The forklift tines are very critical to the efficient operation of a forklift. However, failure to use them the right way usually leads to premature wear and tear or irreversible damage.
Some of the signs you can look out for during your pre-operation inspection are bent blades, surface cracks and bend fork-tips. However, most of these damages can be prevented if the right measures are taken.
Let's take a look some of the common ways tines get damaged;
Lifting Other Forklifts
Sometimes when there is a need to transport a forklift that has broken down its quite tempting to use another forklift to transport it. However, this is not a good idea as the weight of the forklift being transported might exceed the capacity of the forklift being used. When this happens the tines of the forklift are structurally damaged and this visible as bending.
Overloading The Forklift
Every forklift has a rated maximum weight that it can handle at a time. When this weight is exceeded by overloading the forklift the tines are put under a lot of stress that makes them bend. In most cases, the bending might not develop immediately but over time when the overloading forces the angle on the tines to extend beyond 93 degrees.
Improper Driving Habits
One of the most common improper driving habits in warehouses today is over speeding. When over speeding is rampant it exposes the forklifts to collisions. During such collisions especially with hard surfaces like walls or the body of other forklifts, the tines get damaged. The damage is usually an observable bending at the tips.
Lifting Unbalanced Loads
The tines come in a pair since they are designed to evenly distribute the weight of a load for maximum stability. When an unbalanced load is placed on them one of the blades sustains most of the weight eventually leading to bending. The result is uneven fork blades which should be replaced immediately.
Improper Use Of Attachments
Although attachments are usually important for certain applications they can lead to damage to your forklift tines. For instance, if the weight of the attachments is not considered, it is easy to overload the tines and expose them to structural damage. You should also ensure that the tines that you use are approved by the manufacturer of the forklift.
Therefore, if you want to maintain the integrity of your forklift tines always avoid overloading your forklift, carrying unbalanced loads, using improper attachments, and engaging in improper driving habits like over speeding.