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What Is a Forklift Boom?

B. Turner
B. Turner

A forklift boom is a device used to extend the reach of a forklift. A standard forklift is equipped with two prongs, or tines, that can be used to lift and lower boxes and pallets. A boom attachment allows users to lift loads over a larger range, and provides a great deal of flexibility so that the forklift can be used for a wider range of applications. A forklift boom can be thought of as a combination between a traditional forklift and a small crane.

These booms fit directly over the tines on a forklift, and are secured in place using chains or clamps. Basic models feature a boom, or arm, that extends out in front of the machine. More complex models include a vertical riser to support the boom and give it greater reach. These units with built-in risers are often known as high-rise models.

Forklifts can load large objects when booms are attached to the vehicles.
Forklifts can load large objects when booms are attached to the vehicles.

Some forklift booms are designed to telescope out, while others feature a fixed length. Buyers can also choose booms that pivot from side to side, though standard models remain stationary. Each forklift boom is rated to accommodate a maximum load, so buyers should match each unit to a specific project to help avoid injuries or damage. It's also important to find a boom attachment designed to fit a particular forklift design, as the design and configuration of these devices may vary.

One of the major advantages to using a forklift boom is that it allows operators to lift objects higher or reach over obstacles. For example, these boom attachments enable users to move construction materials up onto the roof or second story of a building, even if a scaffold or other obstruction is in the way. These machines also serve as an effective way to set heavy rooftop equipment, or to remove old air conditioning and heating units. The forklift boom makes it easier to accommodate heavy or oddly-shaped items that wouldn't fit safely on a standard forklift.

Before investing in a forklift boom, buyers should consider the safety and legal aspects of these devices. The United States (US)Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not allow users to add any attachment to a forklift that is not specifically sold with the machine. The only exception is if the forklift manufacturers provides written permission and assurance that the specified device can be used safely with that lift. Without this written permission, companies can face fines from OSHA and other safety authorities.

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    • Forklifts can load large objects when booms are attached to the vehicles.
      By: bugphai
      Forklifts can load large objects when booms are attached to the vehicles.