Why You Need to Measure Your Forks and Lift Chains


forklift chain

Forklifts have a lot of moving parts that are critical for their operation. For every load, forks and lift chains are put to the test. They use hydraulic pressure to raise the mast up by raising the lift cylinders. This, in turn, raises the inner mast channels, but without the lift of chains, your forks and carriage will not go anywhere. If your forks are not being lifted, the forklift’s functionality is catastrophically affected. Any damage to the mechanism may introduce wear over time which may result in serious accidents, damage to the forklift and load, and even injuries. Forklift repairs may also prove costly under such circumstances. While you can escape repair and maintenance costs by working with a forklift rental company in Atlanta, it remains important to know how to make sure that every forklift is working properly before commencing operations every day. One of the tasks in that endeavor is measuring your forks and lift chains to make sure they are in good shape. In this post, we share key points on why you need to measure your forks and lift chains.

To ensure the proper functioning of lift chains

Lift chains work overtime and it is important to inspect them before you begin to operate your truck. The critical part of a forklift’s lift chain is the pins that bring the links together. As the old saying goes, ‘a chain is as strong as its weakest link’ The general inspection includes:

  • Broken links - They can be caused by abnormal force on the chains whether from dropping a load or from the sheer weight of the loads being lifted and hauled.
  • Turned pins - Lack of lubrication can cause the pins to turn. Always make sure the chains are properly lubricated prior to use.
  • Wear - Forklift chains wear out over time. You will need a chain gauge to measure wear and elongation. If your chain has elongated over three percent, its time to replace it.
  • Plate cracks - Environmental factors, stress, overloading, and corrosion can lead to cracks in the chain plates of the lift chain. Replacement of the chain is imperative should such cracks surface.
  • Misalignment - Misalignment can be noticed by way of enlarged plate holes on the outside and worn heads of pins. Failure to attend to the problem can result in chain failure owing to chain and sheave damage. 
  • Rust and Corrosion - Large amounts of corrosion and rust can seriously compromise the chain’s integrity resulting in a significant risk of failure. 

To Avoid Overloading the Forks

All fork models have a certain load capacity they can handle and a calculator is used to measure it. You can search online for an excellent calculator from forklift rental service sites. It is vital to carry out an inspection of the forks and pay attention to the following key metal-related areas when examining the forks.

  • Surface cracks - Inspect each fork from top to bottom paying attention to the heel area and the welds as well as the area that attaches the fork to the lift truck.
  • Straightness of the blade and shank - If either the shank or the blade has a bend, it must be replaced before use to ensure safety.
  • Excessive angle - If the shank and blade have an angle that exceeds 93 degrees, the fork must be replaced before use. 

Last word

The need for safety when working with forklift whether in a warehouse or at a construction site can never be overemphasized. A daily inspection regiment must be established and all operators educated on the importance of carrying out such safety inspections. Measuring your fork and lift chains is an integral part of such daily inspections as it helps minimize accidents, business losses, and expensive repairs. Accurate Forklift is a reputable forklift rental company in Atlanta catering to all your forklift needs, big and small. Our highly trained and experienced team is always at hand to help you with cost-effective deals on forklifts for rent and a comprehensive folio of related services. Call us today to discuss your requirements and learn more about our Atlanta forklift sales and forklift service at 770 692 1455 or email us at rentals@accurateforklift.net. 

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