Installed and maintained correctly, the hard-working leaf chain on your forklift or telehandler will give many years of service. But any industrial chain will suffer from wear or potential environmental damage and should be periodically inspected.
To carry out a leaf chain inspection, you need to know certain facts about the chain, facts which are not discernible from a visual inspection. Knowing the part number can help, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
And should the chain fail for any reason, you will need to know what chain to replace it with, and whilst the part number (if you know it) will put you on the right track, it will not tell you the exact specification of chain that was installed. In particular, it will not tell you the correct tensile strength you require for your application.
Even if you know the exact specification of chain used, do you know the precise length it should be? Clearly, this is crucial to the correct operation of the equipment.
And finally, if a chain does fail, is it under guarantee? Who supplied it? How old is it? And can you tie those facts to this particular forklift, this particular telehandler?
A Leaf Chain Test Certificate
As leaf chain is such a crucial part of forklifts and telehandlers, it needs to be documented correctly to avoid all the issues we’ve mentioned. For that, you need a manufacturer’s test certificate.
As a minimum that certificate should specify the chain’s breaking load and proof load (which shows that the chain is able to support a minimum of one and a half times the safe working load.)
Check that the safe working load stated on the certificate exceeds the capacity of the lifting equipment. Bear in mind that the vast majority of forklift truck manufacturers require leaf chain with a greater minimum tensile strength than the International Standard ISO4347.
The safe working load of a leaf chain will usually be shown on a test certificate in kilonewtons (kN). If the capacity of your equipment is given in kilograms or pounds you will need to refer to the safe working load conversion table.
It is also important to ensure that the safety legislation quoted on the test certificate is reliable and up to date and that it meets the current requirements of The Machinery Directive, LOLER and PUWER.
Over time leaf chain may be replaced, so it is important that you can trace the certificate to a particular truck or telehandler, that the date of installation is shown along with the length of chain.
Our test certificates
Because of our years of experience supplying chains to manufacturers and replacement chains to end-users, we have developed a sophisticated certification system that fulfils all the basic needs outlined above and more.
The comprehensive FB Chain Test Certificate gives you all the information you need to inspect, specify a replacement and keep track of the leaf chain in use at your company. This avoids costly errors, time spent searching for information and the hassle of returning an incorrect chain.
Our certificate :
- Is unique to the specific chain ordered.
- Identifies the length of the chain.
- Can be sent as a PDF in addition to the hard copy which accompanies the chain.
- Can also include the fleet number/ truck model and customer number making the document unique and relevant to that exact piece of chain and the service carried out.
- Includes our order number so it can be traced back to manufacture. (We can trace orders all the way back to 1989)
- Includes the exact date the chain left the warehouse.
We believe that test certificates shouldn’t just be a photocopied master document used for a whole batch of chains, we believe it should be a useful document that includes all the information you might need to maintain and replace a specific chain with the minimum of effort – saving you production time and money.
When you need to inspect, test or replace a leaf chain, a test chain certificate is essential – and the more comprehensive the information detailed on the certificate the better.