Chains for Forklifts - The life of the lift truck lift chains could actually be extended with proper maintenance and care. Lubricating correctly is actually a great method to be able to lengthen the capability of this particular forklift component. It is important to apply oil occasionally with a brush or other lube application device. The volume and frequency of oil application has to be enough so as to prevent whatever rust discoloration of oil in the joints. This reddish brown discoloration generally signals that the lift chains have not been correctly lubricated. If this particular condition has occurred, it is really important to lubricate the lift chains as soon as possible.
During lift chain operation it is typical for some metal to metal contact to happen which can lead to several components to wear out in the long run. When there is three percent elongation on the lift chain, it is considered by industry standards to have worn out the chain. In order to prevent the scary possibility of a catastrophic lift chain failure from taking place, the manufacturer highly recommends that the lift chain be replaced before it reaches 3 percent elongation. The lift chain gets longer due to progressive joint wear which elongates the chain pitch. This elongation is capable of being measured by placing a certain number of pitches under tension.
In order to ensure good lift chain maintenance, one more factor to consider is to check the clevis pins on the lift chain for signs of wearing. Lift chains are assembled so that the clevis pins have their tapered faces lined up with each other. Normally, rotation of the clevis pins is commonly caused by shock loading. Shock loading happens when the chain is loose and then suddenly a load is applied. This causes the chain to go through a shock as it 'snaps' under the load tension. Without the good lubrication, in this particular case, the pins could rotate in the chain's link. If this particular situation happens, the lift chains must be replaced instantly. It is very important to always replace the lift chains in pairs so as to ensure even wear.
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