration of the lift so the computer is protected.
Of course, you want to be certain that forklift operators are driving their machines safely and there are obvious accessories that help. One such accessory is a forklift mirror. The mirrors use adhesive or a magnet to attach to the lift.
Be aware that some accessories like the maintenance platform and the hopper can affect the weight capacity of the forklift.
Finally, be certain that the accessories you select are compatible with the forklifts you are using.