Sunday, February 5, 2012
Forklift Forks And Loads
Under normal operating conditions, forks should be inspected daily and given a thorough inspection every six months. Operators should make visual inspection of forks during the pre-start-up check before their work begins.
Under normal operating conditions, forks should be inspected daily and given a thorough inspection every six months. Operators should make visual inspection of forks during the pre-start-up check before their work begins. The check will give special attention to permanent distortions and cracks. At six months a thorough inspection of forks should be done. This inspection should be done by a trained individual, to check for any cracks, distortion, and excessive wear on the forks. Forks may need inspections more often, depending on the use of the equipment.
The trained inspector at six months will check the fork blades for wear. Forks are constantly subjected to abrasion by concrete floors, steel shelving, etc. This abrasion can reduce the thickness of a fork until it cannot lift loads up to the designed capacity. The inspector will have a gauge to check for thickness.
The inspector will also check for distortion. Forks can be bent out of shape. Depending on distortion, some forks can be straightened. Check for cracks in heel and hanger. Cracks may appear on forks where attachments are welded on or in the inside radius of the bend area. Periodic inspection using a magnetic particle or dye penetrate test can detect cracks. Contact your forklift supplier or the manufacturer for additional information.
Do not repair your own forks. No one but the fork manufacturer should undertake the repair of forks. Also, do not modify forks without consulting with your forklift supplier. The in-house repair or modification can drastically reduce the strength of the forks.
If replacement is needed, replace with good quality forks. When ordering forks, make sure you are getting high quality forks that will do your lifting jobs safely. Insist on forged forks or ones with an upset heel. In purchasing new forks use the proper forks. Custom-designed forks are designed to handle specific materials such as unusual lifting conditions, spark-free areas, high heat furnace areas, and special object lifting. The best place for information is the company that services or inspects the forklift or even the original manufacturer.
Forks are like forklifts; do not overload the forks. Operators should be aware of the capacity of the forklift and the capacity of the forks. Overloading may bend and weaken forks. Do not exceed the recommended load limit of your lift truck. Each lift truck has a maximum load limit. The load limit is shown on the data plate of the lift truck. This plate should also reflect the attachments that are used on the truck. The original chart is based on the standard forks supplied with the forklift. An eight hundred pound clamp attachment will change the lifting ability of the forklift from standard forks.
Position the load according to the recommended load center on the chart. The load limit of the lift truck decreases as the load center is raised. Do not add extra weight to counterbalance of the forklift. If the back tires come off the ground while lifting a load, the forklift is too small for that particular load. While moving loads, keep loads close to the front wheels to keep lift truck stable.
Forks are important pieces of equipment and should be visually inspected daily. The check should be part of the pre-start-up check list; the forks should be thorough inspected at least every six months. Depending on the tasks required, the thorough inspection of the forks might need to be scheduled earlier.