What to Pay Attention to During Forklift Inspections

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

Early detection of problems with lift equipment is vital in preventing accidents that can result in injury to personnel or damage to goods. This article discusses the specific things that you should pay attention to when reviewing the inspection report of the forks on your forklift trucks.

Rated Load Capacity

Many forklift problems start with using the forklift to move loads that are heavier than the loads that the forks were designed to carry. You should confirm that the loads do not exceed the load rating of that equipment. Check the website of the manufacturer for the maximum loads that your equipment's forks can carry. This will prolong the useful life of the forks since they will be operating within their capacity.

Surface Cracks

Take note of any mention made of surface cracks on the forks of your lift equipment. This is because surface cracks indicate that the forks are about to fail. Pay special attention to cracks on the welds by which the forks are attached to the truck. The most prudent thing to do is to replace the forks once they exhibit surface cracks. This is because repairing the fork may only address the superficial defect without removing the underlying line of weakness.

Variances in the Height of Fork Tips

The tips of a fork refer to the sharp ends of the forks. Pay attention to the height of those tips. Each forklift model has a recommended fork tip height. Replace the forks if the inspection report indicates that they exceed the recommended height.

Shank and Blade Straightness

The shank and blade of the fork should always be as straight as when the lift equipment was new. Any bend is a pointer to a weakening shank or blade. Such a shank or blade should be replaced before it catastrophically fails when it is carrying a load.

Status of the Positioning Lock

The positioning lock is used to keep the forks in one position (for example, it keeps the forks raised when the forks have a load). This component is very important and prompt action should be taken when an anomaly is observed. The positioning lock must be replaced in case it is not working. This should be done before the fork is taken back into service on the lift truck.

Ask the maintenance personnel to guide you in understanding the aspects above if you do not know how to interpret the relevant sections of the inspection report. This will enable you to keep a close eye on the condition of your lift equipment.


23 February 2016

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