FORK INSPECTION – Tips & Guidelines
Forks will last a long time if treated properly. They can look as good as new but still be worn, that’s why it is critical to know how to inspect them to determine if they are indeed safe.
The Industrial Truck Association and fork manufacturers suggest that the forks be replaced on your forklift when the thickness of the blade has worn 10% from the original size. To perform this inspection an inexpensive caliper can be used to check the wear on your existing forks. Below is a step-by-step procedure how simple the process is.
A FORK INSPECTION is completed as part of a Liftway service LDI (Lifting Device Inspection) performed every 12 months.
Step 1 – Set Calipers
Set the front teeth of the caliper jaws by measuring the thickness of the shank of the fork. Ensure that the caliper is held square across the shank for an accurate measurement. The caliper is now set to measure heel of the fork.
STEP 2 – Check Blade Thickness
Position the jaws of the caliper over the flanks of the fork arm blade. If inside teeth of the caliper hit the fork it has less than 10% wear and 20% reduction capacity available.
STEP 3 – Check Fork Heel Angle
- Open the calipers to approximately 90 degrees and place the calipers in the top inside heel area of the fork (on top of the blade).
- Ensure that the two lower pieces on the horizontal leg are both touching the top of the blade.
- Move the calipers towards the upright. Ensure that the caliper arms are both parallel to the blade and to the upright.
- Open or close the calipers so that the two similar extruding pieces on the vertical leg of the calipers both touch the upright & shank of the fork.
- When all 4 points are simultaneously in contact with the fork remove the calipers and check the indicator marks at the hinge pin of the calipers.
STEP 4 – Checking the Fork Hooks
Use the end of the caliper designed for the correct fork class. If the fork caliper slides entirely into the hook [pocket (Diagram B) the fork must be removed from service.
STEP 5 – Measure the Bore on the shaft / pin type forks.
Insert the reversed caliper inside the eye of the tube (see diagram C) opening the teeth until both sides of the teeth come in contact with the inside wall of the tube. Pull the caliper and measure the distance from tip to tip. (See Diagram D)
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