For many operations, forklifts are some of the most important assets. That’s why it’s so important to keep our forklifts in tip-top shape. Earlier this year, we talked about the importance of doing routine inspections on forklifts in this maintenance checklist, troubleshooting any issues before they become disasters.
Let’s zoom in a little bit on one of the most important - and underlooked - aspects of the forklift: the fork.
How do we know when it’s time to replace a fork? And, once we know forklift forks need to be replaced, what’s the best course of action? Read on for all the details from the Papé Material Handling team.
When to Replace
What are the signs that a forklift fork needs to be replaced?
If you see any of the following, it’s time to replace your forklift fork:
- Excessive wear to the forks. Any wear over 10 percent means the fork needs to be replaced.
- Uneven or bent blades. If you see any bending or uneven surface on either the blade or the shank, the fork needs to be replaced.
- Difference in fork blade height. Difference between each fork blade should stay within 3% of the fork length.
- Cracks on the surface
- Bent fork hooks
- Damage to the positioning lock
Unsure if a fork needs to be replaced? We can offer an expert opinion as a part of our routine forklift inspection services. Additionally, we measure forks on every periodic maintenance service we do and recommend replacement accordingly. Contact Papé Material Handling for an expert opinion.
Replace or Rebuy?
You should never completely replace a forklift just because the forks are damaged. That’s kind of like replacing your iPhone because the charger went bad! Replacing forks can be pricey, but certainly nothing compared to the cost of a new forklift.
A standard pair of 48” forks is about $500-600. However, some specialized lumber forks, for example, can be much more expensive than that. Our specialists can help you find a replacement solution that meets your needs.
Mix & Match
A lot of customers wonder if they have to buy forks from the same manufacturer as their forklift. Forks and forklift manufacturers are two separate entities. At Hyster, we usually use Cascade forks. However, you can absolutely mix and match forklift and fork brands. However, wehenver forks get really specialized, mixing and matching can get trickier. Again, our specialists can help you identify exactly the type of fork you need for your budget, needs, and required specialization.