Can I repair my forklift forks?

Can I repair my forklift forks? The answer is yes – but it must only be done through the manufacturer or their agent. BITA GN62 sections 5 and 6 state the following:

‘In some attachment operations it is difficult to avoid parts being rubbed against the ground. To this end sacrificial wear plates may be fitted. These may be on the bottom of clamp arms and bodies, or the outside of the short arm of rotating paper roll clamps. Replace them before they are fully worn away.

Some end users weld sacrificial wear pads to the bottom of forks but this must only be carried out, or authorised by, a manufacturer. Poorly welded wear plates can weaken the fork and cause problems within the metallurgy and sometimes catastrophic failure. BITA GN62 section 16 explains this. Fork arms on attachments such as fork clamps and double pallet handlers can also suffer from abuse and wear in the same way as normal fork arms.

However, some of these are also fitted with sacrificial wear plates in locations most likely to be affected, e.g. at fork heels. It is acceptable to replace these when worn providing the manufacturer’s instructions are followed. As with normal forks the wear limit of the basic fork blade is 10% and wear strips should not be seen as a way of recovering forks worn to or past this limit. If in doubt consult the manufacturer.

Note: with normal forks the original blade thickness can be obtained from the shank thickness but this may not be the case with some attachments. In all cases use the correct grade of steel or else they will be short lived. Do not add wear pads without the authorisation of the manufacturer. Check the condition, i.e. for wear or damage of contact pad surfaces and their security on the base material.’