At LoweUK our all our products are available with fork guides to enable the product to be moved around work space’s by fork equipped lifting equipment i.e Fork lift truck, telescopic handler, side loader etc.
But what are the benefits of using fork guides? And which type is best suited to my application?
The benefits to using fork guides all surround health and safety and risk reduction. Using fork guides prevents the load slipping and moving during lifting and transportation by keeping each fork of the lifting equipment constrained to an area slightly larger than the fork dimension. Lifting and moving a load without the use of fork guides increases the risk of the load falling from the piece of lifting equipment caused by the load shifting during the lift or transportation between locations, which can result in lost time injury’s or worse! And can negatively impact cost and reputation.
When selecting the type of fork guide to use it is dependent on the following 3 factors application, design (of both the load and the product) and the Magnitude of the load. At the design stage when selecting the type of fork guide that is best suited for the customers application, we first get our understanding of the overall size of the product that’s required and the mass of the load that the product is to carry, we are then able to down select the type of fork guide to use.
We then ensure that the fork guides are spaced equidistance about the combined CoM (Centre of Mass of the load and product) and combined CoG (Centre of Gravity of the load and the product) where possible we will strive to design a product that’s CoM is as close as possible to its CoG. This ensures that the product and load will stay balanced during lifting and transportation.
Here at LoweUK we primarily use 2 types of fork guide, which will be discussed below.
Formed Fork Guides:
Formed Fork Guides are bent and formed to the fork dimensions required in a width that is equal to or less than the width of the section it will be welded to, in a thickness that will suit both the load and the application. These are then located on either side of the product. Most commonly used on products with a lower SWL capacity (up to 2 ton) and on products whose width is shorter than the length of the forks on the equipment that will be used to lift and transport it. Commonly used in warehousing/storage and light to medium production and industrial applications.
Depending on the overall size of the product and/or load that a customer specifies, it is sometimes necessary for us to manufacture a product with 4 way fork guides, this is where there are fork guides located on both the length and the width of the product, it gives flexibility of transporting the product and extra security if it’s necessary to lift or transport the product from the side.
Box Fork Guides:
Box fork guides are made using cut lengths of RHS (Rectangular Hollow Section) that span the full length of the product and/or load, the size of the RHS used is slightly larger than the forks that will be used to lift and/or transport and thickness will depend on the size and weight of the load that is being lifted/transported.
Commonly used on products that require a higher SWL capacity (2 Ton and Above) and where the products length may be equal to the length of the forks being used or slightly overhang, its worth noting that the overhang should be kept to a bare minimum or the use of fork extensions be employed. Commonly used in Medium to Heavy industrial applications and specialist products.
Depending on the overall size of the product and/or load that a customer specifies, it is sometimes necessary for us to manufacture a product with 4 way fork guides, this is where there are fork guides located on both the length and the width of the product, it gives flexibility of transporting the product and extra security if it’s necessary to lift or transport the product from the side, this is also possible with Box Fork guides by cutting out a section to allow them to cross each other.
These are the 2 most common types of fork guide we use on our products however, if a customer has a specific requirement, we are happy to meet them. For example, other types of fork guide we have done are:
· Integrated Skid and fork guide combination
· Half fork guides
· Pallet truck guides