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KEYLIFT FORKLIFT TRUCK TRAINING Professional Fork Lift Truck Training

Fork Extensions – Rules and Regulations

So you need to use fork extensions, but what are the rules and regulations? Can you use them for every job? Does it reduce what you can lift? Can they be made in-house?

There are a lot of questions surrounding extensions and its hard to come by the answers. In the next few paragraphs we will answer some of the common questions.

Do Fork Extensions Reduce What You Can Lift?

Yes. Firstly, you have to take the weight of the fork extensions and minus it from the trucks current lifting capacity. This is extra weight that the original (fixed) forks are carrying.
Secondly, extensions are usually used to carry longer loads or pick up loads that can not be heeled up immediately. This will naturally increase your load centre (the distance from the front face of the forks to the centre of gravity of the load) which will dramatically reduces what your lift truck can safely carry. So always remember to use the capacity plate to work out what the truck can lift at the various load centres. The lift trucks rated capacity will reduce as the load centre increases. Extra care must be taken by the operator when lifting loads with extensions attached.  

Can You Use Fork Extensions As A Permanent Fixture.

No. The forks must not be bought in/made to supersede the fixed forks. So if the extensions are going to be used on a regular basis for an ongoing job,  fixed forks should be purchased to suit the job. Fork extensions should be used for a ‘one off’ job.

Can Fork Extensions be Made/Fabricated In-House?

Forklift Sign

Firstly, the forks can be fabricated in house but must become part of, and have a thorough examination with the rest of the truck. This must be conducted at least twice a year. Please do not confuse this thorough examination with the daily pre use checks that the operators conduct on a daily basis.
Secondly, the the fork extensions must not exceed 1.5 times the length of the current fixed forks. So for the standard 1200mm forks the extensions must not be longer than 1800mm.
Furthermore, the fork extensions must also have a safety mechanism to prevent them from sliding off. This is usually in the form of safety bolt that go in the back of the fork extensions, locking them in place behind the fixed forks.

If you would like any more information or have any other queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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