Concrete production activities continuously subject lift truck forks to abrasion wear, stresses, strains and shock loadings, yet many producers rely only on visual inspections to judge a fork's worthiness.
Annual lift truck fork inspections detect wear, operator abuse and improper repairs that can cause failure. Some producers have recognized the need for an annual safety certification of their forklifts similar to certification developed for overhead cranes.
Whether producers use an outside certification service or not, mechanics should inspect the two parts that make up the lift fork: the shank -- the vertical part attached to the carriage, and the blade -- the portion that carries the load.
Mechanics can monitor wear with pocket-portable arm-wear calipers. Most calipers are designed to indicate when the fork's thickness has been worn away by 10%, a condition that reduces lifting capacity by 20%.
Keywords: forklift, maintenance, safety