A Kubota forklift tends to be a skid steer loader or compact track loader that have had dedicated attachments, normally pallet forks, that turn them into incredibly flexible and powerful forklifts.
Kubota do not make a dedicated forklift as such, but a number of their engines are used by other manufacturers, such as Viper or Yale.
Kubota Forklift Attachment – Pallet Forks
The most common forklift attachments for a Kubota tractor or skid steer loader are pallet forks, especially the series made by Land Pride. Their series of models are currently PFL4548, PFL5548 and PFL 5560.
The PF10 Model, has a lift capacity of 1000 Lbs rating ( 848-144C) and the PF20 Model has a lift capacity for 2000 Lbs ( 848 -143C).
It is important to check, as with any attachment, that these palllet forks are compatible with the specific tractor or skid steer loader that they are intending to be used with.
Kubota Forklift Uses
A Kubota forklift can be used in a variety of settings, and for a variety of purposes.
This can include farming, construction sites, garden nurseries and small landholdings, campuses, theme parks, timber yards, warehouses, a number of retail outlets, and any type of distribution centre.
Given that the forklift is likely to be used for transporting large loads of materials, it is really important that great care is taken both in the installation of the pallet forks, the use of the forklift, and the training of the operative.
It is also important that environment itself where the forklift is to be used is safe, and conducive to having a tractor or skid steer loader used within these boundaries.
Pallet Fork Installation
A Kubota forklift can either have a two pallet fork installation, or a three pallet fork installation.
The PF 10 and PF20 pallet forks are specifically designed for skid steer and tractor loader buckets. If other types of pallet forks are used, then guidance should be sought either from the tractor manufacturer or from the makers of the pallet fork. Such guidance can also normally be found in the operations manual.
The manual for the PF10 and PF20 palet forks gives detailed guidance on opening the throat of the pallet forks, how to attach them on to the bucket and how to make sure they are secure.
It is also important to find out if the Kubota tractor or skid teer loader requires any rear ballast. This can be really important from the point of view of stability, as the machine will be used to carry heavy loads.
It is perfectly possible that some rear ballast will be required in order to keep the machine stable, and carry out a core safety function to stop it upending.
Kubota Forklift Safety
A lot of the safety information regarding a Kubota forklift, will be the same as that regarding the use of the Kubota tractor or Kubota skid steer loader in general usage.
Full information can be found in the operations manual, which covers areas such as:
Avoiding underground utilities such as electrics, gas, water, telephone etc.
Safe transport – this is a key safety element off using a Kubota forklift. The forklift may be used in an enclosed area, on the open road, or on a mix of both. In any event, great care needs to be taken regarding speed, load balance and the type of land the forklift is being used on.
Safe maintenance – this is standard advice when looking after any type of tractor or skid steer loader. It refers to maintenance and servicing schedules, as well as daily or weekly inspections and checks.
This is to ensure both the longevity of the usage of tractor, as well as ensuring its safe operation.
Emergencies – this should be covered both in the training of the operative, and in the health and safety policy the company where the forklift is being used.
Awareness of potential emergencies is a key part of risk management, as are fast reactions and specific knowledge, which can often be the difference between life and death, or preventing serious injury.
It should always be remembered that forklifts are likely to be used to carry significant loads, and as such there is always a potential risk to the operative and other people in the surrounding area.
Safety lights and devices – it is important to use any safety lights or devices that may be fitted to the tractor or Kubota skid teer loader. This can include flashing warning lights, turn signals and voice operated commands.
These safety lights and devices should always be used in any enclosed area, especially where visibility is poor, or where there is significant other activity that may distract people from what is going on around them.
Seatbelts and other safety equipment – it’s really important that any Kubota forklift is fitted with belts and a ROPS, roll over protective structure, both of which should be fully utilised all the time.
Other safety equipment may also be needed, such as a hard hat, safety shoes, safety glasses and earplugs.
Kubota Forklift Operatives
It is crucially important that anyone operating a Kubota forklift should be fully trained and capable not only of operating it, but also of understanding the potential risks and dangers to themselves, other people and the environment where is being used.
This obviously has significant implications in terms of age and training. Anyone involved in the use of a forklift should be fully aware of all of the above advice, and adhere to it at all times.