5 points of concern when choosing lift truck forks

Selecting the correct fork helps to prevent damage to your goods, lift truck and infrastructure.

How exactly do you choose the right fork? Below we will guide you through the 5 major questions you should ask yourself.

Forks

1. What is the capacity of your lift truck?

What type of lift truck forks you need, will depend on the capacity of the lift truck. If this capacity is 2 tonnes, then you also need forks that can lift 2 tonnes. The fork section determines how much a lift truck fork can carry. This is the thickness and the width of the forks. The larger the fork section, the more weight the forks can carry. 

 Do you want to know what fork section you need? Consult the Forks & Accessories special for more info.

2.  What type of fork do you need?

The fork carriage determines what type of fork you can mount on it. Heavier machines usually use PIN forks, but there are also other types:

  • FEM
  • DIN
  • Terminal West
  • SVGV forks
  • Bolt-on forks

In the manual of your lift truck, you can find the type that is most suitable for your machine.

3. How high is the fork carriage of your lift truck?

The height of the fork carriage also determines what lift truck fork you should choose. This especially applies to FEM and DIN forks. Standard FEM forks exist in 5 different carriage heights, and each carriage height also exists in 2 different ground clearances. This is the difference from the inside of the bottom fork hook to the ground. For non-standard FEM and DIN forks you always need to take into account the dimensions of the carriage and the ground clearance. 

4. What length do the forks need to have?

The length of the forks depends on the dimensions of the goods you transport.

forklift forks

The goods or pallets always need to be supported fully by the forks. E.g. do you mainly transport EUR-pallets? Then you forks will need to be at least 1200 mm long. 

5. Do you have any other specific requirements?

In certain industries, it is necessary to equip your lift trucks forks extra.
For instance, there are forks with:

An antiskid coating

Do you often work with oils or in damp environments? In that case, select a fork with an antiskid coating. You can also install a scratch-resistant, antiskid rubber fork protector onto your existing forks. 

Built-in scales

Do you wish to weigh your goods immediately after lifting them? Then opt for forks with built-in scales.

Shock-absorbing pads

Do you handle fragile goods? Use shock-absorbing pads on your forks.

Telescopic forks

Would you like to load two pallets simultaneously or stock a pallet at double depth without having to switch forks? In that case, telescopic forks are the way to go.

Conclusion

Take into account the above-mentioned points when you need a new set of lift truck forks. Also think about a regular inspection of the forks. This extends the life span of the forks considerably.

For an overview of the different type of forks, have a look in the Forks & Accessories special.

Do you have any further questions, or do you still doubt when selecting the right fork? No problem! Our specialists will provide you with the correct answer to all your questions.

Lisa, TVH blogger

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