Know When to Replace Forklift Forks
by Trey Barber, on December 20, 2019 at 9:54 AM
The good news is, this type of accident is easily preventable. Regular fork inspections can ensure your forklift forks get replaced before they create a hazard. Learn more about how to inspect forklift forks and know when to replace them.
How to Inspect Forklift ForksOver time, forklift forks will bend, crack, or wear down. They just don’t last forever. Accidents, improper chain adjustments, and lifting loads beyond the truck’s rated capacity can shorten the life of your forks.
The important thing is to identify signs of wear and replace the forks before they fail. Here are five warning signs every forklift operator should know:
- More than 10 percent wear - the metal on a fork gradually wears down. Just ten percent wear can reduce load capacity by 20 percent. It can be hard to notice over time, so use forklift calipers to measure the shaft. Then compare your base measurement to the thickness of the fork blade, heel and hook.
- If the shank or the blade are bent more than 93 degrees, replace the fork(s). Bending the fork back into place is not a fix, it’s a dangerous cosmetic repair
- Surface cracks - they typically appear in the heel area and around welds.
- Bent or worn fork hooks - inspect using a caliper, check for wear and straightness. If the lip of the hook touches the back of the caliper, the fork(s) must be replaced.
- Uneven blade height - the tips of both forklift blades should be at (roughly) the same height. If the difference is more than three percent of the blade length, it's time to replace the forks. For example, if the forklift blade is 48” long, the difference in height between the tips should not exceed 1.44”.
Forklift Fork Inspection Done RightPrevent accidents and avoid OSHA fines by ensuring operators know how to inspect your trucks. If you’re not sure whether your team is on top of things:
- We offer on-site forklift certification and refresher training.
- If you have a forklift service contract with us, every planned maintenance visit includes a thorough inspection - including the forks.
Buy Forklift Forks Near Seattle or the Tri-CitiesMidColumbia Material Handling has high-quality replacement forks for nearly any application, lifting capacity, make or model including:
- Carpet forks
- ITA hook-style forks
- Lumber forks
- Shaft-mounted forks
Questions? Ask an expert. Contact us online or by phone: