Best Forklift Attachment For Moving Trailers [2022] - Skid Steers Direct

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Best Forklift Attachment For Moving Trailers

Many of our customers come to us looking for a way to move trailers with their forklifts, skid steers or telehandlers. For this, we have a couple trailer moving attachments that connect directly to your forks and your trailer hitch.

In this article will discuss some of the best forklift attachments for moving trailers, also known as trailer spotters. There are several different forklift attachment options in the market. Hopefully, after reading this, you'll better understand what kind of trailer spotter to choose.

How Does A Forklift Trailer Moving Attachment Work?

A forklift trailer moving attachment slides onto your forklifts forks and gets pinned in place behind the heel of the forks. On the trailer side of the attachment is a 2" receiver to pin in any trailer hitch that you need. For example, you can put in a 2" ball hitch, pintle hitch, or other styles of combo hitches.

The forklift trailer moving attachment can then be used to move trailers around a yard just like you would with your truck.

These attachments are easy to use, allow the operator to face the trailer for better visibility and easier maneuvering. Fork mounted trailer spotters also take advantage of the added power and torque of most forklifts and skid steers.

fork mounted trailer attachment for a forklift

What Type of Trailer Hitches Comes with Forklift Trailer Spotters?

Forklift trailer spotters come in various forms and sizes, depending on what you need them for. There are several types of trailer hitches that come with forklift trailer spotters. These include:

-Ball hitch: This type of hitch attachment is used on trailers with a ball-type hitch. This is the most common hitch on forklift trailer spotters.

-Pintle Hitch: Pintle hitches often have higher towing capacities than ball hitches, and are often used on agricultural equipment. They are generally preferred for off-road use.

-Combo Hitches: Combination hitches will have a ball hitch and pintle hitch all in one.

Some manufacturers sell hitches separately.

Trailer Hitch examples for trailer mover attachments

Maximum Towing Weight Of Trailer Spotter Attachments

The maximum gross towing weight for forklift trailer moving attachments varies by model and manufacturers, but you can expect to find them anywhere from 10,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds.

Whats The Largest Towing Capacity Forklift Trailer Hitch?

Navy Lift n Tow 1396C has the largest towing capacity. Its maximum gross towing weight is up to 30,000 lbs, and a maximum lift capacity on the swivel hook of 12,000 lbs.

How Much Does a Forklift Trailer Moving Attachment Weigh?

A forklift trailer moving attachment could weigh between 100 lbs to 500 lbs, depending on the manufacturer and the materials used. It is recommended that you choose ones constructed from high-quality American steel and are coated with rust and corrosion-resistant properties to make sure the trailer hitch lasts for an extended period of time.

Common Fork Slot Dimensions For Trailer Moving Attachments

Trailer moving attachments are designed to fit most common fork sizes. Fork slot dimensions will typically range from 2.5" thick by 6.5" wide and will be 34" apart center to center.

Its always best to measure your forks and check the dimensions of the attachment your are purchasing.

Always use a Safety Chain With Your Attachment

The most common cause of accidents is failure to use the attachment correctly. Always use a safety chain when using a trailer spotter. This chains the attachment to the forklift to prevent the trailer from running away in the event of a catastrophic failure. The safety chain should be provided by the manufacturer upon purchase.

surlock chain next to trailer mover forklift attachment

What Forklift Trailer Moving Attachments Do We Recommend?

Two of the most trusted manufacturers in the attachments business are Star Industries, and Haugen, both known for making high-quality equipment, including trailer spotters.

Load-N-Tow 1398

The Load-N-Tow manufactured by Star Industries provides a straightforward solution for loading and unloading cumbersome and heavy equipment. By simply sliding the Load-N-Tow onto the forks, a single person can safely and expeditiously maneuver it with ease.

Star Industries Lift n Tow 1390B

This is the most popular trailer towing attachment that we offer. This series comes with a lifting hook and a towing hitch, making it easy and safe way to lift, load, and tow using your forklift.

Lift n Tow 1390B is the standard model in the series. It weighs 220 lbs without the hitch adaptor. The maximum gross towing weight is 10,000 lbs and a lifting capacity of 4,000 lbs on a swivel hook.

Star Industries Super duty Lift n Tow 1395B

Next in line is the super duty Lift n Tow 1395B with open pocket ends that will accommodate a 48” long x 8 ¾ x 3” ID fork pocket size and a fork size of 8” w x 2 ¾” thick. Weighing 400 lbs without the hitch adaptor, its maximum gross towing weight is up to 16,000 lbs.

Star Industries Navy Lift n Tow 1396C

Among the Lift-N-Tow series of Star Industries, Navy Lift n Tow 1396C has the largest towing capacity. It includes a pintle hitch with every purchase, unlike other models. A pintle hitch is mainly used for heavy-duty towing, especially on rough, off-road terrain, providing a pivot point around which another object turns.

lift-n-tow star industries attachment showing chains

Haugen Attachments Fork Mounted Trailer Spotter

Move your boat, trailer, or other equipment quick and safe without fear using Haugen Attachments' Fork Mounted Trailer Spotter. This model from Haugen uses pins to secure the attachment behind the heel of the forks. The receiver for the trailer hitch is a two-inch ball.

Unlike the Star industries brand, this attachment will not offer a lifting hook. You will however spend less acquiring it, and it is often in stock and ready to ship.

Conclusion

A good forklift trailer mover will increase your efficiency and reduce the risk of accidents at work sites. Enjoy your forklift's versatility and increased functionality when it can safely move trailers. 

To check out our collection of skid steer mounted trailer spotters click this link.

Written by Cohen Meyer
Cohen Meyer is a product researcher and content contributor for Skid Steers Direct. Cohen has spent over 12,000 hours operating skid steers, telehandlers, excavators and tractors. He is a former business owner, certified welder and a self proclaimed tech geek.

1 Response

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July 28, 2022

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