How to prolong the life of your forklift chain

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  • Plant & Equipment

Many forklift owners spend thousands on lubrication just to find their mast chains turning rusty after some time. The reason, according to industry chain specialist FB Chain, is the lack of lubrication in the inner workings of the chain.

How to prolong the life of your forklift chain
Failing to properly lubricate your mast chain can lead to rust and a shorter chain lifespan.

Mast chain lubrication is a crucial part of forklift maintenance. Lubrication protects the chain from corrosion and excessive wear caused by friction, ensuring optimum lifting performance and service life.

However, UK-based industry chain expert FB Chain says it is a process not fully understood by forklift owners.

Despite liberal application of quality lubricant, forklift owners still find leaf chain turning rusty, and this is due to the lubrication not reaching the inner parts of the chain where it counts the most.

If maintained properly, FB Chain estimates that the life of a forklift truck chain is 60 times longer than that of a dry running leaf chain.

FB Chain Managing Director Peter Church says proper lubrication has nothing to do with the type and quality of lubricant used.

"Our customers often ask what type of chain spray they should be using to keep their forklift mast chains in good condition," he says.

"However, in most instances, the key factor is not the spray itself, but rather the way it is applied."

"We always tell our customers that whatever lubricant they choose, it is essential that it gets in between the link plates and pins."

According to Church, there are two main reasons why the lubricant might not permeate a leaf chain:

  • Tension of the chain
  • Contamination by dust or dirt

"A chain should ideally be slack during the lubrication process so the oil can flow easily into the chain joints," he says.

"This is especially important to note if your forklift truck has an attachment that keeps the chain at high tension. In this case, we recommend that you take the load off immediately after lubrication to remove as much of the tension as possible."

Dust and debris build-up is also another reason why lubricant fails to coat the inner parts of the chain.

"We appreciate that cleaning forklift chains can be time-consuming but it will save you a great deal of money- on lubricant and replacement chain," Church says.

FB Chain offers a new chain cleaning tool with a choice of two brushes that wrap around the side of each leaf chain link to quickly and effectively remove dirt and debris.

FB Chain Leaf Chain Cleaning Brush

FB Chain is distributed in Australia by GB Power Transmission.

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