What Is A Lull Forklift?

There is a machine for just about everything these days. So many tools and pieces of equipment make it seem almost impossible to keep track of everything. So what can you do?

Fortunately, we have put together this handy guide to take you through the basics of the lull forklift. What it is, what it does, and how you can be sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck if you are looking to purchase one.

A Lull forklift is otherwise known as a material handler and is a piece of equipment used for manufacturing and agriculture. They are also increasingly prevalent on construction sites.

A lull forklift is used for a wide variety of tasks, primarily cleaning and moving materials.

What Is A Lull Forklift?

The lull forklift or material handler is a hybrid machine that is a cross between a forklift, a tractor, and a boom lift. Combining these machines gives the lull the ability to drive with ease over uneven terrain and move materials to great heights. This makes the lull forklift ideal for several projects.

The boom on many lull forklifts extends up to 30ft (9m) roughly at a 70° angle. The boom’s extension length is limited by the maximum load, the angle, and the wind speed. If a particularly heavy load needs to be lifted in particularly heavy winds, this may not be possible for the lull forklift.

These material handlers have a maximum lift capacity of anything from 4,400lb to 12,000lb (1,995kg and 5,443kg), depending on the model and the lull forklift’s size.

Keep in mind that maximum reach cannot be combined with maximum load – this will be too much for the machine to cope with. You should in fact exercise caution any time that the maximum load is used.

Uses For The Lull Forklift

Simply put, the lull forklift was designed to move materials to different places at different heights. 

Some different attachments can be used with the lull – including forks or buckets – to widen its potential uses. Keep in mind that the lull will always serve as a ‘lift and place’ piece of equipment above anything else. Perhaps thinking of it as an advanced model of a forklift will give you the best idea of its functionality.

What Type Of Lull Do You Need?

Most dealerships that deal with lull forklifts list their available models by forward lift and reach capacity – these two values are what will govern what type of lull you need.

With this in mind, you need to have an accurate and robust understanding of what you intend to use the lull handler for. At the very least you need to know how heavy the load that needs moving is, and how high it needs to be moved. 

If you are unsure of what model you need, relay any relevant information to the manufacturer for guidance. This will guarantee that you have the correct machine for the job. 

Available Lull Forklift Attachment

The most common attachment fitted to a lull is a fork. The addition of a fork is ideal for smaller or mid-sized machines and is ideal for indoor use, primarily for moving heavy items around manufacturing plants and large warehouses.

Bucket attachments are also widely available and recommended. These attachments allow for easy lifting, loading, and scooping of anything. The bucket attachment is most popular for machines that are bought to move material from the ground to a loft or to load into the back of another vehicle.

Other available options:

There are so many different types of attachment available it would not be possible to include them all. Think about what the purpose of the lull will be to make the most of any attachments.

Potential Hazards And Risks Of The Lull

The lull is no different from any other piece of heavy machinery – incorrect use poses significant safety risks. Only fully trained personnel should operate a lull forklift. It is also essential that a lull is only in operation when it is safe to do so.

Loose materials or excessive debris, muddy terrain, high winds, or generally poor weather conditions can all pose dramatic safety risks for lull operation. It is important to plan accordingly before starting any kind of work with a lull forklift and always adhere to all safety procedures.

There are some more specific safety hazards that a potential lull operator needs to be aware of:

Maximum load capacity: Never exceed the maximum load capacity of the specific lull that you are driving. Carrying more than this weight is likely to cause damage to the boom or other attachments and increases the likelihood of the machine tipping. This puts both the lull operator and anyone else in the vicinity in danger. 

It is therefore essential that the machine only lifts what it can and that the correct attachment is always used for a job.

Secure all loads: As lulls are used almost exclusively for moving materials from one spot to another, all loads need to be properly secured.

You also need to ensure that anyone working on the platform attachments is properly secured. Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment is also advised at all times.

Terrain: Poor terrain will bring with it some danger. Any steep slopes will move the lull’s center of gravity, limiting the maximum load and reducing stability. You, therefore, need to survey the site properly before operating any lull forklifts. Correct assessment and adjustments will limit the chance of a machine tipping. 

Preventative maintenance: Keeping up to date with more minor maintenance will help prolong the life of your lull forklift. Little tasks like oil changes, basic tire maintenance, correct storage, and keeping an eye on any damages will help keep your machine in top condition.

Remember – prevention is better than cure!

Final Thoughts

A lull forklift is a type of material handling equipment that combines elements of the crane, tractor, and forklift. 

With correct use, it is a beneficial part of any industrial site or even in a warehouse.

Be sure to follow all manufacturer guidance about maximum weight capacity and operation in poor weather conditions to guarantee safety on the site at all times. Do not operate a lull without the correct training and remember to always wear your seatbelt!

Ryan Genkin
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