Although you can always take your forklift to a qualified and experienced mechanic for maintenance and repairs, it pays to know how to do some of the work in house. You can find excellent forklift parts at authorized dealers or vendors that provide forklift salvage parts. In this blog, we look at how you can change the forks on your forklift. A damaged fork can be the cause for disaster or fatal accidents in the workplace.
Know your forklift
The first thing you need to do is go through the forklift’s manual as forklift come in different configurations. How you replace the forks is different for sit-down pallet movers, narrow merchandise movers, and large boat movers. Make sure you are using the forklift’s oem parts, and you can check its load capacity rating as listed on the forklift. The load capacity should match with the replacement part.
Find Ample Space
To safely replace the fork, you need ample space. Find an open area that has generous space and lower the fork until it is resting on the floor or at its lowest height. Place something underneath if it does not rest on the floor.
Switch Forklift Off
Some forklift must be on when you change the forks. If your forklift does not require this, it is advisable to switch it off. Check the mounting mechanism to know how to proceed.
Check Forklift and Mount
You need to inspect all the aspects of the fork and its mounting. Look at the pins, screws, and welds to establish if they are in an excellent condition. If you notice any damage to the fork, chances are the mount is damaged as well and needs replacement.
Study The Fork Mounting
It is important to know how your forklift is mounted. You can make a drawing or take a picture to create a reference for when installing the replacement fork. The mounting will be any of the 3 types – standard hook, non-standard hook, and pin.
Release the Forks
Standard hook forklifts feature a top and bottom locking mechanism while contemporary models have quick-change forks. For older models, first release the top mechanism and then release the bottom as the forks begin to come to a rest on the floor. A pin lock mechanism may feature a pin, shaft, or rod which locks into the fork’s ‘eye’. The fork is released when you unlock the mount and slide out the pin. Remove the forks and mark them ‘damaged’.
Put the replacement fork in position in front of the forklift. Reverse your action and if you are unsure, refer to your reference. Test the new forks out on small pallets before moving to big ones. Your dealer, whether for new or salvage forklift parts can help you find the right forks for your truck. Make sure salvage forklift parts are tested for any damage before you buy. A simple online search will show you many providers of CAT forklift parts and other popular brands such as Toyota forklift parts.