Welding forklift forks

I am going to stick my neck out here. A 1,000# lift for a 5,000# forklift is way inside its safety limits
UNLESS
you get it way out on the tips of the tines,
tilt forward all the way and drive around, or lift the load way up in the air and drive around.
I think that the OP could extend the forks, tilt back all the way once the load is picked, and safely place it on the truck if the truck would back under the load and not move the forklift.
I would further stick my neck out, and say that on level ground, he could make the pick, lift it to truck level, drive forward to the truck, lower the load, tilt forward, and place the pallet.
I WOULD FURTHER STICK MY NECK OUT by saying that I would drive the forklift IF it were on level solid ground of asphalt or concrete, and the bed of the truck was not more than chest high to a man.
The danger of bending of the tines would only be when an operator is attempting to lift a heavy load with the tips of the tines. I have bent good tines this way. But fully inserted in a pallet, the load is going to be on the good and thick part of the tines. The tipping of the load forward would only occur when the load is tilted forward past the centerline, the load limit is approached, and 20% of the load capacity is not critical.
ALL THAT BEING SAID, I recommend that the OP buy the correct set of forks, and use the correct set for the use intended. But you still got to watch. You can put too long of tines on any machine, but a 6" to 8" distance is not that much.
Steve, who has thousands of hours on a forklift.
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Northern has long forks for about $450.00. Extensions are about $200.00.
How much is the worse possible outcome of welding on an extension going to cost?
Figure that out and take your risks from there.
--

Dan

Scopulus est usquequaque nefas
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Dan_Thomas snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I snapped a fork that I had set up to use on my backhoe. With the proper procedures, I welded it back together and put it to use for many years. It was snapped right at the bend. Since I never used it commercially I was nerver worried about it letting go and since I had tested it by lifting a heavy load right at the tip I was sure that it was better than new. It now lifted the load the had originally snapped it. There was a flaw in the metal when they bent it that you could plainly see. Maybe I should have sued them. :)
John
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On Sun, 20 Aug 2006 17:22:22 GMT, "Karl Townsend"

Ah...from what little I know about forklift forks..start calling around and check to see if any forklift companies have any junker machines around and trade em the forks.
This is NOT something you want to do by welding...
Gunner
"I think this is because of your belief in biological Marxism. As a genetic communist you feel that noticing behavioural patterns relating to race would cause a conflict with your belief in biological Marxism." Big Pete, famous Usenet Racist
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Already been there, done that. This 30 year old machine has side shift and a non-standard upper fork end. I ain't gonna find what I need.

I got to do it anyway. So back to my question, how?
Karl
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Karl Townsend wrote:

If you're so sure it's a good idea, go weld it then.
You realize by posting this question on the internet, you've publically stated your intentions to alter a machine in a fashion which could hurt or kill someone. Also, you've stated your intention to cover up this alteration to the extent that someone would have to know you had done anything to be able to check for the alteration.
"I plan on grinding and machining everything so you won't be able to tell they were extended."
I have been bitten in real life by posting a question which related to doing something that had no possibility of causing anyone any harm (it was on this group, BTW). There were several parties (links) in the chain that led back to me.
What about the next guy that has to use your forklift? Perhaps the next owner. Are you going to disclose your modification? What about if the forklift becomes part of your estate when you die and is sold off by the executor. Do you care about that executors liability?
We use forklifts everyday at work. While we use them in such a way that they are safe when everything is going well, if a fork broke, and a skid shifted allowing the load to slide off the skid, we could very surely have fatalities. Most of our equipment is second-hand too.
Regards,
Robin
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Robin S. wrote:

It seems obvious you've spent a good amount of time thinking about these ramifications. :) This is, IMHO, what separates the men from the boys when this type of subject comes up (includes me too when justified). The off-the-cuff answer to these types of questions (regardless of detail) is worth about what is invested, but the clear rational, reasoned and experienced approach, such as yours, needs to be considered before all else.
The ramifications of decisions in haste far exceeds the imagination of the inexperienced. Thanks for your comments.

As a professional rigger/machinery mover I'd like to suggest a review of your practices. You suggest, if a load shifted sideways off a skid: " we could very

trapped along side the load and unable to move out of the way; is this correct? This would be considered bad safety practice on a rigging crew and any foreman directing a crew member into such a situation would be considered a dangerous person to work for. It isn't only fork breakage which could cause an incident in this type of situation, there are other mechanical and hydraulic components to consider as well as operator error/distraction, foreign material on the floor, etc. The same holds true for standing or sitting employees along the path of the forklift; how hard would it be to ask them to move as a dangerous load passes their work area (or protect the work area)?
Why would you have to allow a person to expose themselves to harm in this manner? Does someone need to steady the load while it is being transported? There are other methods to accomplish this. Think of this as similar to a properly rigged 50,000# load passing overhead on a traveling bridge crane (of which I have thousands of hours of experience); no foreman of any rigging company would allow his men to stand beneath such a load because the consequences of the unforeseen (enabled by that old demon "Pride") far far outweigh the moments it requires to clear the path for the load. It only makes common sense. And much better than later on having to say to someone's loved one "I didn't think it could happen".
If you feel I'm overreacting you may be right. I take machinery moving and rigging safety very seriously. Sorry for the rant.
dennis in nca
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rigger wrote:

Not really. We have overhead bridge cranes up to 50 tons for that type of load (typically). The problem would be body panels (we make body panel dies) falling off a skid, cutting the victem. They're basically really large razor blades, and reasonably light. People are taught *very* early on not to stand between a heavy load on a crane/forklift, and a stationary object. Someone died at a customer's plant doing that, between two ~40 ton dies.
It's a matter of complacency. People move skids with panels around *all* the time. I try and take an extra step or two back, but some people aren't so careful...
So it goes. You have lots of good points in your post though. It's refreshing to hear from someone who appriciates the dangerous nature of his job.
Regards,
Robin
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rigger wrote:

Sometimes, it's hard to completely avoid risk. We unload cargo from one of our ships onto barges or light amphibian vehicles. The ship can move, the barge can move, there's restricted space, nowhere to go etc. It's plain dangerous. Everyone takes care and the marine crane drivers are extremely good, but we've still had broken bones.
Lately we try to use helicopters more as, while the hourly cost is far higher, it's a lot safer and the rate of cargo movement (within the lift capacity of relatively small choppers) is quite high. When we need to recover a piece of heavy machinery, though, it's back to the cranes, barges and people working underneath a suspended load on platforms which can & do move. It's always very nervous work.
I don't think you're overreacting at all.
PDW
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Karl Townsend wrote:

Karl, many years ago I did the full boilermaker-welder tickets. I wouldn't do what you're asking because you don't know anything about the parent material or the heat treat. You're certainly going to destroy the heat treat, and it's possible you'll end up with a really nasty brittle heat affected zone. It's also possible it'll be annealed and bendy. Neither are desirable.
In addition, these days I manage a small marine engineering R&D group. What everyone has been telling you about legal risk is spot on. You're planning on altering a machine from the manufacturer's spec without engineering approval. If anything goes wrong, ever, you are toast.
You DON'T have to do it anyway. You've just decided this is the simplest/only solution to the problem you're facing.
How would you do this if you didn't have this forklift? The object is to lift/move an oversize pallet weighing 1000 lbs.
PDW
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http://www.budgetforklift.com/forklift-forks.html And they put special ends on as required. http://www.forkliftpartsdirect.com/home.aspx?Page=FORKS&Type=FK
Karl Townsend wrote:

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RoyJ wrote:

Very nice site and great selection. Thanks.
dennis in nca
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dont weld to the ends of the forks under any circumstances , we weld a nd straighten forks at work , they are heat treated real specifically,
if all you need is extensions , make them out of 2x5 x1/4 wa;ll tubing make some ears on the truck end and put a retainig bolt thru to keep them form sliding off.
a 4to 8 inch extension is fine , we do some up to 8 feet for the construction lifts around here
Gunner wrote:

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