Forklift Mast Hoses

Your mast hoses don’t appear, at first glance, to do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to your forklift, but the fact is they are critical to efficient, safe operation of your truck.

This is why a daily start-of-shift inspection requirement includes the mast hoses. Even the smallest flaw or damage to a hose can cause expensive problems.

When you’re inspecting your hoses, here are five things to look for to ensure your hoses are in good shape.

Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended inspection intervals.

Start by checking out the jackets covering the hoses. While damage to the jacket doesn’t necessarily mean the hose itself is damaged, it can be a sign something is wrong. Once the jacket is damaged, the hose inside is extremely vulnerable.

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Maintaining Forks on the Forklift

It’s called a FORKlift. They’re right there in the name of the truck.

Yet, forklift forks are frequently the forgotten piece of the puzzle when it comes time for inspecting and maintaining a lift.

Think about it. The forks do all the heavy work, they get dragged on the floor and make hard contact with the materials they are moving, not to mention the impact with walls and shelving as loads are delivered or picked up.

Your forks are the forgotten heroes.

You’re told to inspect your forks at the beginning of every shift but that rarely happens. OSHA even directs you to give them a thorough inspection by an experienced professional periodically.

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Understanding Down-Rated Capacity

You’ve found the perfect forklift attachment for your truck that will allow you to operate your fleet more efficiently and more safely and things couldn’t be better, right?

Not so fast.  It’s possible- in fact it’s likely- that attachment will decrease the lift capacity of your unit.

Here’s how this works- when an attachment is fitted to the front end of a forklift, the truck’s lifting capacity is affected and needs to be down-rated. This must happen to ensure the lift is operating safely, of course, but also for the lifespan of the truck.

Adding an attachment to the front of the truck, fork extensions for example, alters the center of gravity for the truck- moving it forward. This means if the weight the lift is carrying exceeds the newly down-rated capacity of your forklift- your forklift is going to topple forward.

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Unseen Hazards of Material Handling Equipment

Something we wrote about in passing in last week’s blog got some attention and we’re getting a lot of questions about something called Whole Body Vibration injuries.

These types of injuries occur over time in operators of heavy machinery, and vibration can even exacerbate pre-existing injuries if precautions aren’t taken.

Spinal injury is a definite concern for anyone exposed to Whole Body Vibration, specifically the lumbar region, in addition to fatigue and injury to organs and joints and digestion problems.

Forklift manufacturers have become more aware of these types of conditions and are building their trucks accordingly. Features like vibration and shock-reducing seats and adjustable arm rests seem to combat the vibration-related conditions. Some manufacturers have separated the engine compartment from the cab, and even from the frame of the lift using shock absorbers and cushions.

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