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Last time we discussed a number of standards and inspection guidelines of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF) pertaining to fork attachments or extensions.
In this article we will be discussing ANSI and ITSDF Safety Guidelines pertaining to repair and testing.
Repair and Testing
ANSI/ITSDF B56.1 2012
220.127.116.11 Repair and Testing
Only the manufacturer of the fork, or an expert of equal competence, shall decide if a fork may be repaired for continued use, and repairs shall only be carried out by such parties. It is not recommended that surface cracks or wear be repaired by welding. When repairs necessitating resetting are required, the fork shall subsequently be subjected to an appropriate heat treatment as necessary.
(b) Test Loading
A fork that has undergone repairs, other than repair of replacement of the positioning lock and/or the marking, shall only be returned to service after being submitted to, and passing, the tests described in paragraph 7.27.3, except that the test load shall correspond to 2.5 times the rated capacity marked on the fork.
Inspect for surface cracks
Pay special attention to the heel and welds attaching all mounting components to the fork blank. Forks with surface cracks should not be returned to service.
Check for straightness of blade and shank.
Fork should be withdrawn from service if the deviation from straightness exceeds allowable “A” and “B” values. Outside jaws 100%. Inside jaws 90%.
Allowable “A” = (.005) x (S)
Allowable “B” = (.005) x (L)
48” or 1,219 mm long blade
Allowable A = (.005) x (48”) = .24”
Allowable B = (.005) x (1,219) = 6.10mm
Fork Angle 3°
Check for excessive fork angle.
If the deviation from straightness exceeds allowable values (3°), the fork should be withdrawn from service.
Tip Alignment 3%
Check tip alignment.
When the difference in height of the tips of a pair of forks on the same carriage exceeds 3% of the forks blade length, then the forks should be removed from service until repair in accordance with ANSI/ITSDF B-56.1, 18.104.22.168.
Tip height difference of a pair of forks
Check for positioning lock damage.
Check the positioning lock and other fork retention devices to ensure they are in place and in working order.
Check for marking (stamping).
If the fork identification marking is not clearly readable, it should be renewed.
Check for wear/straightness of fork hooks.
What Not to Do
· Do not overload the fork beyond its rated capacity.
· Do not change fork from one lift truck to another without knowing capacities of each truck and fork.
· Do not use a fork in an application for which it is not designed.
· Do not add a fork extension longer than 150% of the supporting fork’s length.
· Do not try to repair or modify forks in the field, especially by welding. Improper welding destroys heat treat properties and makes the forks brittle.
· Do not carry full or partial loads on one fork.
· Do not apply sideways pressure to forks, commonly called “side loading,” as they are designed for vertical loading only.