modifying pallet forks

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by YellowDogSVC, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,752

    I have a set of pallet forks for my Bobcat. I use them mostly for helping to load, unload heavy trees once or twice a year.

    We use burlap and straps around the trees which is what tree farm recommends but I don't like putting straps on the forks because they slide.

    I have been hesitant on cutting a hole or welding on the forks because I didn't want to weaken them. Anyone have ideas? Is it safe to modify the forks or have a hole cut in them that I could bolt a hook or trailer ball onto?

    Thanks for any ideas!
     
  2. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,750

    I would make some pieces that are threaded or have a nut welded to them and have a big t bolt so you can tighten them on the fork. Drilling or cutting doesnt sound like fun to me. Trying to come up with a visual or similar scenario
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  3. ecurbthims

    ecurbthims LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    I have torched holes in them before for loading bundles of drill rod and never had an issue .I have even had some factory built ones with holes in them .Not sure what the safety guys would think ,but I haven't had any issues at all .
     
  4. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    Use a short piece of chain to hook from the strap to the frame of the forks, keeps the strap from sliding



    But I have a hole burned in mine for a trailer ball, no probs
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  5. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,088

    Sometimes I wonder why they don't come stock like that.

    At my old job we actually cut a set of old forks out and welded a complete received into where the forks went.
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  6. DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING

    DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,343

    We cut a hole in ours no problem
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  7. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,752

    I'm reading that cutting holes hasn't been a problem AND using a chain to keep strap from sliding is another idea. I had a strap slide and a guy nearly lost his hand.. good thing he was quick. Didn't want to repeat that. I'm a sub for another company on this work and they do things different than I would but I'm ultimately responsible for what my machine does to someone. I will see what I can come up with using a chain for now. I have an old 3" binder strap that has a chain on the end. That may work well to keep tension..
    Thanks for getting me thinking in that direction. I'm not sure I'm up to cutting a hole in the fork right now.. looks like spring steel and very hard.
     
  8. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,088

    Use t clamps like RJ said.

    You know how a lot of peole do them. Slide forks closer together. Pick up ball and someone stands on the forks holding the tree.

    Real safe I know. OSHA would have a fit.
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  9. zabmasonry

    zabmasonry LawnSite Senior Member
    from C. VT
    Posts: 314

    5" long piece of 2x6 thick wall tube stock
    cut 1/2 hole off center and weld nut to thread bolt though hole
    weld loop on center
    slide on fork, tighten bolt, attach straps
     
  10. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,539

    Torch a hole in a fork, then take a short piece of chain with a clevis on one end to go through the hole in the fork and a wrecker hook on the other. (Big J shaped hook used on roll backs.)

    That's how I move trees..
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