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The fork itself is obviously one of the most important ingredients of the lift fork, and it is crucial that every forklift operator keep their forks in good working order. It should come as no surprise that a damaged fork can have disastrous consequences, from destroying valuable cargo to placing the safety or yourself and those around you in danger. Inspecting the thickness and condition of the forklift must absolutely be a part of every daily checklist, as you need to be sure that your thickness is appropriate in order to lift cargo all day long. This post offers a basic overview of what you need to look for when inspecting the fork thickness of your forklift.
Inspecting your fork thickness: The basics
The ISO 5054 stipulates that a formal inspection has to take place every 12 months. However, in addition to your basic daily inspection, you should conduct a more substantial inspection more frequently than on an annual basis. The exact frequency is contingent on the work conditions in which you operate, as well as the condition (and age) of the lift truck itself. The lift truck should be inspected by either a trained technician or a service company specializing in forklift repair.
What should you look for when inspecting your fork?
Whether conducting your daily check or a more substantial checkup, there are a number of specs that you need to look for. These include: cracks on the surface of the fork, whether or not the fork is straight, the thickness of the fork, and the amount of visible wear. In some cases, such as if there are surface cracks, you will probably not need to weld. However, more significant wear will necessitate serious repair.
One of the most substantial repairs involves fork thickness. If 10% of the thickness is worn down, the fork cannot be used. It is also important to rembmer that if the fork is 10% less thick, it loses 20% in carrying capacity, which only reinforces the need for regular maintenance. To check the thickness, position the caliper mouth so it clamps the fork arm blade. The inside jaws of the caliper should not hit the fork. Typically, the fork thickness should be between 1 ¼ and 1 ¾ inches, although this can vary depending on the size of the load.
Inspecting your lift fork is a crucial component of forklift maintenance. Be sure to adhere to a schedule ensuring that areas such as fork thickness remain in good shape.