Five Tips for Protecting Your Forklift Tines

If you're hiring a forklift, you want to ensure that you treat it carefully so you don't return it to the hire company with any damage. To protect the forks in particular, take a look at these tips. If you own a forklift, these tips can also help you safeguard its condition for the long haul.

1. Don't Overload

Before loading your forklift, always know its capacity, and make sure that you don't overload it. To ensure you aren't tempted to overload a hired forklift, assess your needs carefully before hiring one, and make sure the forklift you select meets the needs of your workload.

2. Balance the Load

Being underweight is just half of the battle, when it comes to protecting your tines. You also have to make sure that your load is balanced. To explain, imagine your forklift has the ability to hold 1000 kilograms. That means each tine can hold a maximum of 500 kilograms. If you put on an unbalanced 1000 kilogram load on your forklift, that puts too much weight on one tine and could break it. In addition to that risk, unbalanced loads threaten to tip the entire forklift. That can damage the tines and potentially the operator as well.

3. Don't Drag the Back of the Tines

When you pick up a load, a lot of the weight falls onto the back of the tines. Also called the heels, this part of the tine can drag on the ground if you don't lift your load adequately. That can lead to wear and tear on the tines, which may eventually cause cracks that threaten the integrity of the tines.

4. Pay Attention to Cracks

If you see any cracks on your tines, don't ignore them. They could herald the approach of more serious issues, and you certainly don't want to drop a load in the middle of carrying it. If you are hiring a forklift, look over the tines to make sure they are in good condition, and make a note of any issues with the hire company. That way, you won't be held responsible for any damage that you didn't cause.

5. Only Lift

When using your forklift, it's important to use it as intended. To put it simply, you should use the forklift to lift. You should not use it to push loads or pry items out of tight spaces. If the forklift accommodates other types of attachments, always make sure that the tines are safely removed before putting on the new attachment.