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NEWS | March 15, 2022

Forklifts: Load Testing Requirement

Dear Half-Mast,
Our unit is having an issue with lifting devices and load testing. I’ve been told that lifting devices (like a forklift) don’t have to be load tested anymore.
I was also told that a load test was only required when a vehicle’s hydraulic line is leaking or a hose is replaced. What’s the scoop?
Mr. W. T.

Dear Mr. W.T.,
TB 43-0142, Safety Inspection and Testing of Lifting Devices (Feb 97), doesn’t have a blanket requirement for annual functional testing (also referred to as load testing) of all forklifts. The only exception is forklifts that are used for handling hazardous material, per Para 4.b.(2)(d).
Paragraph 4.a.(1) does require load testing prior to the first use after production or extensive repairs.
Paragraph 4.b.(2)(c) leaves it to TMs, manufacturer documentation and Appendix D to define when a forklift requires a functional test, so review each of these to see if they provide specific guidance.

Be advised that for TACOM-managed forklifts, there are currently no requirements to conduct yearly functional tests.
Although it’s not expressly mentioned in the TB, annual functional tests can always be mandated by unit or command SOPs.
The bottom line is: a load test is required whenever a load-bearing structure is removed, replaced or repaired. Examples include a crane’s boom section that's welded or a hydraulic lift cylinder that's replaced.
Replacing a hydraulic hose doesn’t require a load test. Although replacing a leaking hydraulic hose to a boom lift cylinder doesn’t require a new load test, replacing the lift cylinder itself does require a load test.

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