How to Choose Pallet Forks
By Mike Ebben
Based upon our experience, including a recent survey on our website, pallet forks are considered one of the more popular attachments with the skid steer owner. Often overlooked are the forks themselves.
Subject to a great deal of stress and wear and tear, and with safety in mind, getting a quality set of pallet forks is important in your purchase. There are several factors to look for when purchasing a set of pallet forks. First of all, make sure the manufacturer is meeting ITA, ANSI, ISO, ASME, and EMI standards.
Ask about manufacturing and testing techniques. What kind of quality control measures do they have in place? The leading manufacturers will carry out a number of inspections throughout the manufacturing process. Examples include:
- 100% hardness check
- 100% magnetic particle non-destructive testing
- 100% hanger spacing inspection
- 100% tip alignment/straightening inspection
Manufacturers will also have the ability to trace the product from the mill, through the production processes, and through ship-to data.
Each fork should be stamped with an individual fork rating. Verify that rating is at a 24-inch load center and not a 20-inch. 24-inch rated forks have a higher safety rating. At Berlon Industries, we use standard hanger style forks from Cascade Corporation. All of our forks have a 3:1 safety factor at 24 inches.
Pallet forks are one of the most widely used and versatile attachments. When you are looking to make your purchase, make sure you are getting a quality product. Safety should be of utmost importance.
Mike Ebben is president of Berlon Industries, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of attachments for skid steers, tractor loaders, compact utility tractors and tele-handlers.