Lift Truck Chain Inspection and Replacement

Lift Truck Chain Inspection and Replacement

Jun 09, 2014
forklift chains

Your forklifts carry hundreds of thousands of pounds of precious inventory each day, which causes tremendous wear on the lift chain.

If this chain goes unchecked and becomes worn it can cause a load to come crashing to the ground, resulting in damage to property or even death. This is one reason why OSHA requires that you do a daily inspection of all lift trucks currently in operation. 

Lift truck chains endure tremendous stress during daily operation and are subject to additional damage and wear by environmental conditions such as dust, rain and industrial chemicals. A trained technician should inspect your chains for the following issues listed below, along with some visual signs to help determine if a chain is in need of replacement.

  • Rust and Corrosion. Chains showing any rust or corrosion should be replaced. For maximum protection, chains should be completely lubricated at all times.

  • Plate cracking. Inspect closely for cracks. The discovery of any crack means the chain should be replaced before the forklift is put back into service.

  • Protruding or Turned Pins. Lack of lubrication results in friction between the plates and the pins, causing the pins to twist and turn their way out of place. The result is chain failure.

  • Misalignment. Look for wear patterns on pinheads or outside plates. Continued operation will result in damage to the chain and sheaves, potentially causing the chain to fail.

  • Chain Anchors and Sheaves. Inspect anchors for misalignment, damage or undue wear. Anchors with worn or broken fingers must be replaced.

  • Chain Elongation. Elongation for more than 2 percent indicates a 15 percent reduction in strength and means the chain should be replaced.

  • A Chain Wear Guide is a quick and easy way to measure chain elongation. It allows you to clearly see if your chain has reached or even exceeded the recommended limit of 2 percent wear extension then it is time for the chain to be replaced. 

Make sure that chain wear doesn’t cause you problems like downtime, lost production and reduced profitability.

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