If your business employs forklifts for day-to-day operations, using the right level of care is essential. Although that might sound obvious to some, not everyone realizes what contributes to forklift damages and malfunctions. A common form of forklift damage is fork wear-and-tear. Read the guide below to discover the top reasons forklift forks wear down. By learning why fork deterioration occurs, you can plan accordingly and prevent these damages from hindering your workflow.
One of the quickest ways to wear down a forklift fork is to allow it to experience a collision. Workplace accidents aren’t just dangerous to employees; they’re harmful to equipment too. Whether the operator collides into a nearby wall, storage unit, or another forklift, the forks can receive significant damage. Besides wearing them down, accidents can bend or crack forks to the point where facilities must remove the machine from the workforce until repairs or replacements occur. Good handling is essential if you want forklifts to last as long as they should.
Excessive Load Weight
Every forklift operator should know how their machine functions inside and out. Thanks to the designated data plate, operators can quickly identify key information about their forklift, including the load capacity. The load capacity exists for a reason. Employees must use this measurement to prevent excessive fork damage. If operators consistently overload forklifts, the forks will prematurely break down. Plus, when the forks wear out, they can’t handle their original carrying capacity. Issues like improper handling are why abiding by the OSHA forklift certification requirements is essential for businesses.
One of the top reasons forklift forks wear down is simply old age. With proper maintenance and handling, forklifts will serve your workforce for as long as they should, but they’re not invincible. Over time, the forks will weaken solely due to the weight they carry throughout the day. Thankfully, businesses can replace the forks. So, how exactly do you determine when it’s time for a replacement?
Visible bends and cracks are causes for replacement, but they’re not the only telling signs. The industry rule of thumb is as follows: Once your forks drop ten percent below their original thickness, replace them. Thanks to daily forklift inspections, monitoring fork thickness is easier than you might expect.