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Lift Chains

Lift Chains

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The life of the forklift lift chains can actually be extended with correct maintenance and care. Lubricating correctly is a great technique in order to prolong the capability of this particular forklift component. It is really important to apply oil every so often with a brush or other lube application tool. The frequency and volume of oil application should be adequate so as to avoid whichever rust discoloration of oil in the joints. This reddish brown discoloration normally signals that the lift chains have not been properly lubricated. If this particular condition has happened, it is very important to lubricate the lift chains immediately.

Through lift chain operation it is normal for some metal to metal contact to occur that can cause some parts to wear out sooner or later. Once there is three percent elongation on the lift chain, it is considered by industry standards to have worn out the chain. So as to avoid the scary chance of a disastrous lift chain failure from occurring, the maker very much suggests that the lift chain be replaced before it reaches three percent elongation. The lift chain lengthens due to progressive joint wear which elongates the chain pitch. This elongation could be measured by placing a certain number of pitches under tension.

To ensure correct lift chain maintenance, one more factor to consider is to check the clevis pins on the lift chain for indications of wearing. Lift chains are put together so that the clevis pins have their tapered faces lined up with each other. Generally, rotation of the clevis pins is commonly caused by shock loading. Shock loading occurs 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. With no proper lubrication, in this case, the pins could rotate in the chain's link. If this scenario takes place, the lift chains need to be replaced instantly. It is very important to always replace the lift chains in pairs to ensure even wear.


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