If you want maximum operating efficiency at your warehouse facility, then you need all the right tools for the tasks that your employees routinely perform. This applies to all warehouse activities, but it’s especially important when handling drums. The wrong piece of drum handling equipment can end up wasting your time, effectiveness and consequently – money.
It’s pretty common knowledge that the ultimate piece of warehouse equipment or machinery is the forklift. Forklifts are extremely popular, simply because they offer great versatility around the facility. That being said, when it comes to popular drum handling equipment pieces, forklift attachments are arguably the most sought-after. From drum rotators and manipulators, to drum grippers, grabs, and vertical drum lifters, there are various different drum handling attachments you can buy for your forklifts.
Drum Tippers and Rotators
As their name implies, drum rotators allow the forklift operator to pick up a drum, turn it and empty its contents if need be in a secure and controlled manner. In other words, your employees can manipulate the drums without coming in contact with them personally, which can be a safety hazard when dealing with toxic chemicals.
Drum tippers come in handy when the rotation of a high-quality gear box is attached to the forklift assembly. The gear box is manipulated by a crank, and the drum tipper allows the drum to be rotated 360° with little to no effort.
Vertical Drum Lifters
There are two basic types of drum lifters – ones that utilise bands and ones that utilise tongs. The ones with tongs allow the drum to be picked and lifted with through an overhead vertical position. This can be either done with an overhead crane hook or a forklift that has a yoke attached. This is a must-have accessory if you’re stacking drums vertically instead of on their sides.
Those with clamp bands on the other hand, are the most cost-effective option but they aren’t suitable for drums that aren’t really heavy. These work by being lowered over the head of vertically-stacked drums and tightening the band using a tightening handle that’s in front of the assembly. Similarly to the models that utilise tongs, the clamp band attachment can be used on forklifts that have a yoke attached.
The two most popular types of drum grabs are waist and lip grabs. Waist grabs, as their name implies grab the drum around the waist. This is one of the most common drum handling forklift attachments. On the other hand, lip drum grabs claw at the top of the assembly hook around the lip of the drum. There’s also a cushioned butt below the attachment for added stability. Both of these attachments are typically used with steel drums, as plastic ones may be weakened or damaged by the grab.