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Thread: 10' Fork Extensions

  1. #1
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    10' Fork Extensions

    For Christmas last year I bought my wife a Climapod greenhouse kit. The polycarbonate panels on it are supposed to last about 6 years in the sun. But I figured that it only needs to be outside for half the year. So I make a channel steel frame base for it with fork pockets. The building only weighs ~300 lbs and the base another ~150 lbs, so the plan was to lift it up with a forklift and bring it inside during the off season.

    The building is 9ft wide in the shortest direction. I have 4' and 5' forks on the various machines. But the longest fork extensions I have are 76". So I bought a 24' stick of 5" x 3" x 1/4" steel rectangular tubing. That was an eye watering $438. But it did weigh 293, so I was "only" paying $1.50 per pound. Ouch.

    I debated if I wanted 12' or 10' fork extensions. My forks are all rated for 5,000 or more, but it seemed like 12' extensions are kind of pushing it. So I cut two 10ft lengths and beveled one end to the maximum our bandsaw will cut. I think 55 degrees or so.

    Then I had a greenhouse to move urgent. So did like all of my neighbors in the industrial park do. Just tossed the tubes on a machine and used them.

    Greenhouse out of my shop and into the barn's hay loft. There was about 3/8" clearance on either side. Which was damn lucky, because I didn't measure the door before buying the greenhouse or even before starting to move it.
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    Table for newly acquired high def CNC plasma cutter:
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    (oops, attached a wrong photo and can't figure out how to get it to go away)
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Re: 10' Fork Extensions

    I've been using 5x3 tube for over 10 years. I have 6,8,10,wide 10, 12, extra wide 13, and 20' extensions.

    I used the 20' to install some 5' x 12' drip pans inside a facility, not much weight but the only way to do it.

    Here is a picture of using the new wide 8" x 4" x 3/8" thick

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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  4. #3
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    Re: 10' Fork Extensions

    So the problem with just putting tubing on forks is that when you pull the forks out, the tubing almost always stays. My first afternoon of use confirmed that with the extensions getting stuck in the greenhouse. Manhandling 125 lb extensions out of something they are stuck in is no fun, so pin are added to keep the extensions on the forks. I had to slide the extensions on and off the different forklifts in order to figure out where to put the pin so it would fit everything. The commercial pin extensions I have used always have the pin too far back and it makes it sloppy.

    Pin is 5/8" diameter. The strap the pin goes into is at the top of the extension so it is off the radiused heel of the forks:
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    Epoxy painted to keep the rust slightly at bay:
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    End chamfer:
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  6. #4
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    Re: 10' Fork Extensions

    Of course fork extensions are super handy. Yesterday I moved a 3,000 lb 10ft shipping container the long way in order to get it into a tight space.
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    My wife and I have been building our new house for 3 years now. Doing almost all of the work ourselves. And we are finally just about ready for sheet rock. But that means emptying out all of the crap that has migrated to the new house. And my wife has been acquiring furniture and stuff for the new house. So tucked this little container next to the new house so she could get that stuff out of the house. The sheetrockers want absolutely nothing in the house.
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  8. #5
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    Re: 10' Fork Extensions

    That's quite a heavy box. My 40' container weighs around 8K.

  9. #6
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    Re: 10' Fork Extensions

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    That's quite a heavy box. My 40' container weighs around 8K.
    Yep. 20' containers are typically 4500 to 5400 lbs.

    It's the door end and fork pockets and corner fittings that make up most of the weight.

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