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In the post, we offer up an introduction to one of the most essential components of the forklift—the fork itself. One of the important questions facing anyone who owns a forklift is what type of replacement fork you should buy. The fork, also known as the blade, is obviously one of the most important parts of the forklift—after all, it is used to lift loads and support pallets, among other purposes—but if you do not change your forks you really shouldn’t be surprised when your performance suffers.
There are two main types of replacement forks: the most common is the hook style, and the other popular one is the shaft, or pin model. The hook style model bends over and fits into the end of the carriage bars, locking into the end of carriage bars. Forklift operators who lift loads that are not especially heavy are well-served to spring for the hook style replacement fork.
Meanwhile, for more extreme loads, the shaft model is the better option. Shaft forks can lift upwards of 12000 pounds of gross capacity. They are also more adjustable, making them a superior option for those who lift a wide variety of pallet sizes. Operators who routinely have difficulty keeping the load in a precise position are also advised to select the shaft model.
Before making your decision on a replacement fork, check with your Forklift Accessories professional to get their educated opinion. Another thing you should bear in mind is that it is always a good idea to purchase a backup set of replacement forks, and you may also want to carry replacement forks that have a different length, so that you can rest assured that you have the right equipment for the job.
Finally, here are a couple of handy tips to ensure that you get the most out of your forks. First, you should only raise your forklift as high as needed. It is also important to make sure that the forklift is not operated at a fast speed—only drive at a speed that is easily “stoppable,” in the event that an accident were to take place. In the end, if you operate your forklift responsibly and replace the fork at regular intervals, you should be able to get a decade of use (or more) out of your forklift.