What is Forklift Handling Testing?
Forklift handling evaluates the integrity of unitized loads and large cases/crates. Damages to products have a clear correlation with packages in the actual distribution handling system. More specifically, forklift handling compliance is applicable and used to test the ability of the shipping unit to withstand repeated handlings.
As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, Keystone Compliance realizes the importance of forklift integrity package testing. Meeting forklift handling compliance requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.
Keystone creates an accurate test plan to eliminate expensive over-testing. Our proven process helps avoid product launch delays. In addition, we are in constant communication throughout the test process.
Why is Forklift Handling Important?
Forklift handling aims to simulate actual equipment to be used in load handling. The test evaluates the sustainability of mechanical handling by standard user-specified load-handling equipment. Additionally, the integrity and stability of a unitized load or case/crate are assessed to improve the design where deficiencies are found.
Package testing ensures that packages are structurally sturdy enough to endure the distribution cycle. Not to mention that the product must remain fully protected from hazards until it reaches its destination.
A poor packaging system can affect much more than product replacement. A harsh transportation cycle can be expensive and result in product repairs, lost sales, and a decline in customer loyalty.
With that being said, fulfilling proper package testing requirements lead to benefits such as:
- Balanced distribution costs
- Confidence in product launch
- Increased customer satisfaction
- A growing market share
- Product to market time reduction
Forklift Handling Compliance Testing Procedures
The forklift simulation/handling test is completed using a forklift with sufficient capacity to handle the test specimens. Keystone recommends testing to ASTM D6055: Mechanical Handling of Unitized Loads and Large Shipping Cases and Crates.
The first half of the test (flat push and rotate) is performed by placing the palletized product on a level floor and aligning a single fork truck blade tip with the middle pallet/skid stringer or block. The pallet is pushed straight forward for 40 inches in approximately two to three seconds. The pallet is then rotated 90 degrees from its original orientation using the forklift blade to push against a corner to rotate it and tested repeatedly per the specifications in the standard.
To perform the second half of the forklift test (elevated push and pull test), the fork blades are placed in the pallet to a depth sufficient to lift one edge of the pallet four inches off the floor. The pallet is then pushed 40 inches in approximately two to three seconds and lowered to the floor. The pallet is lifted four inches once more and pulled back to its original position. This test is repeated for all possible directions of entry of the pallet.
Keystone’s Forklift Handling Equipment and Capabilities
Keystone Compliance can perform ISTA package and forklift handling testing for equipment of any size. Our lab utilizes test machines capable of performing precise drops from different heights and angles.
Keystone owns dozens of climatic chambers. These chambers range in sizes from reach-in to large walk-in chambers up to 1,300 cubic feet. Our chambers can accommodate up to entire vehicles and substantial pieces of equipment.
Furthermore, our ISTA-certified test facility and professional engineers offer the peace of mind that all your package testing needs are met under one roof.
Expert Regulatory Compliance Test Laboratory
Keystone Compliance strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. In addition, we provide comprehensive reports shortly after the completion of the testing.
Keystone has a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling. We can accommodate flexible and rigid packages of all sizes, including large pallets