Lift Truck Forks
The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) recommends that forks be withdrawn from service when fork blade thickness has been reduced by 10%, few users understand that a 10% reduction in thickness of blade results in a capacity reduction of 20%. This means that the safety factor has been reduced by 20%.
Measuring fork wear is not intuitive. It should be a regular part of your Lift Truck maintenance.
Fork Inspection – Forks should be inspected at least once a year (single-shift operation, and more frequently in severe applications) for wear and distortion. Forks should be inspected for cracks, straightness of blade and shank and wear. The best method for inspection is to use a fork caliper.
Fork Calipers – For a quick inspection of fork wear you can use fork calipers. This handy tool allows you to measure wear while forks are mounted on the lift truck.
How do they work? – There are two pair of points on the caliper jaws. The outer pair (A) sets the calipers to the original fork thickness using the vertical shank of the fork (point 1). When these points are positioned, the inner points (B) are automatically set to 90% of the original thickness. If the inner points (point 2) pass over the fork blade, you will know you have more than 10% wear.