Why It’s Important To Inspect Your Forks And Chains On Your Forklift

Why It’s Important To Inspect Your Forks And Chains On Your Forklift

Two parts of the forklift that oftentimes go uninspected and sometimes neglected are your forks and chains. If you treat your forks and chains properly and if they are well maintained, they will provide a long lifespan. They do inevitably expire and are no longer safe to use. If you aren’t keeping track of the quality of your forks and chains, you run the risk of a fork snapping, dropping a load, and/or flinging sharp debris across the warehouse.

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Inspect Forks And Chains

Why It’s Important To Inspect Your Forks And Chains On Your Forklift

Causes Of Fork Damage

The typical causes of fork damage include normal wear from use over time, improper chain adjustments, tire wear and damage (which disrupts fork stability thereby causing them to scrape or tilt), accidents (such as running into racks and walls), and loading them beyond their rated load capacity.

Inspect Your Forks

It is recommended to inspect your forks every 12 months if you are operating a standard single-shift operational forklift. When you are inspecting, look out for any surface cracks, the straightness of the blade and the shank, if there is an improper angle on the heel (beyond 90 degrees), if the fork tips are at the same level, any signs of wear on the fork surface or hook, and thickness of the fork.

It is worth noting that metal on a fork wears down from repeated use and load weight. If a fork loses more than 10 percent of its thickness, it is recommended to remove it from service immediately. To measure how much wear there is on a fork, use what is called a ‘fork caliper’. These are a quick-use tool that will be able to identify the thickness of the blade, heel, and hook.

Checking The Chain

Checking the chain also needs to be a priority. A forklift chain can last up to 6,000 hours or roughly 3 years of use as long as they are properly lubricated. Chains are susceptible to environmental factors though. Moisture, high and low temperatures, a corrosive atmosphere, abrasives, and overloading all play a role in cutting down the lifespan of a chain. This is why it is important to inspect your chains every 6 months and to look for issues such as wear on link plate edges, any protruding pins, elongation, cracks, tight joints, and corrosion. If there are no issues, simply re-lubricate if needed and resume using the chain. If there are problems, replace it immediately.

We Can Inspect Your Forks And Chains

If you do not have the time to check your forks and chains on your forklift or have not done it before, we would be happy to inspect them for you. If your forks require repairs, we can do those. We typically do not recommend doing fork repairs yourself as you can accidentally weaken the forks further, resulting in you having to send them to the manufacturer for repair. This can be time consuming and costly.

If there is damage or a replacement needed, we will do our best to provide you the most affordable solution for your business. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to inspect your forks and chains.

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