Protect Products, Packaging & People. Save Money.

The SUMO Glove is a forklift operations safety product which is proven to significantly reduce damage, related costs and enhance Health and Safety provisions.

Made of an industrial grade polyurathane, the SUMO Glove is bonded to the forks and replaces the hard steel with a material that has a unique cushioning effect, designed to greatly reduce product pallet and racking damage while enhancing safety without affecting the operation effectiveness of the truck.

This brief video introduces the SUMOGlove and aptly demonstrates the remarkable ‘buffering’ effect it provides when the fork tips are involved in a collision.

Independent Test Results.

Virginia Tech Unit Load Tests

The Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech, USA is the global and industry recognized authority and center of excellence for pallet and unit load testing. May we draw your attention to the executive summary and in particular to the statements;

The pallets tested with the fork tines protected with the SUMO Glove did not experience any failure.

The tests were stopped once the equipment capacity was exceeded.

It was found that even if the investigated wood pallets were impacted 13 times harder, the pallets
never experienced any structural damage when the fork tine was protected with the SUMO Glove.

Similar results were found for the plastic pallets. Even after 7 times harder impacts, the
plastic pallets did not experience any structural damage when they were impacted with a fork tine protected with the SUMO Glove.

In layman’s language this report demonstrates that when you use the SUMOGlove you can almost forget about damage to your pallets and tote boxes and as well it shows that your product will be difficult to damage.

Further testing of other unit load containers is being carried out.

Read about the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design

Click the Comparative Reports below to download a PDF copy of the Virginia Tech Reports.


Kodak Tests

In 2009 Kodak UK undertook a serious in-house analysis of Forklift Truck incidents. This analysis was conducted using Lean Six Sigma techniques, which as part of a Greenbelt project is a method employed by large manufacturing organisations, particularly the motor industry to ensure they are being as efficient as possible by minimising waste from all areas of the business.  This includes, damage, rework caused by damage etc using statistical analysis to achieve an objective outcome rather than a subjective one.

Kodak identified 168 incidents in the previous 12 months costing at least £35,130 (almost 14 incidents per month).

Their target was to reduce that figure by half, to 7 incidents per month. They introduced the SUMOGlove and successfully reduced the incident rate to 1.88 incidents per month (see graph on page 23) with no statistical differences between shifts or day and night shifts.

SUMOGlove had effectively saved  86.6% of their product damage bill.


Ongoing operational testing by SUMO along with independent tests by Virginia tech and Kodak show that SUMOGloves can play a  significant role in reducing Forklift Truck related damage costs in most environments. In fact, they will almost negate damage to Pallets and Totes (see Virginia Tech results) and can be relied upon, by themselves alone to reduce actual product damage by a significant 75 to 80% (see Kodak results).

If introduced properly into the workplace, SUMO experience sight an even greater saving. With a congenial introduction that the addition of this safety product is not an exercise to band-aid poor driving skills, but an exercise to improve safety to our valuable workers, the bright yellow iconic SUMOGlove is a “catalyst for change” as it sends out a constant , ever present message that forklifts are dangerous …that forklifts need to be seen and operators need to respect the dangers and see beyond their load.


The logistics industry in the UK is worth around £55 billion to the economy and employs about 1.7million people in more than 65,000 companies. It is difficult to think of anything that we use in our personal or business lives that will not have been handled by a lift truck at some point in its manufacture or distribution.

Fork lift trucks remain statistically the most dangerous type of work place transport. With 2/3rds of all accidents involving pedestrians. New and existing Health and Safety directives are increasingly focussed on logistics and work areas to ensure that forklift traffic and pedestrian areas are well defined and separated. Even with these systems in place, due to the sometimes heavy work load within an area or a small lapse in concentration, accidents still occur between truck and pedestrian.

H/S Exec figures show that last year fork lift trucks were involved in 24% of all work place transport accidents, with a worker being hospitalised with a major, potentially life changing injury every single day of the year.

Today….Each company builds the associated costs of Health & Safety provisions into their yearly financial models, along with the associated cost of damage to product, packaging, property and other related costs caused by damage. High costs (losses) have become universally accepted as part of the cost of manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, freight…in fact all  logistics costings.

We believe at SUMOSAFE, that these costs can be lowered across the industry.

The Benefit to any organisation installing the SumoGlove (or factory fitted as the SUMOSafefork) as part of their daily material handling operations will be quickly realised. Here are just a few of the ways in which our products can improve your operations. SUMOSafe products;

  • will reduce your operating costs
  • will drastically reduce damage to product, packaging, and property and improve personal safety in the workplace.
  • are patented products designed specifically for damage protection from fork lift trucks.
  • can improve environmental sustainability figures.
  • can be easily installed on site or can be delivered as part of the SafeFork system.

The “Executive Summary” shows some video clips of testing the SumoGlove at Virginia Tech late in 2017;

  • First sequence shows a light wooden pallet (US Transit Pallet) is drop tested from 6 inches against an unprotected forklift tyne (tine) and is irreparably damaged, (Average Estimated Kinetic Energy 1,540 lb/ft)
  • Second sequence shows a similar transit pallet being released from 2 feet against a forklift tyne protected by a Sumo Glove. No damage is recorded to either the pallet or to the SumoGlove.
  • Third sequence shows this same pallet but now on its 70th drop from 4 feet  (Average Estimated Kinetic Energy 21,186 lb/ft) and no damage to the pallet or sumo glove occurs.

Return on Investment

Here at SUMOSafe we realise that  a good return on investment is of critical importance when deciding upon the introduction of a new technology. With this in mind we are pleased to report that both our impact reduction systems offer an ROI that is hard to ignore.

At this point, it might be pertinent to mention that how each company manages their individual operation also has an impact upon overall results. As with all things, some people do not like change and the Glove can be seen as a negative entry into the workplace.

For reference here is a customers internal report on the ROI of the Glove, although their drivers were initially defensive about the Glove being introduced, as they saw it as a comment on their driving skills rather than an accidental damage reduction measure, we are pleased to report that they have now accepted the Glove, which are now no longer being replaced as often and the ROI has improved from the original 2 days.

Internal report on SUMO Glove ROI

The Sumo gloves have been not replaced on the Canopy 3 goods receipt truck for the last 4 weeks to see how door damage faired.

Audit of uncovered fire door pallets showed that 35 door pallets had no damage(94.5% pallets no damage), 2 door pallets had one door on each stab damaged (5.4% pallets had damage)

This is 1 in 20 of door pallets delivered and inside are stab damaged. As there are 38 pallets on a typical delivery, we would expect to damage 2 per delivery!

On the costing side then payback is 2 days.

The gloves save approx. £967/week (see below), cost £350 to fit, so net saving is £5 453 per set (6 weeks). Or £43 624 per set per year internal damage.

From this, it is most sensible if the Sumo gloves are refitted, and we try to minimise the heavy impacts & scraping on the floor to make them last longer.

Every situation is different but the provable fact remains that, when implementing cost reduction measures, it is essential that the companies spend is recouped as swiftly as possible. SumoGlove/SafeFork offers real cost savings on damage in the workplace, which will in turn pay for the costs of it’s introduction within hours, days, or weeks, depending upon how it is managed


Whether you are a customer running a fleet of trucks or a business who relies on a single truck the same thoughts apply when looking at improving operations.

”How do I improve my operation, become more efficient and save money.”

At Sumo we work with customers every day trying to get that question answered for them. In the past we worked with 3PL who were  looking to offer customers a better warehousing and transportation system, for companies of this status the cost of monthly damage figures and the impact it has on running costs can be the difference between keeping that contract or losing it to a competitor.

We have also helped DIY retailers who are looking at the Health and Safety implications of Fork Trucks being in the same area as pedestrians in store.

From Chemical companies to Food producers, Pet food suppliers to Electrical equipment wholesaler one thing that they all have in common is their product is moved by a Forklift truck at some point through its life cycle and therefore liable to be damaged.


Frequently asked questions – SUMO Glove

  1. Yes – the bonding materials are a very special composition and are a freight dangerous cargo. This adds a lot to the expense of the finished product. Once the bonding is complete and the glue has cured they cease to be a dangerous cargo.
  2. No – once bonded correctly to the forklift tynes the gloves will not move and are very, very difficult to remove. They will take continued heavy impact and under normal warehouse activities will last many years. Please see testing results from Virginia Tech Tests 2017.
  3. No the SUMOGlove does not slow down the operation. It is a little like changing from a Left Hand Drive car to a Right Hand drive..or like driving an automatic car and then getting into a manual geared car…there is a small adjustment time but the end result is that you can get as fast…and probably go faster because the yellow gloves on the fork tips allow you to aim and adjust quicker. Our timed tests have shown this to be so. (Our video of timed tests is currently in production)


SUMO Limited 3 Year Warranty:

What Does This Warranty Cover?

· This warranty covers manufacturing defects in the materials and workmanship.

What Does This Warranty Not Cover?

· Damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse or incorrect installation.

· Damage which can be classed as normal wear and tear.

· Failure of the adhesive since this depends on correct surface preparation and application technique at the time of installation.

· Consequential damages to persons, property or goods.

What is the Period of Coverage?

· This warranty covers the purchaser of this product for a period of 3 years from the date of purchase.

What Will We Do to Correct Problems?

· We will replace defective parts, subject to the terms of this agreement, free of charge. We will also provide replacement adhesive and cleaning wipes, free of charge, where these are required to install the replacement parts.

What Will We Not Do?

· We will not cover the cost of fitting the replacement parts.

How Do You Get Service?

· Complete the Warranty application form and have proof of purchase and installation available, and provide evidence of the failed components.

Explosion Proof Aspects

The electrical resistance measurements performed on the test sample (of the SumoGlove) show it is constructed from an electrically non-conducting material (polyurethane composite).  However, in the charge transfer tests where the sample was tribocharged it was not possible to draw an electrostatic discharge from the charged surface.  Furthermore, a maximum discharge of only 13nC was obtained when the sample was charged via a high voltage corona source, and a discharge of this magnitude is unlikely to ignite a typical group IIA gas / vapour.  Therefore, this product is regarded as suitable for use in areas where such a flammable atmosphere may be present.

More Videos

The SUMOGlove undergoes product testing at Virginia Tech Institute.

Ordering SUMOGloves

SUMOGlove Briefing Document

We have been using the SUMOGloves on our Forklifts since the middle of 2008 and have effectively reduced fork tip damage to our products to Zero.

Damage caused by fork tip damage used to equate to an average of £400 per incident, so by fitting the SafeFork product they pay for themselves every time they are used.

Roger Rustom FIIRSM RSP

Health & Safety Advisor, Kodak Limited

We trial fitted three sets of Sumo gloves on our busiest Fork Lift Trucks and found that stab damage reduced by almost £1000 a week. So we had our maintenance staff trained in fitting gloves, and now hold Sumo gloves as stock items.

If you have a need to reduce stab and drag damage, or have better visibility of the fork ends, or need to push items carefully, then I would say try them for yourselves and just reap the benefits.

Mr A. Stokes

Production Engineer, Formerly for Howden Joineries