With a wide range of maintenance checks that need to be performed on all forklifts, it can be easy to allow some part of your equipment fall out of OSHA or ANSI compliance. One aspect of fork inspection that can sometimes slip between the cracks is ensuring that forks are maintained appropriately in compliance with ANSI 56B (updated in May 2017).
In order to complete the appropriate checks and maintain fork compliance, you’ll need to make appropriate use of a fork caliper. This device can be used in three important ways to help you measure fork deviations and get the appropriate information to make sure you’re following the ANSI standard.
Fork Inspection: Check Fork Angle
The Fork angle deviation must be within a margin of 3 degrees. That means that the angle between the blade and the shank must be between 87 and 93 degrees. To use the caliper to check this, open it and place it between the plate and shank so that all four protrusions are touching. The angle can be read using the marking on the caliper. Any fork angle that falls outside of the degree range must be tagged out until the forks are replaced.
Fork Inspection: Check Fork Hooks
The numbers on the end of the caliper indicate the forklift classes. Use the appropriate protrusion to check if the fork hooks are in compliance. Simply place the protrusion into the hook notch. If the hook hits the back of the caliper, it is out of compliance. If it does not, then the forks are fine for continued use. The above fork is in compliance.
Fork Inspection: Check Fork Blade Wear
Begin by setting the caliper by the thickness of the shank. Place the caliper onto the blade at the point of the fork that receives the most wear, which is usually at its heel, as shown. If the blade passes the inside teeth of the caliper, then the fork is out compliance and must be tagged out until forks are replaced.