Even though my front-end loader has a quick attach coupler, I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the big bucks on a set of quick attach pallet forks so I opted to start with some very affordable clamp-on forks from Titan, purchased through Amazon. I quickly discovered just how useful pallet forks can be and bought a set of quick attach forks about six months later.
I bought these Titan clamp on pallet forks on Amazon for $150 in the fall of 2017. Currently they are selling for $162 on Amazon. Here’s a link to them:
I keep my pallet forks hanging on lag screws on the wall, just below shoulder height to keep lifting to a minimum. Each on weighs 50 pounds so being able to hoist them on my shoulders spares my back.
The forks attach the same way my clamp-on trailer receiver does. It is very important to screw the clamps down very tightly. After hand tightening, I use a hammer to tighten them further, then use a piece of pipe to put the final squeeze on them. Finally, I tighten the bolts that hold the stabilizer bar on.
Most clamp-on pallet forks are designed to allow the use of chains or straps to go around the bucket for extra support. I use two short sections of towing chain and load binders to protect my bucket lip from bending under heavy loads. It is important to make sure your straps or chains go around just the bucket and no other parts of the front-end loader.
These Titan pallet forks have a key hole cut in the bottom to accept a hook or chain link. Other designs may have a hoop or heavy eyelet to hook to. I just hook a chain link in the eyelet and then pull it snug. Then I take a load binder and hook it into the eyelet on the top of the pallet fork and then hook the other end onto the chain. A few cranks on the load binders pulls the chain tight but not too tight.
Most clamp-on pallet forks are made of rectangular steel tubing, making them a lot thicker than standard pallet forks. This makes it harder to slide the forks under a pallet, especially if you are on uneven ground. I often have to stand up to be able to see where the forks are going. It can be challenging getting the forks to go all the way under a pallet without hitting the top or bottom of the pallet. However, the more you use them the better you’ll get at it.
By comparison, using my quick-attach pallet forks is a lot easier. I may have to stand briefly to make sure I’m on target, but often I can stay seated on the tractor while scooping up pallets. The flat solid steel forks are much easier to maneuver under a pallet and being able to see the fork tips through the frame is a big help.
If you are considering buying clamp-on pallet forks, here are some pros and cons to keep in mind:
- Clamp on pallet forks are Ideal if you will only use them occasionally.
- They are a good choice if you don’t have a quick attach bucket.
- They are inexpensive, especially the Titan brand. I bought mine on Amazon.
- And they are fairly quick to put on and take off
- You have poor visibility of the forks due to the bucket.
- The thickness of the forks make it more difficult to position under pallets.
- You loose some of your tractor’s lift capacity because the forks are set forward by the depth of your bucket.
- Also, clamp on pallet forks can bend your bucket under heavy loads without straps or chains to support it.
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