Types of Forklift Boom Attachments and Their Uses

Forklift boom attachments transform a common lift truck into a mobile crane.
(Courtesy: Monica Zou at flickr.com)

Forklift booms are one of the most commonly used forklift attachments. But within the category of forklift booms, there actually are a number of different types, each of which has its owns specialized use and application.

When in the market for a forklift boom, it’s important to know what you need and how you plan to use it.

Sleeve or Mast Boom Attachments

While there are many different types of forklift boom attachments, they all can be divided into two categories: Those that slip over the forklift’s existing forks and those that attach directly to the forklift mast.

The forks on most forklifts can be removed quite easily. Various attachments can then be bolted on to the forklift’s mast directly, providing more power and stability while still offering the ability to lift up and down and, in some cases, side to side.

Carriage job booms are an example of a forklift boom attachments that attaches directly to the mast. Generally, boom attachments that fit onto the mast offer a higher lifting capacity because the center of gravity is lower.

Other forklift booms feature sleeves that slip easily over the vehicle’s existing forks. Typically, these are held in place by means of a bolt or screw that secures the attachment to the fork.

Forklift Extension Booms

Forklift booms can be either fixed length or telescoping.

As the name implies, fixed length forklift boom attachments come in one size that can’t be modified during use. These are ideal for simple lifting and moving jobs that don’t require a lot of manipulation.

Extension booms, or telescoping booms, can be longer or shorter as the job requires. Many feature hydraulics that can be controlled by the operator from the forklift’s control panel. Others may be manual, meaning the operator needs to get out and adjust the length of the boom by hand depending on the job.

Pivoting Forklift Boom Attachments

Another type of forklift boom features a pivot point at its base that allows the operator to move the boom from side to side as well as up and down. When combined with an extension boom, it’s obvious that the operator has a lot more control over where and how the payload can be placed by the forklift.

The type of forklift boom attachment you need depends on the types of jobs you intend to use it for. But you can be sure that whatever the job at hand, there’s a boom attachment for you.

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