Attachments manufacturer Invicta has developed a new protection device to prevent damage and scratching to forklift loads.
The new Load Buffers attach magnetically to fork uprights, providing a 25mm encapsulated foam pad to cushion impact when loading and unloading and prevent collision damage with the fork carriage.
The units are available to suit standard 80mm wide, 100mm wide and 125mm wide forks, but can be manufactured to suit any size or configuration of fork upright.
Invicta managing director Peter Sharpe explained how the product had evolved from customer feedback and various prototypes: “Sleeves and protection for forks are already available, but customers have long-since asked us to find an inexpensive way to protect card, glass and other fragile loads.
"Most products on the market are there to protect either the forks or the operator, but damage to loads can be dangerous, cause further transportation difficulties down the line, as well as prove very costly.”
Spacers that attach to the blade of a fork can prevent loads from reaching the fork backrest, thus avoiding contact damage, but by creating a gap they can also allow loads to be unstable. The Invicta units cushion the load, wrapping around the top and sides of the fork to avoid sideways movement of the buffer. The thick foam pad is encapsulated in a polyuria coating, designed to be hard wearing and tear resistant whilst offering a soft feel for protection for the load.
“The idea of the Load Buffer is a simple one,” adds Sharpe, “but the practicalities involved in producing something robust enough to do the job, yet light and flexible enough to work with sideshifting forks or in busy application, meant we’ve gone through a number of stages before arriving at this superb solution.”
Interest has already been received from businesses involved in the transportation of drinks and paper products, as well as general logistics companies where time is limited, but damage is costly.
“We find the most elegant solutions are often the simplest,” concludes Sharpe. “Standard class two fork sizes are now being stocked, and we’re also looking at other ways to utilise the product to avoid further damage in storage settings. It’s a versatile way to protect easily marked or fragile loads, with length, width, cushioning firmness and colour to suit requirements.”
Invicta Forks and Attachments is the largest manufacturer of mechanical fork attachments in the UK, stocking many product lines from tipping skips and work platforms through to lifting jibs and drum handling equipment.