Over the course of its working life a forklift truck's forks will wear most notably around the blade and the 'heel'. While most fork wear is the result of normal day to day duties in and around a busy warehouse, improper chain adjustment, poorly trained forklift drivers, worn tyres and use of the truck to carry heavier loads than that which it was designed for, can all impact on the frequency with which forks need to be replaced.
Under Loler 98 (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) a lift truck's forks are deemed illegal if they are more than 10 per cent worn and any truck with forks that are worn by 10 per cent or more should not be operated.
Of course, although replacing a set of forklift forks on a regular basis will run up a sizable bill for the truck user, the losses in productivity and throughput efficiency that are likely to result from having to 'mothball' a truck until its forks have been replaced are even more significant.
By using callipers to measure the amount of wear as part of a forklift's regular routine maintenance programme, it should be relatively simple to flag up signs of deterioration before the forks are required by law to be replaced, so it
is perhaps surprising that anecdotal evidence suggests that a surprisingly high number of truck users fail to register that their forks are falling until it is too late.
Faced with the possibility of incurring massive penalties if a truck with worn forks is involved in an accident, users have little option but to withdraw a forklift from service until new forks are acquired and fitted.
Forklift users can not only extend the working life of their forks but safeguard against the costly scenario of having a truck 'down' while waiting for its forks to be upgraded with Jayline's innovative fork protectors.
Jayline's fork protectors are made in the UK from cast steel. Simply and quickly fitted to the 'heel' of the forks without the need for any modification, they prevent damage caused when a fork is dragged across the ground when picking up or moving a pallet.
"Damage to forks is virtually inevitable when a truck is in regular use, no matter how oonscientious the driver is," says Jayline's Peter Kimberley. "Which is why fleet managers, warehouse managers, materials handling managers, transport managers and companies involved in manufacturing and warehousing are saving thousands of pounds a year on fork replacement with our fork protectors."
"But, interestingly, we are noticing that more and more companies are buying the fork protectors and keeping them 'in reserve' to fit to forks as they approach the ten per cent wear mark. This not only prolongs the life of the forks but allows the users to keep using the truck safely until replacement forks can be acquired."
Peter Kimberley adds: "Forklift trucks are a means to move goods and assets easily and economically. Unfortunately, in the process, the forks get damaged. This means increased cost and reduced profit. In the face of ever more stringent legislation, damaged forks have to be replaced before a truck can continue operating but truck operators can eliminate the need to take a truck out of service until new forks arrive by fitting heel protectors when forks become worn. Although even the smallest pair of forks costs upwards of 300, the savings made by not having to stop using a truck for a day or several days while waiting for new forks to be fitted is even more significant for most operators."