The Ultimate Guide to Forklift Extensions (and other forklift attachments)

Most businesses that work with shipping or manufacturing have a forklift for handling pallets or large quantities of materials. 

What if you could do even more with your forklift? 

If you could maximize your forklift and other existing equipment for more purposes, you could save time, money, and space at your business! 

At Sidekick Attachments, we want to help your business run efficiently. That is why we manufacture quality forklift attachments that help you get the most out of your forklift. 

Today we would like to tell you all about one of our favorite attachments: forklift extensions. 

Ready to learn what a forklift extension is and how it could benefit your business? 

Let’s take a look! 

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    1. What Are Forklift Extensions?
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    2. Benefits Of Using Forklift Extensions
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    3. What Makes A Good Forklift Extension?
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    4. Safety Tips For Using Forklift Extensions
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    5. What Makes Sidekick Attachments’ Extensions Unique?
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    6. What Are Some Other Types Of Forklift Attachments?

What Is A Forklift Extension?

Let’s begin with the basics. What exactly is a forklift extension, and how can you use it? 

It’s pretty simple. 

Forklifts are made to pick up and move loads like pallets and other materials. But sometimes, there is an abnormally long pallet or bulky load of material that won’t fit on regular forklift tines. 

That is when forklift extensions come in handy! 

Forklift extensions slide onto the normal tines of your forklift, lock in place, and extend the tines that extra bit you need to move large, bulky loads safely. 

Benefits Of Using Forklift Extensions

OK, so extensions make your forklift tines longer. 

Is that really so great? How is that actually going to benefit you? 

That is what we are here to show you! Here are a few benefits of using forklift extensions: 

Makes it easy to move large loads

Have you ever observed a 4-year-old try to lug their 2-year-old sibling around? The 4-year-old awkwardly grabs the 2-year-old around the waist and hefts them up, leaning backward to balance all that weight. The whole time you sit there hoping the older kid doesn’t drop the younger kid or overbalance and land in a heap. 

That is what it is like watching someone try to move a large load with short forklift tines! 

If you have ever tried to balance a large load on too-short forklift tines, you definitely know how this feels. Having forklift tines of the right length immediately makes your job easier, safer, and less stressful. 

Plus, working with inadequate equipment means the job takes more time than it should. If you move a lot of bulky products, investing in forklift extensions can make your job much quicker, which means you save time and energy you could use to get more done.


Makes it safe to move large loads

Inadequate equipment is not only frustrating - it can be dangerous! 

Imagine trying to move a long pallet of product on short forklift tines. You have to gingerly pick it up and balance it on the forklift, then ease your way to your destination, hoping the whole time that nothing overbalances and goes crashing down. 

This situation is stressful and dangerous! That pallet could fall and crush something (or someone!), or your forklift could overbalance and tip. It’s much better to invest in good equipment and do things the safe way.

Less risk of damage to products

Think about the above situation again. 

There is danger involved not only for the forklift operator and the people in the area but for the product. Just imagine the product is jars of pickles. If that pallet tips and crashes, those jars could break all over the place, and your inventory could be seriously damaged! 

But damaged products have a bigger impact than just unusable goods. In the end, it costs you a lot of money. Here are just a few examples: 

  1. Product cost:  Providing a brand-new product or repairing the damaged item.
  2. Warehouse labor: Time spent evaluating the damaged goods to determine whether it should be fixed or replaced, then repeating the fulfillment process all over again.
  3. Packaging supplies: Paying for the same supplies twice.
  4. Freight: Shipping the damaged product back to the warehouse and sending a replacement product.

In our opinion, it’s better not to risk losing money and time this way. It’s best to invest in the right equipment that enables you to move your products safely.

5 ways damaged products hurt your business graphic

Makes your forklift more versatile

Chances are your business already owns a forklift because a forklift is an essential piece of equipment. It’s in your best interests to maximize your existing equipment instead of buying more. 

The more useful each piece of equipment you have is to you, the better it pays itself off and the less equipment you need overall. The less equipment you have, the more money and space you save. 

Attachments like forklift extensions help you maximize your existing forklift to its full potential so you can get the most out of it.

Cuts down on unnecessary wear on your forklift

Using your forklift to do things it wasn’t made for can be really hard on it! 

Think about using your forklift to lift a large load that extends far beyond the end of the tines. That is a lot of strain on the end of your forklift tines! They weren’t made to take that much strain, and they could bend or break. 

However, using the right extension or attachment on your forklift can help take the unnecessary strain off the machine. That helps cut down on wear and tear, so your equipment functions well for longer.

If your forklift tines wear out, it’s possible to replace just the tines instead of buying a whole new forklift. However, while fork extensions can definitely be pricey, so can replacing your tines. A standard pair of 48” tines can be in the range of $500-600. You can find a pair of quality extensions for much less than that, and you may be able to use your extensions on more than one forklift, saving wear and tear on more than one pair of tines.

Have a more maneuverable forklift

You may be asking yourself: 

“Why wouldn’t I just get a forklift with longer tines in the first place and save myself the trouble of buying extensions?”

That is a legitimate question. 

But remember: Sometimes short tines are better than long ones. For instance, sometimes you have to maneuver your forklift in tight spaces. In these spaces, too-long tines could damage your product or your building.

fork extensions retain flexibility

To be clear, long tines are better than extensions for hefty lifting. But if you have forklift extensions, you can easily switch between short and long tines. This means you have to have fewer specialized pieces of equipment. 

Your forklift can be both maneuverable and suitable for hefty lifting!

Carry two pallets at a time

If you have long enough tines, you can carry more than one pallet at a time. Think about it for a second. That could cut your working time in half! When you haul pallets 5 days a week, that saved time adds up pretty quickly. 

And it doesn’t stop there.

If you can lift two pallets at once, you can unload trailers from just one side. There is no need to do a lot of scooting around to both sides or have a person working on either side, resulting in poor communication and accidents. 

Also, when you are stacking pallets in your warehouse, you could easily stack them two deep in one trip!

carry two pallets at a time with forklift extensions

What Makes A Good Forklift Extension?

As you can see, fork extensions can really benefit you! 

But if you invest in fork extensions, you want to make sure they are good ones. So what should you look for in good, quality fork extensions? 

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:

High strength materials

Pallet fork extensions need to be designed to bear a lot of weight, especially if you manufacture heavy products. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see poorly made fork extensions bend under heavy weight. Unfortunately, once fork extensions are bent, it’s impossible to use them again unless you go to the work of straightening them. That is why it’s not fun to end up with bent fork extensions! A good pallet fork extension should be made of high-strength materials like steel.

Tapered ends

If your extensions have tapered ends, it makes for quicker and easier loading and unloading of pallets.

tapered ends on forklift tines allow for quicker, easier pallet loading

Sizing that fits your forklift

This is one of the most important ones! If your extensions don’t fit your forklift, they are useless to you. Always double-check to make sure any forklift accessory you buy actually fits your model of forklift.  

Manufacturer approved

Sometimes it’s tempting to try and jerry-rig your forklift so it can do more things, or try to make your own forklift accessories in an attempt to save money. For instance, you might drill a hole or attach a ball hitch to your forklift tines so you can use it to mover trailers. 

However, we have some unfortunate news for the DIY-ers out there: jerry-rigged forklifts like this are not OSHA-approved.  

To ensure safety, OSHA requires that all forklift accessories be manufacturer approved. That means that the accessory manufacturer has approved that it is appropriate to use the accessory on your forklift. 

An OSHA-approved engineer can also supply consent if you cannot obtain approval directly from the manufacturer.

Safety Tips For Using Fork Extensions

Safety should always be a top priority at any business! 

Needless to say, there are some risks to using pieces of equipment such as forklift accessories. But if you are aware of these, it’s possible to utilize them safely. Here are a few safety tips for using fork extensions.

Remember that the extension changes the forklift’s stability, visibility, and load capacity.

extension changes forklift's stability, visibility, and load capacity

For instance, a long extension with a heavy load really impacts the stability of a forklift! And that large, bulky load may reduce your visibility. Keep that in mind when operating the forklift. It is recommended that the length of a forklift extension does not exceed 1.5 times the length of the forklift tines. So if your tines are 4 feet long, your extension should not be more than 6 feet long.

Remember that a forklift with any accessory attached is considered partially loaded.

The accessory affects the total load capacity of the forklift.

Invest in proper operator training.

Forklifts with attachments are considered completely different machines than forklifts without attachments. That is why operators are required to be re-trained for each different attachment. Operator training can include practical instructions, formal instruction such as videos or lectures, and evaluation.

Make sure you have manufacturer approval.

We already covered manufacturer approval in the last section. This approval ensures that forklift attachments are used responsibly on appropriate forklifts. Manufacturer approval must be in writing.

Inspect your forklifts and extensions regularly.

OSHA also requires that all forklift accessories be included in regular forklift inspections. Be sure to examine all load-bearing parts for deformations or weld cracks.

Regulations like these may seem inconvenient, and it’s tempting to sidestep them if you can. But keep in mind that they are meant to keep you safe, and safety is always the best policy!

What Makes Sidekick Attachments’ Fork Extensions Unique?

Now that we know a bit more about forklift accessories, what makes Sidekick Attachments’ fork extensions unique in the world of forklift accessories? 

Here are a few of the elements that make our pallet fork extensions unique:

High strength steel components

A fork extension needs to be able to bear a lot of force, which means it needs to be made from quality materials. We make all our extensions from high-strength steel, so they are sturdy enough to take a beating without bending or breaking.

fork extensions bear a lot of weight

Custom sizing available

Do you have a forklift with abnormal dimensions? We’ve got you! We can custom make extensions for you that are sure to fit your machine perfectly.

Tapered design

Our extensions feature tapered ends, which makes for easy loading and unloading.

Less wear and tear on your machine

Extensions that fit your forklift properly result in less overall wear and tear on both the extensions and the machine. 

Our custom sizing options ensure that you can find a good fit for your forklift and avoid unnecessary wear and tear.

What Are Some Other Types Of Forklift Attachments?

Are there other types of forklift accessories you can find for your forklift? 

You bet there are! 

Honestly, if you can dream it, it’s probably out there as a forklift attachment. Here are a few of the most common types of forklift attachments you can buy to make your forklift more useful and make your shop more efficient.

Maybe some of them would be helpful in your line of business! 

  • Forklift trailer mover - Allows you to move trailers or other things with hitches using only your forklift. 
  • Pallet forks - Reinforced forks to last a long time moving heavy pallets.
  • Sideshifter - Allows you to move loads from side to side easily without adjusting the entire forklift. 
  • Fork positioner - Allows you to easily adjust the distance between your forklift tines to accommodate different sizes of pallets. 
  • Paper clamps - Allows you to move large rolls of paper without damaging them. 
  • Rotators - Allows you to rotate the forks 360 degrees. 
  • Multiple pallet handler - Allows you to handle multiple pallets at once.   

Attachments like these can help you make your forklift a more versatile tool and reduce equipment costs. For example, a forklift trailer mover eliminates the need for a truck with a ball hitch.

wide array of forklift attachments

With so many types of attachments available, you are sure to find one that suits your particular needs.


How could quality, durable forklift extensions change your business? 

If you move a lot of large, bulky loads, forklift extensions could save you a lot of time, energy, and even money! Plus, they make your forklift a more versatile machine. 

If you are interested in giving it a try, you can find your extensions here at Sidekick Attachments. All you need to do is: 

  1. Visit our website and find the extensions that fit your forklift. 
  2. Order your product. 
  3. Enjoy the increased functionality of your forklift! 

If you like this idea, you might like some of our other products too, which include forklift trailer movers and pallet forks

Contact us today to increase the efficiency of your forklift! 

We look forward to hearing from you.


  1. Ed Gregg on November 16, 2022 at 7:06 am

    we use extensions for loading parts into our annealing oven. we are looking for quality built sturdy heat resistant material extensions to replace the ones we are currently using. would you have these, or could you point us is the right direction?

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