What Are Clamp Forklifts?


Standard industry forklifts have two primary forklift prongs that extend out from a central frame in front of the forklift chassis. Standard forklifts lift floored objects up into a vertical position for transport. They can lift and move crates, containers and pallets. Clamp forklifts have special frame attachments bolted and modified to the chassis of a standard forklift, so they can grasp, hook around, or squeeze a load that has a non-standard shape. Clamp forklifts can compress a single load item or compress multiple packages, and then lift them vertically.

Clamp Description

  • Forklift clamps serve as options, designed to be added to existing forklifts. They consist of hydraulic pistons encased within a heavy, hinged or track framework. Clamps come in a variety of configurations to capture and hold various shaped objects other than standard pallets and square containers. They have specially designed heavy adapter plates, brackets and support frames that come in kits and that fit the front chassis of a standard forklift.

Marble Handler Clamp

  • A marble handler clamp, also called a slab extraction clamp, can lift crated slabs of marble or masonry out of a container with two compressing control arms, while a single bottom platen arm lifts and supports the load from underneath. The marble handler clamp has a specialized design to protect the top load from tipping or becoming off balance, while the bottom of the load rests on the bottom support platen. An option on the marble handler clamp allows for full carriage side-shifting, which can place loads on the right or left sides of a container.

Carton Clamps

  • Carton clamps, when installed on standard forklifts, have large aluminum flexing plates that compress sideways into a square or rectangular load. The aluminum plates have grooved, rubber-gripping pads that compress together like giant hands to secure the sides of appliances, such as large freezers, refrigerators, washers, dryers, air conditioning units and other heavy, box-like loads. They can pick up stacked pallet-less objects, like square cans and plastic containers. The padded plates come in various sizes and can be reversed to prolong life. Carton clamps do not have bottom fork skids, except in the hydraulic version.

Paper Roll Clamps

  • Paper roll clamps have two tapered contoured gripping arms that surround rounded rolls of paper, rolled craft paper, rolled tissue and circular bales of newsprint. The control arms encircle the roll and compress inward to grip it, with an option of coming down over the top of it in tight situations. The pressure can be varied for the weight and density of the paper roll. The hydraulic system lifts the roll off the floor, allowing the driver to transport it to a trailer or warehouse location. The paper roll can be rotated on a special pivot joint, to allow for off-angled pickup and placement.

Drum Clamp

  • Drum clamp attachments have two thin curved gripping arms, hydraulically controlled to encircle and clamp down on industrial drums that have enclosed lids. The gripping arms can pivot up or down to slide over the container, then straighten to a horizontal position. The lifting arms then raise to catch the uppermost lip of the container, and then are compressed to secure it. The drum is then lifted vertically and transported. The arms have a pivotal feature, allowing for a full 360-degree rotation.

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