Mast Chains


By: Jake Tetrick

Corporate Trainer


The chains on a mast are one of the most overlooked items when it comes to forklift maintenance. The chain is THE main component holding the weight of the product and the forks in the air. The number one reason that chains break is normal wear and tear. As the chains roll over the pulleys the links roll on the pins slowly wearing groves in the pins, and links. Causing the chains to get longer.

Another common cause of a damaged or worn chain is the chain breaking from  heavy loads bouncing over a rough surface.

Reasons for regular chain inspection….

1.SAFETY! People are our most valuable asset, so lets protect them!

2.Down time. If the lift is not running production is stopped and time is MONEY!

3.Product damage description. Chains usually break when there is product on the forks. When the chain breaks the product is usually dropped and may or may not be damaged. There is also the possibility of the chain doing more extensive damage to the forklift.


(above) Normal mast chains in good condition. Note the off-center spacing on the gauge…this is a sign of good condition.

(Below) Chains in bad condition. Note the pin at the bottom being even with the center of the gauge. This indicates the chains have actually been worn beyond safe limits.