Fork Specifications and Why They Are Important to Safety

Welcome back to the Arrow blog! As a true dealer partner, we strive to add value to your daily operation, in addition to engineering quality products for your customers.

With National Safety Month right around the corner, we wanted to gear up by covering a topic that affects safety that you might not be thinking about: Fork Measurement.

For the sake of this blog, we will look at measurement in two different ways: Specifications and Wear.

Fork Capacity

Operators should know the technical specifications of their forks, specifically capacity. Fork capacity is important to safety, since it tells you how much weight your forks can hold. If a forklift operator does not know the capacity, they may overload the forks and cause damage to assets and/or injury to themselves and others. Capacity related accidents are all over this Most Common Forklift accidents list, which is unfortunate because many accidents are easy to avoid.

How to Find Your Specifications

If you are using the correct forks for your machine, the capacity on the machine’s data plate will be correct. Forks are usually ordered by length, so the length should not be hard to find, but you can also measure your forks to determine the length as well. While length does not impact capacity, it is important to know for irregular load situations that may require tools like fork extensions.

Fork Wear & Capacity

Forklift forks need to be in good condition to work safely and efficiently. According to Tri-Lift Industries, once forks are 10 percent worn, capacity decreases by 20 percent. That means a 1,000-pound reduction on a 5,000-pound capacity forklift! That is why it is so important for your forklift operator or technician to check all their equipment before using it. Our patented Fork Wear Indicator makes this a much easier task. The first step toward keeping people safe on the job site is knowing how much weight each piece of machinery can safely lift!

How to Measure Fork Wear?

If you’re using Arrow ITA forks, you might have our patented Fork Wear Indicator, which would be the fastest and easiest way to measure your fork wear.

Measuring fork wear is also pretty simple with a Fork Wear Test Caliper. Test calipers are a quick way to understand how worn your forks are and what that means for your capacity and maintaining safety. All the instructions for use are on the linked page.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more safety conversations from now through June!

Why Does ISO Certification Set Us Apart?

ISO Logo

Welcome back to the Arrow blog! As a true dealer partner, we strive to add value to your daily operation, in addition to engineering quality products for your customers.

We often talk about the quality and consistency of our products. This is because we believe in our process, and we have the credentials to prove it. Arrow is an ISO 9001:2015 Certified company. This certification requires us to uphold high quality process standards that lead to better products and more customer satisfaction.

As a bonus for this blog, we were able to get some thoughts and insights from Clyde Pearch, owner of Eagle Group. Pearch and Eagle Group have prepared hundreds of companies for initial ISO Certification and recertification audits. He is here to make sure we uphold the ISO standards and prepares us for recertification. Hopefully his perspective can provide further understanding of ISO in general, the certification process and what it means for Arrow and other ISO certified companies.

What is ISO?

On their website, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) describes themselves as an independent, non-governmental international organization that brings experts together to develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

According to Reciprocity, ISO has developed around 22,000 standards across many industries, but there are four main categories that standards can fall under:

  • ISO 9000 – Quality Management
  • ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management
  • ISO/IEC 27000 – Information Security Management Systems
  • ISO 31000 – Risk Management

ISO standards are an internationally accepted way of optimizing your business process with a focus on improved quality and consistency. For the sake of this blog, we will focus on the certification held by Arrow Material Handling Products: ISO 9001:2015.

What is ISO 9001 Certification?

ASQ breaks down ISO 9001 perfectly:

“ISO 9001 is defined as the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS). Organizations use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. It is the most popular standard in the ISO 9000 series and the only standard in the series to which organizations can certify.”

ISO 9001 is based on seven Quality Management Principles (from ISO QMP Book):

  1. Customer Focus
  2. Leadership
  3. Engagement of People
  4. Process Approach
  5. Improvement
  6. Evidence-based Decision Making
  7. Relationship Management

These QMPs are a set of fundamental beliefs, norms, rules and values that are widely accepted for use as a basis for quality management. ISO suggests that these QMPs be used as a foundation to guide an organization’s performance improvement.

ISO 9001:2015 refers to the most current version of ISO 9001 that was released in September of 2015.

Pearch believes ISO 9001 certification can be a powerful asset for many businesses. When asked why, he said, “ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) can be used as a tool within an organization whether it is privately held or a public company, NGO, etc. The QMS requires a company to clearly define, document and monitor key business processes. By doing so the leadership of the company establishes key performance indicators or KPIs to set goals, objectives with targets to support operating the business in an effective and efficient manner.”

Why is ISO Important for Arrow?

Arrow is one of over 1 million companies worldwide (Jill Jusko, Industry Week 2010) that is ISO 9001 certified. According to Statista in 2020, Arrow was one of only 20,900 companies in the United States with an active ISO 9001 certification.

Even though many companies adopt the ISO standards, many will execute and implement things differently. Arrow uses the PDCA model. As further explained by our auditor:

“The PDCA model is the key principle that company leadership applies to ensure the QMS is being maintained. Principles and phases are applied as follows:

  1. Plan – company leadership works with employees and other interested parties establishing the framework of the QMS to align with the ISO 9001 requirements, establishing methodology and objectives to monitor and measure QMS performance.
  2. Do – company leadership and employees apply the documented QMS policies, procedures, work requirements within the business.
  3. Check – Leadership and employees report on the performance of the QMS with company established KPI’s, QMS audits, Management Review of QMS with updates to QMS, KPI’s, overall system performance including Risk & Opportunities all with assigned actions to support Continual Improvements.
  4. Act – is taking the results of the Check phase to adjust the products, procedures, processes by rolling out changes needed to support (Delight) the customer!”

Pearch adds, “Big picture – using ISO 9001 (QMS) as a tool in the leadership tool bag that helps keep employees, suppliers, contractors and distributors focused on keeping customers happy, being more productive, fostering team commitment, promoting the use of best practices (5S, Lean, safety in workplace, etc.) and lastly will help a company to improve business success with increased revenue and profits.”

Not only does ISO 9001 certification place us in exclusive company, but it also represents a commitment to excellence. ISO 9001 certification requires passing performance audits as well as a 3-year recertification process. This means that in addition to optimizing our process for the initial certification we also subject ourselves to regular audits to maintain our certification and ensure the continuous improvement of our processes. This commitment to a superior quality management system has led to many quality improvements for Arrow and we strongly believe this commitment contributes to the consistent production of quality products.

We hope this provides some context on why we are so confident in our products and capabilities. We are committed to quality and consistency, to produce better products for you and your customers.

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Attachment Awareness 3: Skid Steer Attachments

Welcome back to the Attachment Awareness series on the Arrow blog! This series explores how attachments for various pieces of equipment can improve the overall experience of operation. Throughout this series, we will explore attachments for forklifts, telehandlers and skid steers and the benefits these attachments provide: improved safety and increased productivity. 

In our first and second installments, we looked at static attachments and hydraulic forklift attachments and what benefits they provide for operators. This installment will provide an overview of the attachments Arrow offers for skid steers.  

Skid Steer Loaders were created in 1957 and get their name from the way the vehicle is driven. The skid steer uses differential steering to make turns. This means that the wheels or tracks only drive forward. Each side of the skid steer has its own engine and controls. Turns are made by adjusting the speed of either side of the skid steer, causing the vehicle to “skid” in the direction you would like to turn. This type of steering allows for very crisp turns that are useful in tight spaces — illustrating the precision the skid steer is known to provide.  

Skid Steers are one of the most common and versatile pieces of equipment you can find; being used in demolition, construction, loading, digging, mowing, landscaping and more.  

Types of Skid Steer Attachments 

As mentioned above, skid steers have attachment options in the static and hydraulic category. We will explore some of our most popular options of each that your customers can use to add efficiency and productivity to their operations.  

Static Attachments

Buckets – Buckets allow for more efficient movement of materials. There are different types of buckets that can be used for digging and shoveling as well. 

Pallet Forks – One of the most common tools used in material handling, pallet forks give a skid steer the capability to lift and move pallets of different sizes and weights. This essentially transforms the skid steer into a forklift when the transportation of pallets is needed.  

Grapples – An add on or accessory for buckets or pallet forks, grapples allow the skid steer to grab larger objects like big pieces of debris and move them. Hydraulic option also available.

Hydraulic Attachments

Auger Drives – Auger drives attach to a skid steer to allow for drilling into many different ground types. With the appropriate bit, auger drives can be utilized to remove stumps, mix concrete or split logs

Tree Shears – Help keep large plots of land clear of trees and shrubs. Tree Shears can be specifically designed for your skid steer to cut flush to the ground to ensure efficient clearing.  

Brooms – Attaches to the front of the skid steer to help collect debris and sweep it into a bucket for easy dumping. 

auger drive skid steer attachments
Auger Drive Connected to Skid Steer

With in-house engineering and production teams, custom forks and attachment requests are always welcome. Help your customers do more with their assets — with solutions from Arrow!   

We hope you were able to take valuable information about the versatility and productivity skid steer attachments can add to your operation. 

If you have questions on skid steer attachment options from Arrow, please contact us. Do you have a favorite attachment for your skid steer? Do you get requests from customers for specific attachments?  Let us know what you learned in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on social! 

Equipment Winterization

Arrow Material Handling Winterize Post

Happy New Year and welcome back to the Arrow MHP blog!

As a true dealer partner, we strive to add value to your daily operation, in addition to engineering quality products for your customers.

This month we want to share useful information about Equipment Winterization that you can use to add value to your customers.

What Does That Even Mean?

Winterization, in layman’s terms, means to prepare equipment for harsh winter temperatures and elements. Whether or not the equipment is being used during the coldest winter months, there are steps that should be taken to protect and maintain the equipment during this time of year. This is important information for you to know and pass along to customers to avoid potential future machine issues.

What Does Winterization Consist Of?

As mentioned above, winterization is something that should be done for machines that are both in use and resting through the winter months. Altorfer provides a great list of tips to make sure equipment stays in peak form during the winter months. These tips include things most people would anticipate like filling with proper lubricants, checking fluid levels before each use, inspecting and inflating tires, storing indoors away from freezing temperatures and precipitation and keeping batteries charged and in warm conditions.

Other tips that may be less obvious that can also be helpful may need a little more explaining, so we will break those down below:

Condition hydraulic hoses

Hoses can strain and crack in cold conditions, so it is important to condition the hoses before each use. This means running the motor to raise the hydraulic oil temperature and keeping the machine running for at least 60 minutes. Using special arctic hydraulic oil can also help performance during cold conditions.

Inspect the engine, body and undercarriage

Perform a visual inspection before each use to make sure all parts inside the engine are clean and free of wear and cracks. If any wear is found, those parts should be replaced before use. It is also a good idea to have a mechanic inspect the machine before winter to ensure optimal performance.

Refill fuel tank after each use

Refilling the fuel tank after each use can prevent the tank from freezing overnight. Cleaning and draining the water separator will also help protect the fuel tank from dirt and other debris.

Safety in Winter Conditions

We are always concerned with safety and how we can help our dealers and their customers promote safer conditions. The winter has adverse effects on certain pieces of equipment and the safe operation of those machines. For example, forklifts can face a 25-50% decrease in cycle times in cold weather. This can lead to an inability to perform tasks that are usually easy. This can also slow down reaction times for the machine. This is something to keep in mind when selling forklifts during winter months and when customers are having machine issues during winter months. Some of the tips above would help them get closer to normal effectiveness.

Protecting people should also be a big priority in these conditions and Equipment World provides some things to remember in extreme conditions:

  • Be more careful when entering and exiting machines. Surfaces can get slippery and cause falls leading to injury.
  • Keep job site clean and organized to eliminate accidents and damage. In lower visibility and precipitous conditions, it is more imperative to be proactive.
  • Use insulated gloves to touch the metal surfaces of the machine. Some of the surfaces can get so cold as to cause instant skin damage upon touching with bare skin. Additionally, The Forklift Pro reminds operators that tight fitting and high visibility clothing is still the recommendation. It is imperative to uphold these standards in cold weather to protect from injuries that can be caused by wearing bulky, loose-fitting clothes.

Having your customers follow these steps should help their equipment (or your equipment if you are renting to customers) work more consistently in colder temperatures and help prevent downtime due to unexpected maintenance and accidents. As a bonus, providing useful tools and insight can strengthen your relationships with customers and help build trust. We hope you were able to take valuable information from this blog to pass along to your customers. Are these tips you already knew? Any tips you would add for fellow readers? Let us know in the comments!

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Attachment Awareness 2: Hydraulic Forklift Attachments

Welcome back to the Attachment Awareness series on the Arrow blog! This series explores how attachments for various pieces of equipment can improve the overall experience of operation. Throughout this series, we will explore attachments for forklifts, telehandlers and skid steers and the benefits these attachments provide: improved safety and increased productivity.

In our first Attachment Awareness installment, we looked at static attachments and what benefits they provide for operators. This installment will begin our conversation on hydraulic attachments; focusing on what they are and how they work.

What Does Hydraulic Mean?

When hearing the word “hydraulics,” many people might think of the hydraulic switches on cars that we see in competitions and parades that make them jump and bounce. While the hydraulics we will focus on in this blog are for different functions, the science behind them is the same. Hydraulic principles are used in many different avenues including NASA operations, construction equipment and forklifts. From a science perspective, hydraulics can be described as the study of liquids and how they function. Furthermore, the science of hydraulics is used to create hydraulic systems. Creating and releasing fluid pressure is the basic description of a hydraulic system. These systems put pressure on a fluid (water, oil, etc.) to work with a piston and generate the energy to create movement. The pressure can be released to reverse that original movement.

Hydraulic Attachments = Hydraulic Systems

The reason the specifics of hydraulics and hydraulic systems are relevant to Arrow is because they make it possible to produce hydraulic attachments. There are hydraulic attachments for many different pieces of equipment like excavators, skid steers, telehandlers and others. At our sister company OE Attachments, we specialize in hydraulic forklift attachments in partnership with KAUP GmbH & Co. KG. For this installment, we will focus on our most popular hydraulic forklift attachments from our OEA Kaup product line.

Fork Positioner

The fork positioner is designed to easily handle loads of different widths. It allows operators to control fork distance and handling capacity without ever leaving the driver’s seat, offering superior safety and versatility over other attachments.

Fork Clamps

Offering additional stability and range, fork clamps allow the operator to handle various pallet types in the safest manner. The fork clamps give the operator the option to select the opening range of the forks and squeeze them together around oddly shaped or hard to grasp items for transport.

Multi-Pallet Handlers

A staple in the food/beverage industry, multi-pallet handlers are the perfect solution for transporting multiple loads at the same time. Combining stability and visibility to essentially double your productivity.

As we progress through this series, we will explore other hydraulic attachments that fit into other categories like safety and productivity as well as hydraulic attachments for other equipment like skid steers and telehandlers. We’ll also explore other elements of hydraulic systems. Stay tuned!

Do you have experience with hydraulics/hydraulic systems? What is your hydraulic attachment of choice? Let us know in the comments!

Why is Process Optimization Important?

process optimization picture

Welcome back to the Arrow MHP blog! As a true dealer partner, we strive to add value to your daily operation outside of engineering quality products for your customers. For this edition, we want to dive into process optimization — why it is important and how to go about improving your processes and ultimately your customer experience.

What is Process Optimization

Process optimization is the practice of incrementally adjusting a business process towards its maximum potential without negatively affecting other parts of the process. The most common goals of process optimization are minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency, common and ongoing goals for almost any business.

Why is Process Optimization Important?

At first glance, it may seem like process optimization is a fancy way of saying “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” However, you could find ways to make small improvements that result in big rewards by examining your processes. Any function of your business can be explored as the “process” in question and evaluated step-by-step to identify areas that have room for improvement. Refreshing the approach can breathe new life into a business that is stuck in its own way or only thinks certain areas are improvement opportunities. Process optimization puts all options back on the table and can be treated like a return to the drawing board.

How should it work?

When embarking on process optimization, you should look at every step of your chosen process while asking questions from the following assessment list found here (or a similar one) to identify potential improvements:


  • Are we using antiquated methods that can be improved with new tools?
  • What repetitive steps can be consolidated?
  • Are some steps blocked by other processes?

Answering these questions and others that come up will get you much closer to having a cohesive process that moves as quickly and efficiently as possible, getting you out of the doing-things-the-way-they-have-always-been-done mentality.

Resource Management

  • Are we wasting money on things that we are not using?
  • Wasting product or resources that could be allocated elsewhere in the process?
  • Are we wasting time?

Identifying wasted money, product and time is critical in optimization because it is going to be the easiest area to see results. Sometimes it can go hand in hand with streamlining and you realize that you are already saving time, but other times it encourages you to be more resourceful and consider everything that you are spending money on as a resource. This mindset can open the door to drastic improvement.

Error Reduction

  • Are there mistakes that are made consistently in this process?
  • What steps carry the most risk for error?
  • Can these errors be corrected during the process or prevented by changing the process?

Correcting common errors in the process you are evaluating can be as simple a tweak that has not been thought of before. Understanding what steps or actions in the process carry the most risk also allows you to insulate those steps and make sure you keep the errors to a minimum. Without evaluation, common errors can just become another part of the process instead of being addressed correctly.


  • What are the common concerns with our products or services?
  • Do we have to send a lot of replacements or provide refunds for similar issues?
  • Can our products or services be better?

Assessing quality is something every business should do. The keys are to listen to both your customers and internal stakeholders and continuously review your product, services and processes. Identifying areas for improvement before a customer reports a quality issue can save valuable resources in the long run. Proactive improvement is vital to improving overall customer satisfaction.


  • Are we asking customers what they think?
  • Are more customers satisfied than not satisfied?
  • What do our customers like about us?
  • What can be done to address these concerns?

Customer satisfaction should be objective #1 for any business. If you cannot answer the above questions with insightful information from customers, that is where this step should begin. When you don’t offer a constant repository for feedback, you often only hear negative issues or complaints. By constantly soliciting feedback, you are offering customers a place to share the good, not just the needs improvement. You can use the feedback to replicate the positive experience for more customers or even adjust your target audience if you see trends in the types of customers that are satisfied with you.

What Does It Look Like?

Here is a brief example of what happened when we used process optimization in our daily procedures:

At our corporate manufacturing facility, we constantly handle forklift forks. Between selling and using them, forklift forks have a big footprint on our business. Through conversation and observation, it was realized that the way forks were being handled was not as efficient or safe as it could be. Some of the process optimization checklist items that applied in our case were:

  • Streamlining: Forks are being transported one at a time or having to be touched multiple times to be placed on pallets separately.
  • Resource Management: Pallets were being used unnecessarily; more time was being taken to transport forks; more people had to be involved in the transportation because there was no uniform way of handling forks.
  • Error Reduction: Handling forks different ways always left more room for forks to be dropped or mishandled.

To improve this process, our engineering, production and material handling teams worked together to create a new tool for internal use: “the fork handler”. This new tool transports multiple forks safely at once, and can be used to install forks on a forklift without ever needing to touch the forks by hand. This tool made a positive impact on efficiency and reduced the possibility for several OSHA recordable workplace injuries. Dealers and others who handle forks have shown extreme interest in the fork handler and we are now offering them as a new product – passing on the benefits of our process optimization to end users.

What do you think is the most important step above? Do you have any process optimization success stories to share? Questions about process optimization? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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Attachment Awareness 1: Static Attachments

extension boom attachment

Welcome to the Attachment Awareness series! The Awareness series will explore how attachments for various pieces of equipment can improve the overall experience of operation. Throughout this series, we will explore attachments for forklifts, telehandlers and skid steers and the benefits these attachments provide. These benefits include improved safety and increased productivity. Without further ado, let’s learn about some attachments.
Arrow Material Handling Products offers two types of attachments for forklifts: static and hydraulic. This first edition will focus on static attachments and the value they can add to an operation. Static attachments are placed directly on the forks to add new capabilities to the machine. While these are fully manual and require some installation before use, the different functions they offer can transform a piece of equipment into a Swiss Army knife for material handling! Our product experts have highlighted some of their favorite static attachments to give you an idea of the major upgrades these attachments can provide to forklifts:
  • Booms (extension boom pictured above): Used for a variety of purposes, booms can extend reach, handle loads of abnormal shape and manage specific tasks like installing trusses and frames. With a high weight capacity and fully customizable design, booms are a popular static attachment because of their versatility.
  • Carpet Poles: While not quite as universal as booms, these unique attachments have saved many operators headaches and frustration. Trying to carry something long and cylindrical using traditional forks is not only difficult, but also dangerous to the product. Carpet poles allow operators to safely and easily move rolls of carpet and similar items in a fraction of the time.
  • Fork Spreaders (pictured below): These fully customizable attachments are a must have for any facility that is moving loads of different sizes and shapes. Fork spreaders stabilize wide loads and make moving them as easy as sliding the forks in. These are custom made to fit all carriage types and can be used with adjustable carriages for a more versatile experience.
  • Fork Extensions: This heavy-duty attachment is a safe and cost-effective option for extending the reach of forks as well as adding stability to longer loads. High-strength steel works to prevent wear to the extensions while the curved tip design protects people and assets during use. For those not ready to make the jump to hydraulic attachments, these extensions are a great addition to the fleet!

fork spreader attachment

Already have a favorite static attachment? Have questions about the attachments we covered? Let us know in the comments. We want to hear from you!
Our next attachment awareness topic will cover hydraulic attachments for forklifts, which can elevate your fleet to maximum, safe performance. Join our email list below to be notified of future blog posts and product updates.

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5 Tips to Prevent Fork Damage

“What’s the trick to get my forks to last longer?” It’s a simple question that our customers ask from time to time. There’s not one simple answer through; there’s several. Preventing fork damage starts with selecting the right forks and continues day-in and day-out with utilizing best operational practices. The following are our top 5 tips to preventing fork damage.

  1. Always go with quality. There’s a reason this is at the top of our list. The best way to prevent fork damage is to start with the highest quality steel you can outfit your vehicle with during the purchasing process. Don’t just look at price; look at the composition of the steel the fork is made out of. Arrow, for instance, uses 15B37H carbon-boron alloy steel that’s been heat-treated throughout the fork for increased strength. This steel has been proven to better withstand impact and adverse temperatures compared to 40CR steel.
  2. Be conscious of load capacity. Nothing damages forks faster than giving them more weight than they can handle. Lifting loads that are beyond the capacity rating can not only permanently damage your forks, it can lead to tipping your vehicle, which can injure the operator and damage the forklift. Always consider the load capacity of your fork BEFORE lifting. A miscalculation can be costly.
  3. Know your workspace. A good pair of forks can instantly be ruined as the result of a collision. This is why we stress that operators take the time to thoroughly familiarize themselves with their warehouse layout and identify potential troublesome areas. Be mindful of high traffic intersections of the warehouse and places where space is tight, and therefore, requires a more cautious approach. Safety should always be at the forefront of the operator’s mind.
  4. Heel protection. As every operator knows, the heel of the fork is the most critical part in terms of what bears the majority of load weight. Once the heel is compromised, it’s not going to be long before the entire fork needs to be replaced. That’s why it’s important to protect the heel by minimizing instances of dragging or impact. For impact protection, we recommend buying our Fork Shields, which are specifically designed to protect the inner heel of your forks from nicks, gouges, and accidental damage resulting in stress cracks.
  5. Always use best operational practices. The best way to prevent fork damage is to always make sure you’re using them properly. This means not letting your forks hit the ground, always using both forks for lifting (not just one), and never using your forks for anything other than lifting. Proper fork usage is one of the best damage prevention measures and operator can take.

We hope you found these five tips on preventing fork damage helpful. As always, if you have any questions or would like to make a purchase, please give us a call at 800-821-7563 and one of our sales associates will be happy to assist you.

Determining Fork Quality

Four Factors to Look For When Purchasing

Fork Variety

Not all forklift forks are going to be the same. This may or may not be obvious to those who have been tasked with purchasing new forks only to find themselves overwhelmed by selection. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in price and delivery—buying whatever is cheap and quick—that the actual quality of the forks may sometimes be forgotten.

As an example, a pair of Standard ITA Forks from three separate companies can look almost identical to each other, but also be vastly different in quality. Use the following tips to help you determine fork quality before you buy.

  1. Steel quality: All forks are made from steel but not all steel is created equal. That’s why when shopping for forks it’s incredibly important to take note of the type of steel your forks are made out of. 40CR steel is a standard alloy steel, and although it does meet ANSI/ITSDF and ISO standards, there are much better steel compositions out on the market for forks. Arrow, for instance, uses 15B37H carbon-boron alloy steel. This particular type of steel has a lab-proven impact toughness far exceeding that of the 40CR steel. This translates to a product that is less susceptible to cracking, thus, extending the overall life of the forks.
  2. Heat-treating: A surefire way to increase the quality of a pair of forks is by heat-treating them. This significantly reduces the chance of wear and/or cracks when handling heavy loads or dealing with high impacts for all climate conditions (extreme hot or cold). While shopping for forks, you’ll not only want to make sure that they’ve been heat-treated, but more specifically, that the entire length of the fork has undergone this process—not just the heel. Arrow heat-treats the entirety of every fork it produces to ensure the highest quality product in every part of the fork.
  3. 3rd party governing standards: Many companies will tell you they have the best forks. They’ll tell you they’re #1 in product quality and have the most reliable forks in the industry. But how can you know for sure? In order to go to market, forks must pass certain standardized tests—most notably—the standards set by ANSI/ITSDF and ISO. If you want to ensure the forks you’re about to buy are high quality, make sure that they comply with these standards. Don’t just listen to what the company says about their product; listen to what other organizations are saying as well. All Arrow forks meet or exceed all ANSI/ITSDF and ISO standards. 
  4. Warranty: Last but not least is the warranty. When you purchase forks, you always want to make sure you’re protected. Buying forks that aren’t under warranty—no matter how inexpensive they are—is a risk you simply shouldn’t take. This is why Arrow offers a three-year limited warranty on products with any defects due to material or workmanship on the entire line of our fork products. When you buy, you should be able to buy with confidence.

To recap, fork quality isn’t determined by price. Price is typically determined by fork quality. Be mindful of steel composition, how the fork was made, and whether or not the product is meeting or exceeding the standards set forth by ANISI/ITSDF and ISO. And never buy forks that aren’t under warranty.

Arrow Forks can be viewed by clicking HERE. We have the largest stock and widest selection of forks in the country; we even do custom orders based upon your design with lead times averaging 3 – 5 days.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (800) 821-7563 to speak with our sales department.

When To Replace Forklift Forks

The forklift fork is often overlooked and under-inspected. Many are unaware of how often one should inspect their forks, and how to inspect them. Federal law (OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1910.178) mandates that forklift forks which see around-the-clock use should be inspected on a per-operation basis. As part of a pre-operation inspection, forklift forks should ideally be inspected for signs of cracks, bends, excessive wear or damage to either the fork tine or the positioning lock when using an ITA mounted fork.

What to look for:

1. Excessive wear to the forks Forklift forks decrease in thickness over time due to normal wear. However, any wear to the fork over 10 percent of the total thickness is considered excessive. Forks that show this amount of wear should be replaced.

2. Fractures due to stress or collision Be sure to inspect the forks closely for fractures and gouges. The fork heel and parts of the fork closest to the machine typically receive the most wear. Even small cracks and gouges are signs forks need to be replaced.

3. Damage to the fork tip Since fork tips are usually the first part of the fork to come in contact with material, excessive wear or damage to the tips is a clear indicator the forks should be replaced.

4. Any bends or uneven surfaces on the fork All forks are delivered with a 90 degree angle from the shank to the blade. If any bend or uneven surface is detected on either the blade or shank, the fork(s) need replacing.

5. Difference in fork blade height A difference in the height of each fork blade should stay within 3 percent of the fork length. Therefore if the forks in question are 42 inches long the allowable difference in fork height would be 1.26 inches. Any difference in fork height beyond 1.26 inches is a sign that both forks need to be replaced.

6. Wear or damage to the fork hook Noticeable wear, crushing, pulling, and other deformities are signs that the fork hooks need to be replaced. Furthermore, if the wear to the hook is causing an excessive amount of distance between the fork and the carriage, the hook(s) should be replaced.

7. Wear or damage to positioning lock If a positioning lock is no longer capable of locking completely due to wear the forks should immediately be removed from duty until the part is replaced. Operating without a fully functional positioning lock is a safety hazard and illegal.

When it does come time to replace forklift forks here are some common questions.

1. Can a single fork be replaced or should they be replaced in pairs? While only a single fork might show signs of excessive wear or damage, it is not safe to replace only one fork. It is highly recommended forks be replaced only in pairs to ensure equal performance. Having two different forks with unique amounts of wear and disproportionate hourly usage is provides a number of safety concerns. “Replacing just one fork may seem like a good idea, but can actually lead to serious safety violations.” says Terry Melvin, CEO of Arrow Material Handling Products.

2. Is it ok to make custom repairs or modification to the forks? It is typically recommended that only the fork manufacturer make repairs or modifications to ensure forks meet safety standards. Always contact your fork provider first when in need of modification.

3. How do I determine replacement fork quality? Forks made from high quality boron-carbon alloy high strength steel are rated 20% stronger than those made with 40CR. In addition, forks that are fully immersed into industrial heat treatment ovens and cooling pools are the most durable. Premium quality forklift forks should meet or exceed all ANSI/ITSDF and ISO standards.

Arrow Material Handling Products has been a leading supplier of replacement forks for over 40 years. With North America’s largest stock of forklift forks and an expert sales team, Arrow specializes in customer care and quick turnaround.