6 Common Forklift Attachments: Which is the Best Fit?

September 18, 2020

Warehouse lift with forklift accessories that shift the tines horizontally

Forklift attachments make it possible to use machinery for a variety of applications. Handling different types of materials requires different forklift accessories. Sometimes, a task requires more than the standard pallet forks.

Choose the right forklift attachment for your equipment to increase efficiency. Using the proper forklift lifting attachment will also help reduce load handling time.

Transport materials with speed and safety. Learn more about the different types of forklift attachments to find the best fit for your needs.

Forklift Accessories

There are tons of options available when it comes to forklift accessories. Consider the weight and lift height of your average load. Determine how you want to handle that load.

Think about how many hydraulic functions it will take to move the load. Will operators need extra training to use the attachment? These are all things to address before choosing a forklift attachment.

Forklift Fork Extensions

Forklift fork extensions increase the length of each tine. This gives operators the ability to carry long or oddly-shaped loads. These attachments add stability to lifting applications and avoid bent forks. Use forklift fork extensions to reduce the risk of damaging the load.

Different forklift fork extensions exist for different applications. Select extenders that match the width of the forks. The inside width of the forklift attachment should not exceed the width of the fork by more than half of an inch. Also, the center of any load should not exceed 50% of the length of the forklift fork extension. Refer to OSHA’s guidelines to ensure proper operation.


Sideshifters are the most common type of attachment. Many standard forklifts even come with these. Sideshifters allow the operator to shift both forks horizontally. Use this attachment to align forks and pallets without moving the entire machine.

Sideshifters are especially ideal for crowded warehouses with narrow rack shelving.

Fork Positioner

Fork positioners are similar to sideshifters. These forklift attachments also move each tine side to side. The difference is that a fork positioner can move each tine closer together or further apart. In contrast, sideshifters move both tines together, maintaining the distance between them.

Use a fork positioner for accurate pallet and equipment alignment. Increase the speed and efficiency of your operation. Invest in a fork positioner to reduce the handling time of various-sized loads.

Push-Pull Attachment

A push-pull attachment is ideal for stacking materials without pallets. This forklift attachment uses a faceplate and gripper to pull goods onto a slip sheet. Then, it pushes the load off the sheet once it has reached its destination. A push-pull attachment is a fit for industries that handle bagged seed, packaged dairy, corrugated boxes, or other stacked goods.

Use a push-pull attachment to reduce shipping and maintenance costs. Plus, you’ll save storage space by eliminating the need for wooden pallets. Transfer stacked materials with a push-pull attachment.

Forklift Clamp

A forklift clamp grabs materials from the sides or the top and bottom. Many different industries use these tools to handle oddly-shaped loads. Common materials include textiles, appliances, paper, and recycling.

There are a variety of forklift clamp types available. Some popular ones are roll clamps, drum clamps, and bale clamps, to name a few. Consider your average load before choosing a forklift clamp for your equipment.

Forklift Rotator

A forklift rotator allows both tines to rotate 360-degrees in either direction. This gives the operator the ability to dump or reposition lopsided pallets. Forklift rotators can also transfer materials from one handling container to another.

The forklift rotator attaches to a standard forklift mast in place of the standard carriage and tines. Hydraulics allow this attachment to move seamlessly on the mast. These forklift accessories are often found in food processing, agriculture, construction, and general manufacturing industries.

Counterbalance forklift with a forklift clamp unloading a semi-truck

Forklift Lifting Attachment

Now you know more about the various forklift accessories, you might have a better idea of what you need. Each attachment has unique capabilities and uses. Be sure to consider your typical load before choosing a forklift lifting attachment.

Choosing the right forklift lifting attachment for your equipment is critical. Using the wrong forklift attachments can damage your machinery and compromise safety.

To get the equipment you need, turn to Forklift Inventory. Find the right machinery for any job in minutes. Browse the largest inventory of new and used forklifts for sale nationwide. Compare pricing and information at no cost. Buy equipment with confidence.

Find the Best Deal on Equipment in Your Area.

Compare Forklift Prices

Forklift Inventory has the largest online selection of forklifts, aerial lifts and construction forklifts. Compare new and used forklifts to get the lowest prices available.


Countries Served

Contact Us


*Savings claims are based on used forklift prices when compared to new inventory prices. Savings is not guaranteed and is subject to change.