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Modification to Forklift Tynes
I am trying to find out if I can legally request my workshop fitter to carry out modifications to the forklift.
The "management" here has requested holes be drilled in the ends of the tynes so that an eye bolt or similar can be fited to the tynes and then used as a lifting piont.

Can this legally be done or do I need to go down another path?
  • Posted 3 Mar 2010 03:51 PM
Total replies: 13. Showing items 1 - 13 of 13 results.
This is a "modification" that is frequently seen but certainly cannot be legal in most parts of the world, and I would like to think definitely not in Australia ,where standards are normal.

The problem here is not really that the fork tips are weakened, which they are, but more importantly that there is no way to establish they lifting capacity once the "Mod"is done.

Refrain from this, the correct way is to purchase an attachment to do the job properly, they are not even expensive.
  • Posted 3 Mar 2010 07:13 PM
Without the manufacturer's prior approval it is an OSHA violation.
As Normady pointed out, some products like "lift-n-tow" from star manufacturing, work OK. We have one but it has no bolt to tighten onto the blades to keep it from moving toward the truck, just a chain so it won't slide off the end.
Often, a heavy "roundsling" chocker'd around both blades together can give good vertical lift safely.
Is that an OSHA approved method?
They say no.
  • Posted 4 Mar 2010 02:39 AM
dont know if it's legal or not but one of the fork suppliers is offering forks with holes in them.
i wouldnt recomend trying to "convince" osha that something is ok just because it's made that way. they dance to their own music.

technology: (no user serviceable parts inside)
  • Posted 4 Mar 2010 02:52 AM
michael h -

ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2005, SAFETY STANDARD FOR LOW LIFT AND HIGH LIFT TRUCKS contains the following provisions:

4.2 Modifications, Nameplates, Markings, and Capacity
4.2.1 Except as provided in para. 4.2.2, no modifications or alterations to a powered industrial truck that may affect the capacity, stability, or safe operation of the truck shall be made without the prior written approval of the original truck manufacturer or its successor thereof. When the truck manufacturer or its successor approves a modification or alteration, appropriate changes shall be made to capacity plates, decals, tags, and operation and maintenance manuals.

4.2.2 If the truck manufacturer is no longer in business and there is no successor to the business, the user may arrange for a modification or alteration to a powered industrial truck, provided however, the user
(a) arranges for modification or alteration to be designed, tested, and implemented by an engineer(s) expert in industrial trucks and their safety
(b) maintains a permanent record of the design, test(s), and implementation of the modification or alteration
(c) makes appropriate changes to the capacity plate(s), decals, tags, and operation and maintenance manuals
(d) affixes a permanent and readily visible label on the truck stating the manner in which the truck has been modified or altered together with the date of the modification or alteration, and the name of the organization that accomplished the tasks

4.2.3 If the truck is equipped with a front-end attachment(s), including fork extensions, the user shall see that the truck is marked to identify the attachment(s), show the weight of the truck and attachment combination, and show the capacity of the truck with attachment(s) at maximum elevation with the load laterally centered.

Standards Australia should have similar paragraphs in AS 2359.21985: Powered industrial trucks —operation. This standard contains Australian requirements for the operation, maintenance, repair and modification of industrial trucks and their attachments.
  • Posted 4 Mar 2010 09:49 AM
  • • Modified 4 Mar 2010 09:50 AM by poster
joseph, you are a fountain of information. thanks for keeping us in line.

technology: (no user serviceable parts inside)
  • Posted 4 Mar 2010 12:39 PM
And there's more.
The strength of a single fork is usually 50% - 60% of the forklift rating when the load is lifted at its rated distance. At the tip of one fork it may be 20% - 25% of the forklift's rating because you're now at 2 times or more the rated distance (I'm talking about the fork strength). And if you put a hole through a tyne that is 10% - 20% of its width and 50% - 100% of its depth at that point, the stress raising effect of that hole will weaken the fork at that point by around 50%.
Hence the safe load may be as low as 5% - 10% of the forklift rating.
And of course if you are slinging the load (that is the load can swing back and forth) then the rating has to be reduced a further 20% to 4% - 8% of the forklift rating.
Hence a 5000 lb at 24" truck may be limited to 200 lb - 400 lb if a load is slung from a chain or hook attached thrugh a hole in a fork.
Much better to purchase a third party jib or hook attachment and have the combination rated. Because it in effect reinforces the forks to a degree, is supported by two forks, and no hole is required in a fork, the rating could be 4-5 times as high at the end of the forks - that is 800 lb - 2000 lb.

Better to strive and experience all life’s colours from pain to ecstasy than to exist in a grey life
  • Posted 4 Mar 2010 10:52 PM
I think John has very eloquently made my point that drilling holes leaves to many ifs,buts and maybes. and really it is not possible to certify the end result.

It really cannot be legal and if by some chance it is, it certainly, is not safe or good practise.

Going back to the original post I would, if I was the engineer asked to drill the hole, ,REFUSE.
  • Posted 5 Mar 2010 08:59 PM
michael h -

The definitive answer to your original question is NO! You will have to take another path.

The Western Australia Commission for Occupational Safety and Health has issued a Guidance Note – Working Safely with Forklifts. A guidance note is defined as: “A guidance note is an explanatory document providing detailed information on the requirements of legislation, regulations, standards, codes of practice or matters relating to occupational safety and health, as approved by the Commission”

On page 7, in Section 2.5, Safe design – considerations; Western Australia is very specific about holes in forks:

“holes must not be drilled or cut through the fork arms as this destroys the integrity of the fork arms;”


A new revision is in process as the current guidance note contains training data based upon the original time line for Australian National Licensing. The current version should still be available for download.

Forklift instructors/trainers outside of Western Australia should also consider reviewing this guideline as it has good forklift safety information.
  • Posted 6 Mar 2010 09:07 AM
  • • Modified 6 Mar 2010 09:25 AM by poster
I sold a new set of forks to a customer and he calls me a week later and complains they're bent. I go and look and there is a hole in the one and it's bent down. "OK, you want me a warrantee that? I don't think so". One hour of my time down the drain.
  • Posted 6 Mar 2010 10:31 AM
Would like to also add that if fork tips are to be used for a special requirement - for example over here 16 tonne forklift tynes being used to separate heavy steel plates weighing up to several tonnes, then the forklift manufacturer needs to be informed because standard forks may be too weak and bend (and yes it has happened - 16 tonne std forklift hired in to replace a unit down for maintenance - A$8000 damage in less than a minute, and on the first day the hire forklift arrived!)

Better to strive and experience all life’s colours from pain to ecstasy than to exist in a grey life
  • Posted 6 Mar 2010 11:58 AM
I had thought about doing this and would like to thank-you for your insight I have seen this mod (adding a hole on the end of the tyne ) in many applications and thought about doing it to my current machine glad I read your post first and didn't ruin the tyne ! cheers ;)

cheers johnny
  • Posted 11 Jul 2019 03:18 AM
You see holes in the ends of forks , but I agree with most of the posts about the modifications to forks. You are not supposed to weld on forks either.
  • Posted 14 Aug 2019 08:24 PM
There are a number of issues. 1) Drilling holes is not allowed as that generates stress raising effects. 2) Fork ratings are based on the load centre being 500 mm from the fork face [600 mm in Australia]. 3) Lifting at tips even without a hole can cause forks to bend/ fail. Best thing is to buy a lifting frame or jig and have the forklift with that frame or jig rated.

Better to strive and experience all life’s colours from pain to ecstasy than to exist in a grey life
  • Posted 14 Aug 2019 11:46 PM
Total replies: 13. Showing items 1 - 13 of 13 results.

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