FAQ regarding fork inspection
Detailed information is provided by the following norm: ANSI/ITSDF B56.1
This international standard defines general instructions for inspection and repair.
According to the international standard ANSI/ITSDF B56.1 tests should be carried out on a regular basis, at least every 12 months. Depending on the application, e.g. multi-shift operation or hard working conditions, test intervals should be reduced accordingly. Furthermore, drivers or operators of lift-trucks are responsible for regular visible inspections of the forks.
The yearly inspection shall be carried out carefully only by trained personnel. This service is mainly provided by acknowledged forklift service companies. Only the manufacturer of the fork arm or an expert of equal competence shall decide whether and how a fork may be repaired.
Repairs shall only be carried out by the manufacturer or an acknowledged service company (ANSI/ITSDF B56.1). Each modification of a fork may lead to irreparable damages or even safety risks. Only small repairs (f.ex. exchange of locking devices) can be carried out by the operator.
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.
For an unequivocal definition of the fork, please refer to the stamping on the fork. If the stamping is no longer clearly readable, the fork needs to be taken out of service.
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 heel and the weldings of the mountings. 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.
Forks are manufactured with a 90° angle. Constant overload and misuse 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 devices
Locking devices prevent the forks to slip unintentionally off the fork carrier. It is not allowed to use forks with defective locking devices.
8. Damage / wear of tip
As soon as the fork tip is worn, the fork needs to be shortened or replaced.
9. Lateral bending of hooks
Lateral forces and long-term use may cause lateral bending of the fork hook. In this case, fork hooks or forks need to be replaced.