​When To Replace Forklift Forks

The forklift fork is often overlooked and under-inspected. Many are unaware of how often one should inspect their forks, and how to inspect them. Federal law (OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1910.178) mandates that forklift forks which see around-the-clock use should be inspected on a per-operation basis. As part of a pre-operation inspection, forklift forks should ideally be inspected for signs of cracks, bends, excessive wear or damage to either the fork tine or the positioning lock when using an ITA mounted fork.

What to look for:

1. Excessive wear to the forks
Forklift forks decrease in thickness over time due to normal wear. However, any wear to the fork over 10 percent of the total thickness is considered excessive. Forks that show this amount of wear should be replaced.

2. Fractures due to stress or collision
Be sure to inspect the forks closely for fractures and gouges. The fork heel and parts of the fork closest to the machine typically receive the most wear. Even small cracks and gouges are signs forks need to be replaced.

3. Damage to the fork tip
Since fork tips are usually the first part of the fork to come in contact with material, excessive wear or damage to the tips is a clear indicator the forks should be replaced.

4. Any bends or uneven surfaces on the fork
All forks are delivered with a 90 degree angle from the shank to the blade. If any bend or uneven surface is detected on either the blade or shank, the fork(s) need replacing.

5. Difference in fork blade height
A difference in the height of each fork blade should stay within 3 percent of the fork length. Therefore if the forks in question are 42 inches long the allowable difference in fork height would be 1.26 inches. Any difference in fork height beyond 1.26 inches is a sign that both forks need to be replaced.

6. Wear or damage to the fork hook
Noticeable wear, crushing, pulling, and other deformities are signs that the fork hooks need to be replaced. Furthermore, if the wear to the hook is causing an excessive amount of distance between the fork and the carriage, the hook(s) should be replaced.

7. Wear or damage to positioning lock
If a positioning lock is no longer capable of locking completely due to wear the forks should immediately be removed from duty until the part is replaced. Operating without a fully functional positioning lock is a safety hazard and illegal.

When it does come time to replace forklift forks here are some common questions.
1. Can a single fork be replaced or should they be replaced in pairs?
While only a single fork might show signs of excessive wear or damage, it is not safe to replace only one fork. It is highly recommended forks be replaced only in pairs to ensure equal performance. Having two different forks with unique amounts of wear and disproportionate hourly usage is provides a number of safety concerns. "Replacing just one fork may seem like a good idea, but can actually lead to serious safety violations." says Terry Melvin, CEO of Arrow Material Handling Products.

2. Is it ok to make custom repairs or modification to the forks?
It is typically recommended that only the fork manufacturer make repairs or modifications to ensure forks meet safety standards. Always contact your fork provider first when in need of modification.

3. How do I determine replacement fork quality?
Forks made from high quality boron-carbon alloy high strength steel are rated 20% stronger than those made with 40CR. In addition, forks that are fully immersed into industrial heat treatment ovens and cooling pools are the most durable. Premium quality forklift forks should meet or exceed all ANSI/ITSDF and ISO standards.

Helpful Links

- OSHA's pre operation forklift checklist and fork can be found at https://www.osha.gov/dte/libra...
- OSHA's guidelines on fork wear can be found at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etoo...
- Arrow Material Handling Products' Fork Quality Standards http://www.arrowmhp.com/pdfs/F...

This article was submitted by Arrow Material Handling Products.

Company Info

Latest News

Tiltrotators supercharge excavator productivity

There is no one main application for a tiltrotator. It can be used for just about anything an excavator can do, from any type of bucket work to grapple work or any other attachment job that can benefit from being able to rotate or tilt.

When a contractor is looking to get the most out of their excavator they utilize a variety of attachments that can get more jobs done. What is often overlooked is how those attachments are coupled to the machine – and how a tiltrotator can not only allow that equipment to do more, but to do it faster, safer and with less labour.

Read More

Tags
Locating, Inspection

Robust, cost-effective downhole inspection camera from Hoskin

Robust, cost-effective downhole inspection camera from Hoskin

The dipper-See EXAMINER from Hoskin Scientific is a robust and cost effective vertical downhole inspection camera. Designed with portability in mind, this self-contained unit is ideal for viewing in wells, drains, vertical shafts, open bodies of water, boreholes and narrow tubes over 25mm (1") in diameter.

  • Versatile positioning arm
  • High Definition (HD) display screen
  • HD, detachable See-120 camera probe
  • Recordable video/audio
  • Designed to work in the harshest environments
  • Built in hanger - hands-free viewing while in the field

Read More

Ground penetrating radar systems need tough tablets to endure harsh conditions

As a manufacturer of ground penetrating radar technology, GSSI is an organization that understands the rigour of field work, and their customers operate in environments that are as tough as it gets. GSSI's technology aids field work across industries, from construction sites to public utility work and even search and rescue missions following a natural disaster. Despite their reputation for industry leading software, they can't do it alone. GSSI relied on a custom controller that was hardened for field work. While it met the unique hardware requirements for their ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology, the controller couldn't keep up with the design cycle and the hardware too frequently became outdated. In a market that requires staying ahead of technological advancements, GSSI sought a new hardware partner to accompany their best-in-class software.

Read More

LaValley, American Augers team up to distribute drill pipe handling tools

LaValley, American Augers team up to distribute drill pipe handling tools

LaValley Industries has entered into a strategic alliance with American Augers to distribute the TONGHAND exit side wrench and DECKHAND pipe handling system specifically configured for loading and unloading drill pipe in HDD applications. These additions complement the American Augers product line of pipeline equipment, which includes maxi-sized horizontal directional drills, drilling fluid reclaimers, pumps and trenchers.

Read More

Michels receives 10,000th Cat excavator from Victoria facility: PLM

Michels receives the 10,000th machine to be produced at Caterpillar's Victoria, Texas facility. Present at the ceremony were Tyler Sternat (Fabick Cat), Kent Podobinski (Caterpillar), Chuck Riggert (Caterpillar), Art Strother (Victoria facility manager), Doug Fabick (Fabick Cat), Mary Morris (Victoria O&D Planning), Kevin Michels, Pat Michels and Terry Gassner (MICHELS Corporation), Adam Helleberg (PLM), Roger Montalvan (Victoria supply chain manager), and Craig McArton (Fabick Cat).

PipeLine Machinery International (PLM) has announced that the 10,000th machine to be assembled and delivered by the Caterpillar Hydraulic Excavator Facility in Victoria, Texas - US. The new 336F Hydraulic Excavator went to mainline pipeline contractor Michels Corporation, and was presented in ceremony to them on May 16, 2018.

Read More

John Deere launches its largest reduced tail swing Excavator

The new John Deere 345G LC reduced tail swing excavator adds another option to the manufacturer's 33 - 40 metric ton size class, providing customers with a larger machine with increased lift capacity, more reach, deeper dig depth and greater breakout forces compared to the 245G LC. The excavator is ideal for work in road building, underground, building, landscaping and site development applications.    

Read More

Tunnel version of Epiroc SB hydraulic breakers features application-specific modifications to extend lifetime, minimize dust intake

Tunnel versions of Epiroc's SB breakers are suitable for excavators in the weight class from 4.5 to 13 tons (10,000 to 28,500 pounds) and standard underground scalers.

The new SB 302 and SB 452 Tunnel versions of Epiroc's Solid Body breaker range provide application-specific modifications that extend equipment lifetime and reduce overall operating costs in underground applications. 

Read More

Mecalac introduces cabbed site dumpers at Intermat

With the growth of urban construction sites, the associated challenges of  working in confined space, and concern over environmental impact, Mecalac says that site dumpers have returned to the forefront of European city building sites, even supplanting trucks – that are more polluting, more bulky and less agile – on some sites. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Ditch Witch partners with Vacuworx

Vacuum lifting technology offers an effective approach to moving materials on tough concrete demolition and construction, road and landscaping projects. Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works Company, has partnered with Tulsa-based Vacuworx to bring the benefits of vacuum lifting technology to an expanded network of underground construction contractors, landscapers, municipalities and utilities.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Granite Acquires LiquiForce

Granite Acquires LiquiForce

Granite Construction Incorporated has announcedthat it has acquired LiquiForce, a privately-owned company which serves public and private sector water and wastewater customers in both Canada and the U.S. Today, LiquiForce provides a variety of underground contracting services including lateral liner rehabilitation, mainline Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP), project management, manhole rehabilitation, and mainline point repairs. In addition, they are recognized as a leader for their patented LiquiForce Junction Lateral Liner. Through this acquisition, we welcome more than 100 employees to the Granite team. Going forward, LiquiForce will continue to operate from offices in Kingsville, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario, and Romulus, Michigan. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Granite's 2018 earnings per share.

Read More