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Fork inspection

Forks are safety components. They are used on a daily basis to transport goods of considerable value.
Hence, utmost attention should be paid to their inspection.

Note: The use of safe forks, which are in perfect condition, is not only your duty but also an advantage: Working safely means working more economically! Ensuring safety at all times prevents disturbances and guarantees that your equipment is always at your disposal.

FAQ regarding fork inspection

  • ISO 5057: This international standard governs important aspects of the inspection and repair of forks
  • At least every 12 months (ISO 5057)
  • At least every 1,500 operating hours of the forklift truck
  • Depending on the application (for example multi-shift / heavy-duty operations) correspondingly frequent inspections are required
  • Regular visual inspections (recommended at the start of the working day or shift)

The inspection is to be carried out only by specialists. A specialist is defined as a person who, due to his training and experience, possesses appropriate know-how in the field of industrial trucks.

Repairs are to be carried out only by the manufacturer or, alternatively, specialists with the corresponding authorisation (ISO 5057), as all work performed on and every modification made to a fork can cause irreparable damage or even result in a safety hazard.

Only minor repairs (e.g. the replacement of locking mechanisms) may be done by you.

What has to be checked?

The following steps allow you to assess the condition of your forks quickly and reliably!
For more detailed information about the individual steps, tools and reference values, refer to the technical information.

1. Marking

For an unequivocal definition of the fork, please refer to the marking on the fork. As soon as the marking is no longer clearly legible, the fork must be taken out of service.

2. Wear

If the fork thickness wears down by more than 10%, the fork must be replaced, as the load-bearing capacity has been reduced by approx. 20%.

3. Surface cracks

Critical areas for surface cracks are the inner fork heal and the welds of the suspension. If cracks occur, the fork must be replaced.

4. Height difference between fork tips

The height difference between the fork tips should not exceed 1.5% of the length of fork blade (L). For further information on how to calculate this, refer to the inspection guideline.

5. Bending of the blade

The bending of the blade must not be too severe. Calculate the bending to decide whether the fork is OK or whether it needs to be straightened or replaced. For further information on how to calculate this, refer to the inspection guideline.

6. Fork angle

Forks are generally delivered with a 90° angle. However, overloading may cause permanent deformation. The decision to straighten or replace the fork depends on the extent of the deformation. For further information on how to measure this, refer to the inspection guideline.

7. Locking mechanism

The locking mechanisms prevent unintentional slipping on the fork carriage. Use with damaged or missing locking mechanisms is not permitted.

8. Damaged / worn tip

Worn forks or forks that are too thin pose a high risk of injury or damage to the goods. Replace or shorten forks.

9. Lateral bending of the fork hook

Lateral forces and long-term use can cause lateral bending of the fork hooks. The directional stability is now only limited. If severe lateral bending or wear of the fork hook occurs, replace the fork hooks or the entire fork.

Videos fork inspection