Which weighs more: a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers? As any school kid will tell you, it’s a trick question. They weigh the same. But that doesn’t mean they can be handled by the same equipment.
You may not be moving tons of feathers around your warehouse. But a bale clamp attachment might be right for you if you move anything more delicate than a ton of bricks. Read on to learn what bale clamps, hay squeeze attachments and other hay-handling equipment can do for you.
Benefits of Bale Clamps
Bale clamp forklift attachments are a broad class of material handling equipment designed to firmly grip delicate material without damaging it. "Delicate "is a relative term used here to describe any material that might be damaged by excessive force. This includes:
- Agricultural products
- Foam rubber
- Paper products
- Rags and recycled fabrics
- Recycled plastics
- Scrap metal
- and textiles
Bale clamps are also used to move oddly-shaped material that doesn’t fit into boxes or on pallets. For example, it’s difficult and inefficient to box or pallet scrap metal, but a bale clamp can move bundles of it with ease.
Forklift Clamp Attachments
Forklift bale clamps are pretty multi-purpose, but certain industries have clamps designed to meet a specific need.
As you might guess, the bale clamp is the typical clamp used in most configurations. It excels at handling textiles, plastics, cotton, wool, and many other materials.
Pulp Bale Clamp
A specialized clamp is a strong choice if your warehouse handles many pulp bales. Pulp bale clamps are very similar to typical bale clamps. But their grip design allows the clamp to secure even easily crushed paper pulp.
Recycling clamps are a little less delicate than your typical bale clamp. They have a more robust grip configuration designed to secure less fragile materials such as scrap metal.
As the name suggests, multi-purpose clamps are designed to transport a wide range of materials. Where other clamps use steel bars in their grip design, these clamps use broad rubber strips for grip. These provide a gentle grip suitable for many materials and are a great choice when other clamps don’t quite meet your needs.
Hay Handling Equipment
Hay is the fourth most valuable crop in Washington State, and producers often use a specialized bale clamp attachment. In addition to improving efficiency, equipment designed for hay handling is contaminant-free.
Since livestock feed is the most common use of hay, even the slightest bit of forklift grease could ruin the product. That's why hay squeeze attachments and bale clamps designed for hay use composite bushings – to prevent grease and other contaminants from coming into contact with the hay.
Forklift Hay Bale Clamp
Hay clamps are designed to handle nearly any type of hay bale. The attachment arms open wide and have a slight curve, allowing the operator to grip square or rounded hay bales with ease.
Hay squeeze forklift attachments have straight, thin arms. This design allows them to move a high volume of bales at once. These are great for loading and unloading trucks, as their size and slim arm profile maximize their efficiency.
How to Choose a Bale Clamp
The material you’re moving will play a big role in determining what features you prioritize in your bale clamps. Below are a few typical features to consider when making your selection.
Space is money in any warehouse. A thin arm profile allows a bale clamp to work with little space between bales. This saves precious inches and enables you to make the most of your warehouse space.
Sideshifters save time no matter what your forklift is picking up. Sideshifter attachments on bale clamps allow the operator to quickly align the clamp with the load without having to maneuver the forklift into place. This saves an enormous amount of time when moving irregularly shaped bales.
Rotators make it easy to reposition bales. Many bales benefit from being able to lay on any side. With a rotator, you can turn bales over until they are in the best position for your space.
Bale clamps aren’t suitable for every warehouse. And there are OSHA regulations surrounding what modifications can be made to your existing forklifts. But for many industries, they are indispensable.
If you want to learn more about bale clamps and hay handling equipment, ask an expert at Mid-Columbia Forklift if they are right for your business. Contact us online or reach out to one of our dealerships by phone:
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