How to Inspect Forklift Chains

Material Handling Best Practices, Tips, Information and More from Toyota

Driving a forklift with a worn out chain is extremely dangerous, so it’s important to understand how to check your forklift chains for wear and tear. Three common reasons forklift chains are deemed unsafe are:

  • Broken links

  • Turned pins

  • Wear and tear or elongation.

To check for forklift chains wear and tear:

  • Remove it and lay it on a flat surface such as a table or counter.

  • While the chain is lying flat, carefully inspect every link to see if one is broken.

  • If even one link is broken, the chain is unsafe.

  • If your chain is free of any broken links, turn it on its side and look at every pin holding the links together.

  • The pins should all look the same. If any of the pins have turned or look different than the others, you should replace the chain.

The last and most complicated way you can check your forklift chain wear and tear is by measuring for elongation. You can see elongation easily by checking for deformed pin holes. Originally, the pin holes are perfectly circular. If yours are more oval shaped than circular, your chain has likely experienced elongation. The most accurate way to check for elongation, though, is by using a chain gauge.**

Not only can proper maintenance help keep you safe, it also helps increase the longevity of your equipment! Request a service quote or talk to your local Toyota forklift dealer about a planned maintenance plan today.

** Any chain elongation should be checked by a qualified forklift technician.

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