Your forklift forks are some of the most important components of your forklift. If they’re not in good working order, you won’t be able to do much with your truck. Here are a few things you should know about inspecting your forks and repairing or replacing them as needed.
Before learning how to inspect the forks on your forklift, it’s a good idea to know basic equipment vocabulary. Here are the different parts of your truck’s fork:
The more you understand about these parts of your forklift forks, the easier it is to inspect them for problems.
A forklift fork is designed to be simple and straightforward. However, there are different lift truck styles available. To help you choose the right type of fork for your business, here is an overview of the different styles available:
Some employers may also wish to use fork extensions, which can temporarily add length to your current forks.
In addition to the main fork styles, there are also different taper styles:
Become familiar with these tip taper styles to choose the right one for your needs.
If there is anything wrong with your forks and you continue using your forklift anyway, you put yourself at an increased risk of injury. Additionally, if you do not meet the requirements for inspecting and repairing forks as needed, you could run into trouble with OSHA. Employers have a responsibility to make sure forklift forks are regularly and properly inspected. In some instances, failure to do so could qualify as a recognized OSHA hazard and may be subject to enforcement and fines.
Follow these steps to inspect your forklift forks properly:
If you have any questions about whether your forklift forks are safe for operation, hire a professional inspector to check them out. It is better to spend the money to hire a professional to inspect your forks regularly than it is to end up injuring employees or damaging your forklift or inventory because you didn’t recognize signs that your forks needed replacement.
In addition to the above, one of the best indicators of when to replace your forklift forks is how worn out they are. When you inspect your forks, check to make sure they are not too thin. With a fork arm wear caliper you can make sure your forks still are in a condition to carry the load for which they’re rated.
Once the thickness of the forks reaches 90% of the original width, it’s time to replace them. If you can’t remember how thick your fork was originally, simply use the fork arm wear caliper to check the thickness of the shank portion of the fork. The shank portion is rarely worn down, so it’s most likely to remain at its original thickness. Compare the thickness of the fork’s blade heel to the shank to see how much wear your fork has sustained.
When you invest in a new or used forklift, you have every right to expect it to be in good working condition and to have forklift forks that work well. If you’re ready to invest in a new or used lift truck for your business needs, buy from Forklift Inventory. For help deciding what type of forklift is the best fit for your situation, check out our forklift buying guide.