The life of the forklift lift chains can actually be prolonged with proper maintenance and care. Lubricating properly is an excellent method to lengthen the capability of this lift truck component. It is vital to apply oil periodically making use of a brush or other lube application tool. The frequency and volume of oil application needs to be enough to be able to avoid whatever rust discoloration of oil in the joints. This reddish brown discoloration usually signals that the lift chains have not been properly lubricated. If this condition has happened, it is really important to lubricate the lift chains as soon as possible.
Through lift chain operation it is common for some metal to metal contact to happen that can cause a few components to wear out in the end. When there is three percent elongation on the lift chain, it is considered by industry standards to have worn out the chain. To be able to prevent the scary chance of a disastrous lift chain failure from taking place, the manufacturer very much suggests that the lift chain be replaced before it reaches three percent elongation. The lift chain gets longer due to progressive joint wear which elongates the chain pitch. This elongation can be measured by placing a certain number of pitches under tension.
Another factor to ensuring good lift chain maintenance is to check the clevis pins on the lift chain for signs of wear and tear. The lift chains have been assembled so that the tapered faces of the clevis pin are lined up. Generally, rotation of the clevis pins is commonly caused by shock loading. Shock loading happens when the chain is loose and then all of a sudden a load is applied. This causes the chain to go through a shock as it 'snaps' under the load tension. Without the proper lubrication, in this case, the pins can rotate in the chain's link. If this particular situation occurs, the lift chains must be replaced instantly. It is imperative to always replace the lift chains in pairs so as to ensure even wear.
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