If you have never used a forklift for anything other than lifting pallets of stuff, you may be surprised to find out that it can lift other things. For example, forklifts can help move loose materials too. If you have never tried to use a forklift in this capacity, here are some tips that can help you get started.
Loose Timber or Lumber
Loose timber or lumber is one of the easiest materials for a forklift to manage. There are a couple of ways you can do it too.
1. Lay the timber/lumber lengthwise across the fork prongs of the forklift. Take care not to make the stack more than a foot high to avoid dropping any of it. Move the lifted fork and lumber/timber slowly to where you want to put it down.
2. Create layers of lumber/timber that are perpendicular to each other. Leave openings where the prongs of the forklift can slip in and lift everything above it. Lift it slowly and carefully, as the timbers or lumber will slide closer together as the forklift picks up two layers at a time.
Loose Cinder Blocks
The best way to use a forklift with masonry is to use it just for cinder blocks, which are the heaviest ones anyway. With several blocks lined up in two rows, use the prongs of the forklift to pick up the cinder blocks through their openings. You can fit several cinder blocks on each prong of the forklift this way and carry them safely to the site where you want the blocks to be installed. When you have a bad back or shoulder injuries, this method for picking up and transporting cinder blocks will really help.
Trusses for a roof are not only heavy, but they are also difficult to move without the use of a machine. A forklift is excellent for this task because its prongs can slip in through the openings near the peaks of the trusses, lift them off the ground and move them everywhere. If the weight and size of the trusses do not overwhelm the forklift or exceed its weight and safety restrictions, you could even move more than one truss at a time. Other loose framework (e.g., sections of walls, garages, gazebo sections, etc.) that are fully constructed and ready for installation can utilize the same forklift approach to pick up and transport the framework sections.