Forklift is a small industrial vehicle used for material handling in manufacturing and storage facilities worldwide. A forklift has a power operated platform with a pair of forks attached at the front that can be raised and lowered for insertion under a cargo to lift or move it. The forklift mast is the raised vertical support that allows loads to be raised and lowered.
Anatomy of the forklift forks
Also known as the tines, the forks on a forklift are used to make direct contact with material loads to be transported. They are attached to the forklift carriage and are designed to carry loads from beneath them. The carriage is a platform located in front of the forklift mast on which objects are mounted in order to be controlled by the mast. This includes the forks of the forklift, the load backrest and other parts of a forklift truck that come in direct contact with the loads.
Forklift forks come in various shapes and sizes, meant for different uses with different products. There is a wide variety of fork types available for various applications. Standard ITA forks are the most common type of forklift forks, but they too come in various widths, lengths and shapes.
Importance of the forklift forks
Since forks are the parts of a forklift that come in direct contact of the material loads, they need to be in good condition. A strong and sturdy pair of forks ensures that the items can be safely loaded and unloaded. These can be used in a wide variety of applications such as:
- Transporting heavy materials across the facility in factories
- Lifting materials such as concrete blocks on construction sites
- Lifting pallets loaded with products to be shipped in warehouses
- Unloading boxes and other loads from trucks
- Loading and unloading ships and barges at shipping ports.
Safety with the forklift forks
Since the forks on a forklift are important attachments used for lifting heavy loads, the safety aspect has to be considered with these. So how do you ensure safety when using forklift forks? The first is to ensure your forks are in good condition and replace them as soon as they show signs of wear and tear. You should regularly inspect the forks on all the forklifts for the following signs of wear:
- Cracks on the surface of fork
- The tips of fork have different heights
- The fork has gotten thinner over time
- Crooked/bent shank or blade
- Wear in the hangers of the fork
- A damaged positioning lock
- Wear on the fork blade, shank or hooks
- The foot markings have faded
If any of these signs are found in the forks, you should immediately cease operating the forklift until the forks are replaced. To ensure that they last long, you should take good care of the forks. This can be done by avoiding certain things such as overloading the forks, using them to open the doors of rail cars, and picking off-balance loads.
Forklifts are versatile machines used for many applications. However, it’s important to make sure the forklift fork is in good condition before moving to lift anything with it. Learn here.