60 years on, and the simple but efficient design of the Grab-O-Matic drum handling fork attachment is still going strong.Celebrating 60 years of drum handling fork attachments

Founded in Lymington in 1959, St Clare Engineering hit upon a winning formula with the Grab-O-Matic drum handling forklift attachments and never looked back.

The basic design is still as it was originally and hand assembled to produce a drum grab using mechanical jaws to grip the rim of drums or barrels of all shapes and sizes for lifting. Grab-O-Matic drum handlers are used globally, from the Arctic Circle to the Arabian Gulf.

Testament to the robustness and quality of the Grab-O-Matics with many units still in use dating back more than 30 years and being returned to the factory for their annual service/re-certification.


There have been changes though; after moving to Southampton in the early 90’s St Clare Engineering moved to its current premises in Eastleigh in 2011. Andy Bow is now the sole owner, taking over from his father, Michael, who retired in 2007 after more than 30 years as MD.

Over the years the Grab-O-Matic range has evolved into an impressive range of specialist forklift truck attachments and more recently pedestrian equipment including:

  • Drum rotators
  • Multiple-drum handlers
  • Drum Cages
  • Waist and base grippers
  • Stainless Steel attachments for ATEX environments
  • Tipping Skips
  • Reel handling attachments
  • Reel Booms, Jibs & Carpet Poles
  • Bespoke drum and materials handling attachments

The most recent innovation is an Automatic Quick Attach/Release mechanism for the fork attachments to increase safety and speed up the changeover of attachments.

Safety is our priority

Our forklift attachments are manufactured entirely in the UK using high quality materials to ISO 9001:2015 and coded welders, each unit is 100% inspected before despatch and issued with a load  test certificate to guarantee safe operation.

The future?

Technology has changed considerably since the 1950s but while there’s a need for using the drum and barrel for basic liquid and powder bulk storage and transport, there will still be a place for the beautifully simple, yet totally functional design of the Grab-O-Matic drum handler gripping head, with no electrical or hydraulic connection to the fork lift truck it is the epitome of ease to use.

Andy Bow – St Clare Engineering Ltd
Tel: 02380 643402
Fax: 02380 642189
Email: sales@stclare-engineering.co.uk
Web: www.stclare-engineering.co.uk