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The importance of inspecting your forks and chains on your forklift

As a responsible employee, you’re supposed to inspect your forklift each and every time you take it out for your shift. However, there are two parts of the lift that always seem to get neglected: the forks and the chains. The forks and the chains are possibly the two most important parts of the machine. They’re responsible for the bulk of the work and are the last things that you would want to have malfunctioning. Here at ARPAC, experts in forklift repair in Calgary and Edmonton, we want to show you just how important it is to keep an eye on these parts and keep your forklift running as smooth as possible.

What can damage my forks?

  1. Dragging your forks along the ground will create enough friction over time to wear down the metal and weaken it to a point where it could bend or even completely break off from the rest of the lift.
  2. Pushing or prying objects with your forks is another good way to weaken the steel. Remember, your forks were made for lifting, and lifting only.
  3. Always use both forks when lifting a load; never try to lift a pallet using only one of your forks.
  4. Avoid hitting the racking; collisions can cause significant damage to your forks.

What to look for when inspecting your forks

  1. Surface cracks. Inspect both the top and bottom of the forks and pay close attention to the heel of the fork.
  2. The positioning lock. Ensure that the lock is working properly and does not let the forks slide around while being operated.
  3. Over time your forks will bend even if being used on a load of an appropriate size.
  4. Improper angle of the heel. The heel should not exceed 93 degrees.
  5. Wear at the heel are must be less than 10% of the shank thickness.

What to look for when inspecting the chains of your forklift

The chains of your forklift, more than anything, are subject to the tremendous stress of a day-to-day workload. It’s important to check the following:

  1. Look for wear patterns along the pinheads—continued use of misaligned chains could result in failure.
  2. The longer the chain becomes over time, the less strength it will have. If you note a 3% elongation of the chain, it is time for a replacement.
  3. Rust and corrosion. This can weaken the chains, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any severely affected areas.

You should be inspecting your forklift before every use, but a more detailed evaluation of the forks and chains should be done at least once a year. At ARPAC, we’re happy to provide our services in forklift inspections and repairs. If you or your business is in the market for used forklifts in Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary, give us a call today.