A drum lift is intended to lift usually 55 gallon fully loaded drums or barrels easily, safely and quickly. This product generally uses one of three ways to lift the drum once it is grasped. The drums can be lifted by a forklift. With this method, usually an attachment of some type is fitted onto the forks which will securely grip and lift the drum. These attachments have a range of difficulty in the procedure for attaching to the fork truck. The preferred type is easily attached and detached, does not require electrical or hydraulic connections or special tools and allows your fork truck to be used for other purposes as well.
In additional to the capability of lifting the drum, the equipment should be able to rotate the drum a full 180 degrees in order to empty the container in the required location. A drum lift attached to the fork lift may use mechanical jaws to tighten around the drum; it may lift and support from above or below, or it may use a belt or chain around the drum which is lifted by the regular action of the fork lift.
Mechanical operation is usually provided by pull chains or hand cranks. A pull chain can be operated from the seat of the fork lift while a hand crank usually requires dismounting the lift truck. Special holders with additional support at the base are designed for plastic or steel drums. There are additional accessories for handling fiber drums.
An item of note for the type of drum lift which includes tilting is that the weight of the drum must be taken into consideration. A half-full drum which is naturally bottom-heavy will require more power to lift and tilt than a full drum even though the weight is less.
The second type of drum lift is by hoist. The lift consists of a saddle around the drums and additional support under the drum. This type of drum lift can handle drum diameters from 22 to 23.5 inches and heights from 23 to 38 inches. Fiber, plastic, and steel drums are easily lifted and transported by means of a crane, chain block or monorail. Another type of hoist drum lift is intended for use with steel drums. Its jaws lock down over the lip of the drum which is them moved by crane or rail to the desired location. The lock is not released until the drum is set down.
A hydraulic drum lift which has an optional motorized version is set on a v-shaped base which is movable. The user can control the lifting height and pouring angle. Typically, the drum is secured by a top clamp, a saddle and bottom support. Fiber, steel and plastic drums can be moved and tilted with this type of drum lift, and the job is easily handled by one person. This type of carrier is also capable of lifting and tilting partially filled drums up to the rated weight. Safety features with this type of drum lift include a lock features to prevent undesired moving or swinging of the drum once it is in position.