Forklift Attachments Series: Where Would We be Without the Side Shift?

Forklifts have come a long way since the first efforts combining horizontal and vertical movement staring back in 1887. Even with all the advancements in technology from a safety and productivity standpoint, there are still more ways to save time, money, and increase worker safety when it comes efficiently running your business.

Here at The Forklift Pro, we don’t just carry forklifts. One of our manufacturing partners, Rightline Equipment, supplies us with lift truck attachments for many different applications. Today we’re covering a few benefits of the side shift.

Side shifters allow forklift operators to safely and effectively shift a load from side to side. This sounds really simple, but this capability ensures more accurate placement of loads and helps to reduce the overall handling time of moving projects. Fortunately, this useful tool is available to fit nearly all makes and models of used forklifts.

Common Uses of Side Shifts

According to Mitsubishi Forklift Briefing, “Businesses could ‘save billions’ by fitting attachments to their forklift trucks, according to materials handling experts.” When it comes to the side shifter applications, nothing could be more true. For today’s modern forklift, Class II and Class III carriages are usually equipped with one already, but if yours isn’t, this handy attachment allows:

  • Movement of loads in tight spaces without moving the whole truck
  • Precision of movement with loads
  • Accurate alignment with pallets
  • Reduced damage to pallets, loads and racking

It’s important to note though that when you have to attach a side shifter to a forklift, this will reduce the overall load capacity of the truck because:

  • The tool ads weight to the equipment
  • The load center is shifted outward

Even with these changes in load ability, this particular attachment provides a whole host of benefits.

Productivity and Savings

According to Carlo Fallarini, sales and marketing director of Bolzoni Auramo, “Some truck owners have reported fuel savings of as much as 50% following introduction of a side-shift.” Why such a huge price benefit? Increased productivity means better work is accomplished in a shorter amount of time. With this attachment fuel consumption is reduced because less truck movement is needed. During daily operations of loading and unloading, time spent on this task is much quicker. An after-market side shifter can also be installed to save the cost of purchasing a newer lift truck, adding new life to your equipment and saving on fuel costs. If you’re wondering what the return on investment could be with this attachment, Cascade Corporation has a great worksheet you can fill out here.

Side Shift Safety

We couldn’t talk about the benefits of this attachment without delving a little into increased workplace safety! With more efficient work flow and less overall movement, this reduces risk to pedestrians and helps to protect racking and products.

As with any new equipment purchase, it’s important for you to asses your needs and make sure what you’re looking for is the right fit. If you’re wanting to find out more about the benefits of this great forklift tool, then contact us today. We’re ready and waiting to help!