When it comes to maneuvering a forklift in the snow, mud and ice, many forklift operators turn to tire chains for the increased traction they need. Forklift tire chains fit most commercial and industrial forklifts and are relatively simple to install. Here are some tips for installing forklift tire chains.
Before you begin your tire chain installation, you should know that not all tire chains are alike. Because of the way forklifts pivot, grind and turn, carbon steel chains don’t last as long as steel square linked alloy chains. Not only does a square linked alloy chain last longer, it also provides better traction and a better fit on your forklift’s tires.
Start your forklift tire chain installation by laying the tire chain beside your forklift with the side chain hooks facing upward. This will make installation easier and more efficient when it comes time to position the chain on the tire. Next, take the inside part of the tire chain and lift it up and over the forklift’s tire. Seat the tire chain in place so the side wall chain is positioned in the middle of the tire’s side wall all the way around.
Once you have the tire chain in place, you’ll want to make sure the chain’s sidewall hooks (fasteners) are out beside the forklift tire. This is so you don’t damage the sidewall hooks or the tire when you drive the forklift forward. With the sidewall hooks beside the tire, you’re ready to drive the forklift forward to wrap the tire chain around the rest of the tire.
After you’ve rolled the forklift forward, the first thing you’ll want to do is fasten the inside side chain hook. This is a hook and a link. Connect the side chain fastener to the link on the tire’s outside. Slide the side chain fastener through the link and then pull the side fastener down. You may need to adjust the tire chain’s position on the tire in order to give yourself enough slack so you can get the side fastener down and hooked into a side link. Be sure you hook the side fastener inside the side link with the hook facing out to avoid damaging the tire or its side wall.
Once you’ve successfully hooked the side fastener, jerk the tire chain to make sure you have a snug fit. It’s also a good idea to use a short bungee strap or a side chain tensioner across each tire in two directions. This will keep the tire chain tight as well as square on the tire.
Installing forklift tire chains is one of the best ways to prepare your fleet for winter’s inclement weather. Snow, mud and ice can wreak havoc on daily operations. Especially, if you’re not prepared for it. Whether your forklift fleet faces snow, ice or mud, forklift tire chains are an important part of maintaining your company’s productivity, avoiding on site accidents and keeping your team safe. Make loading and unloading in any kind of weather or terrain safer and easier with forklift tire chains.