Forklift manufacturers need to be focused on building equipment that is reliable, durable and designed for safety. The forklift’s mast, or upright, is the portion of the forklift that lifts, lowers and positions the loads manipulated by the forks. The mast hose, also referred to as the over-the-sheave hose, transfers hydraulic liquids under high pressure and varying temperature to move the mast up and down. Sudden failure of a hose can expel hot hydraulic oil at a high rate of speed and distance. Anyone nearby, particularly at eye level with the damaged section, would be in danger of serious injury from burns or oil injection from a puncture wound. In addition, a hose that breaks free from one of its fittings may thrash about, potentially striking a worker and causing injury. Spilled oil is also responsible for many slip and fall accidents in the workplace as well as ecological issues.
Parker can help OEMs design forklifts that are aligned with their goals of reliability, durability and safety. Forklift hoses do their work in relative obscurity, but proper hose selection can help to ensure a safe work environment. The Parflex Division of Parker manufactures thermoplastic hoses built with a high level of contact strength between the layers of core, braid and jacket. This contact is generated because thermoplastic materials can be re-melted during the production process allowing for both a chemical and mechanical bond. This unique bonding process creates projections on the outside of the core that extend up into the braid, while the jacket material is forced down into the braid from the outside.
Parflex over-the-sheave hoses are tested under extreme conditions to withstand temperatures as low as -70°F to +250°F and show no fatigue after more than 250,000 flexing cycles. The strength member is offered in high tensile fiber or wire reinforced steel with brass plate wire, and the abrasion resistant jacket is specially formulated to offer a high level of UV protection for optimal weather resilience and low coefficient of friction to improve wear.
All Parker mast hoses for over-the-sheave applications meet various SAE specifications and pressure ratings up to 5,000 psi, depending on design. In the past, the majority of hoses were made from rubber but today, thermoplastic hose out performs conventional rubber products for several reasons:
With hoses being vital in the operation of forklift equipment, it is important to specify hoses for safety, as well as performance. Forklift accidents are common and nothing is more important than workplace safety, specifying the right hydraulic hose can help to keep workers safe.
For more information about the Parker over-the-sheave hoses, visit www.parker.com/parflex.
Article contributed by Greg Hayes, OEM sales manager, Parflex Division.