I am sometimes asked whether you can extend the life of a leaf chain fitted to a forklift, simply by swapping or reversing ends?
When it comes to forklift trucks and other materials handling equipment that use fixed leaf chains, the saying “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” is not entirely true, as another weak point is potentially the anchor – where the leaf chain is attached to the lift system.
A key part of that anchor assembly is the leaf chain anchor pin – sometimes called a clevis pin. They often get overlooked, but they play a key part in safely joining the leaf chain to the leaf chain anchor bolts, therefore securing it into the lift system.
An increased range of forklift truck chains featuring plastic ‘flights’ and ‘guide’ attachments is now available.
The plastic attachments are incorporated within the chain’s design. They hold hydraulic hoses and reduce the type of mast cylinder damage that often results from ‘metal on metal’ friction - a common cause of truck downtime.
In and around harsh and corrosive port conditions a robust forklift chain lubrication and maintenance regime is essential if costly truck or container handler downtime is to be avoided, says Peter Church, managing director of FB Chain Ltd.
If the chain that powers the mast functions of the type of heavy forklift trucks and container handlers used within port and terminal environments develops a fault, the costs incurred can run into thousands of pounds.