What Is a Forklift Basket?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2019
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A forklift basket is sometimes known as a man basket because it is a device that allows a person to be lifted safely by a forklift. This attachment works in conjunction with the tines on a forklift, and it features a cage as well as a platform on which a person can stand while being lifted. A forklift basket is usually used to allow a person to be lifted high above the ground to conduct repairs, hand-load goods, move delicate items, and so on. The person riding in the basket is usually secured with a harness to prevent falls.

The structure of a forklift basket can vary, though the basic components are generally the same: a support platform on which workers can stand, fork pockets in which the forklift's tines can slide to support the forklift basket, safety chains that connect the basket to the lift to help prevent the two units from separating, and heavy-duty steel railings to which a worker can secure himself via a harness and carabiners or other hooks. Some models of forklift basket feature doors that can be shut and locked while a person is lifted in the forklift basket; this prevents accidental falls while working aloft. The weight rating of the basket can vary by model, and the weight lifted should be in accordance with the weight limitations of the forklift as well.


Sometimes the basket may feature additional structures or tools that can add convenience and safety. Tool trays or bins, for example, allow the person in the basket to secure tools that are not in use. This prevents the tools from being dropped, which can be dangerous for bystanders and harmful to the tools themselves. Other attachments may include work surfaces such as benches or tables, or other job-specific attachments.

It is sometimes safe to have two people in the forklift basket at a time, it is not generally safe to have more than two people in the basket at one time. The weight limitations should be adhered to carefully, as exceeding the limits can lead to accidents or even deaths. The driver of the forklift should be at the controls of the machine at all times while a person is lifted in the basket, as safety issues can arise quickly. The person or people inside the man basket should be secured to the frame of the basket at all times to prevent falls or other incidents.


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