How to Inspect Forklift Forks and Know When to Replace Them

A forklift is a heavy duty machine, and it probably seems indestructible to you, but like all machines, it will wear out over time. Knowing how to inspect your forklift and all of its parts is an important skill and one that need to be taken very seriously.


The forks on your forklift should be visually inspected on a regular basis, and in fact, OSHA requires that all powered industrial trucks, including forklilfts, be examined daily or after each shift if they’re used 24/7. Moreover, federal law mandates that a thorough annual inspection be carried out by a trained professional so that safety standards can be maintained.


Here are some things to look for:


Excessive Wear to the Forks

As a forklift is used, the metal wears down and the thickness of the fork decreases. If your forks have worn down to the point where they’ve lost 10% of their original thickness, it’s time to replace them.



Check your forks for fractures or gouges, either from stress or accidental collisions. Even small cracks are signs that you need to replace the forks.


Damage to the Fork Tips

The fork tips are the first surface to come into contact with materials being moved. Any excessive wear to the fork tips should be taken seriously and in many cases, these conditions will warrant replacement of the forks.


Bends or Uneven Surfaces

When forks are new, there’s a 90 degree angle from the shank to the blade. If any bend has caused this angle to change, the forks need to be replaced.


Differences in the Fork Blade Height

In a  perfect world, forks should wear evenly. If your forks are showing signs of significant differences, both forks should be replaced.


Fork Hooks

If wear to the fork hooks is causing an excessive amount of distance between the forks and the carriage, the forks need to be replaced.


Can a Single Hook be Replaced?

Even though you may detect damage or excess wear to only one hook, you should always replace them in pairs to ensure equal performance after replacement.


Can You Repair Your Forks?

It’s recommended that only the forklift manufacturer make repairs or modifications to ensure that your forks meet all applicable safety standards and are up to the manufacturer’s standards.


Ask the Pros

If you’re unsure about the condition of your forklift, check with the professionals at Ring Power Lift Trucks. We are the premier forklift dealer in Florida with a broad range of forklifts as well as other materials handling equipment. We represent all of the leading forklift manufacturers and can work with you to select a new or used forklift for your operation. We also offer short term and long term forklift rentals. We serve Jacksonville, Sarasota, and many other locations in Florida, and our service go beyond sales and rentals. We can also supply you with forklift parts and service to minimize your downtime.


If you would like any more information about the products or services we offer, visit our website or reach out to us at 877-544-5438.



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