When using forklift attachments or drum handlers there are common danger signs to look out for  that indicate the equipment may be about to fail:

  • The attachment isn’t secured to the forks properly. Either the T-bolts or clamps aren’t secured  or they are missing completely. The unit and load can fly off if the forklift truck brakes suddenly or goes around a corner quickly.
  • Moving parts haven’t been lubricated. This causes parts to seize or work slowly, resulting in drums not being grabbed or only part connected. The drum can be dropped, leading to a spillage or injury to personnel.
  • The attachment hasn’t been serviced or inspected before use. Welds could be cracked, parts bent or springs broken, resulting in complete failure without warning.

Warning signs that your forklift attachment is about to fail

Signs of Imminent failure

Failure may be imminent when gripping jaws are working too slowly, drums aren’t being grabbed or released efficiently every time or drums are being dropped during lifting or when moving to a new location.


  • Ensure all moving parts are lubricated regularly.
  • All units should be visually inspected by the operator prior to use.
  • Check for wear or excessive movement in the moving parts of the gripping head.
  • Check labels for service and inspection dates and do not use if out of date.
  • Have the attachments inspected, serviced, tested and certified on an annual basis (or the service schedule advised by the attachment type).
  • Training in the proper use of the attachment.

Annual testing

It is important that lifting equipment is kept in good working order, so St Clare Engineering offers an inspection, service, testing and certification service for customers of all Grab-O-Matic & Liftomatic drum handlers and fork attachments.

St Clare Engineering and Grab-O-Matic

St Clare Engineering Ltd is a family business, manufacturing a range of specialist, high-quality fork lift truck drum handling attachments under the Grab-O-Matic trade name at our factory in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

We supply equipment to customers in the oil, chemical, logistics, food, pharmaceuticals and engineering industries across every continent.

For more information on drum handling attachments from St Clare Engineering, contact us using the details below:

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