Many forklift owners are unaware of the risks damaged forks can have on lifting capabilities and the safety of staff. Forklift forks should be checked daily for signs of general wear and tear, cracks, damage, and bends. If you are ever unsure if you forks are unsafe, call your local Grant Handling depot and a service engineer will come out and inspect.
Below are some tips on what you can look out for:
How you can tell if your forks need replacing
- If 10% of any part of the fork is worn, the forks must be scrapped. Heel protectors can be bough to further protect the heel from wearing. A fork gauge or measuring tape can be used to look for this.
- Forks that are bent more than 1 degree up or down, need replacing. Forks are built to be sat at a 90 angle and must be no more than 91 or 89
- Differential Blade Height – The difference of two fork heights must not exceed more than 3% of the total forklift fork length. The owner of the truck should check this regularly. 3% is the maximum it can exceed, if the difference is less but the forks are used in poor weather conditions, this should be factored in when determining when new forks are needed.
- Fork tip damage – Cracks should be checked, particularly in the heels and hooks region. If there are cracks detected, they can’t be used again.
- Position lock damage – A position lock must be fitted and damage free otherwise they can’t be used.
Ways you can reduce damage to your forks
- Drive with the forks too close to the ground so they drag. This can cause them to wear quickly
- Lift a load using the tips of the forks, it can cause permanent deformation to the blade.
- Overload the forks with a load heavier than its capable of
- Use the forks to push a load forward on the ground as it ruins the tips of the forks
- Drive the forks into an object, causes the forks to distort
- Always drive with the forks above the ground
- Ensure the fork is fully inserted into the pallet
- Lift a weight no more than it can carry at specific heights
- Use the forks to pick up and carry a load
- Be cautious when near objects, so the forks don’t hit it