Making Your Equipment Safer

Reasons Your Forklift Mast Can Become Damaged

The mast on a forklift is one of the most important parts. The mast holds the chain that lift the fork up and down. If the mast is damaged, the fork may not be level, may not be able to support the weight of the items you are lifting or may be unable to lift or lower all together. Here are the most common reasons why your forklift mast can become damaged and how you can avoid this type of damage. 

The Driver Ran into Fixtures

One of the most common reasons why the mast on your forklift may be damaged is because the driver ran into fixtures. There are many different fixtures in your warehouse or commercial building that can cause damage to your forklift including pallet racks and storage racks. When a forklift driver runs into one of these fixtures, the fork may hit the fixture. The impact presses on the fork, which is connected to the mast. The pressure created can bend the mast and/or damage the chain that helps to raise and lower the fork. Always ensure your drivers are licensed and trained to operate a forklift, and consider using pallet rack pads to prevents forklift damage in the event of a collision. 

A Driver Lifted Items That Were Too Heavy

Another common reason why a forklift mast can become damaged is because a driver lifted items that were too heavy. Every forklift has its own weight lifting capacity. Always carefully read your owner's manual to determine what the weight capacity is for the forklift your business owns. Then ensure that the boxes or pallets that you are having the driver lift meet the weight capacity. If the items are heavier than your forklift can lift, you can damage or bend the fork, or put strain on the mast, causing it to pull or bend. 

The Mast Has Not Been Properly Maintained

The final reason why a forklift mast can become damaged is because the mast has not been properly maintained. The chain housed within the mast needs to be inspected for signs of damage and oiled routinely. If you fail to keep up with maintenance, you put all of the parts on your forklift at risk for damage. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations to help prevent a lack of maintenance-related damage to your unit. 

When your forklift mast is damaged, you need immediate forklift repair. You should never attempt to operate a forklift with a damaged mast. It can be unsafe for employees who are around the forklift and it can cause more extensive damage to your forklift. Contact a forklift service repair center such as RDS Equipment, Inc to schedule a repair appointment to have your mast repaired right away.