Most efficient way to drill fork lift fork?
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  1. #1
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    Default Most efficient way to drill fork lift fork?

    Hello all,

    Putting aside the potential legalities in case of an accident (this is for personal use), what's the best (most efficient/cheapest/best) way of drilling a hole in a fork lift tip for a trailer hitch? Really would appreciate your tips and ideas as I haven't drilled forks before.

    Thanks!

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    i would imagine it would have to be carbide

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    I mounted a ball on the end of one of my forks to move a trailer and found that steering it was difficult with the forklift steering one way and the fork end going another. Removing the forks on my little NAMCO is easy, so I made a hitch with the ball just in front of the mast that replaces them. That steers easily.


    Bill

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    The company I just left machined fork tines regularly, Its hard stuff but machinable. Find a way to set it up on a drill press and use a strong HSS drill bit If its old dont thin the web... use plenty of cutting oil its even Tap-able

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    What Thermite said.
    i_r_

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    I took a torch to one of ours when I need to put a ball hitch on it. Sure it is ugly, but its fast.

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    Magnetic drill with Morse taper capacity.

    Or a huge portable drill with Morse taper capacity.

    And a series of successively larger drills.

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    Torch method is what we used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    A flat steel bar that lies across and clamps to both forks, places a hitch ball in the center would still leave one with the steering issue to get used to.

    But being centered, perhaps less so, as it is at least in line of sight.

    And no drilling of the forks themselves required at all.

    Bill
    + Another

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    Quote Originally Posted by munruh View Post
    I took a torch to one of ours when I need to put a ball hitch on it. Sure it is ugly, but its fast.
    Yup, hot wrench.

    Use a heavy washer (larger than desired hole) as a template,
    comes out much nicer.

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    I built a sleeve out of rectangular tubing, with a receiver tube welded on top.
    We use a three balled gazinta or other devices for moving a wide variety of trailers and other stuff.
    A come-along between a carry handle and the backrest keeps it on the fork.
    Very flexible and quick to install.
    No hole in fork to make the safety people happy.

    K

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    I used my mag base drill 1/4" pilot drill, then 3/4" thru no problem.

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    and found that steering it was difficult with the forklift steering one way and the fork end going another.
    I got a real chuckle out of that comment. I am continually amazed by the mental acuity demonstrated by members of this site as common and everyday. But backing a trailer is found to be "difficult"?

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    Thermites approach works in three places i have dealings with, it does take some thinking, not exactly obvious but that extra swing and side shift really opens up a whole bunch of options!

    Holes in fork tines is a expensive H&S fine and new forks here, (before you ask if you then shorten them they insist there retested, which no one will do!) clamps are always available cheaply and often to hand in engineering!

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    ... yep.. if you WORK it right, the self-same rig can even be made to fit the front-bumper of 'some' pickup trucks. Or? wotever other 'MHE' one might have at hand, not just the one FL.
    I've encountered bolt on front hitch receivers for this use and for pipe racks, etc.

    If I were to build one I'd offset it to the passenger side so I could see down the side of the trailer while in the driver's seat.

    OK, I think we're officially off topic.

  20. #16
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    Try spotting a large boat on a trailer next to a wall
    for winter storage, on a Waldron articulated loader
    with a ball in the bucket.....

    And yes, they insisted it be closer than 1' from the wall
    (gotta stuff 'em in to make any money)

    I find the "hole in the fork" most handy for a clevis
    to attach a chain or wire rope sling

  21. #17
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Call it 'Old Age and Treachery', but I'd just drill the bar left, right AND center... pop the ball in where the task needed it.

    Or .. always wanted to have three balls... so ..for-sure NOW we are 'off-topic'.

    Bill
    Three? Wha for? Ballast?

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    The third as a "SCHPAAAARE"!

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    As I see it there's two ways:

    A: Torch cut a hole.
    B: Rent a magnetic base drill with an anular cutter and blast it one shot.

  24. #20
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    PLASMA CUTTER, if ya got it , gives a cleaner hole , otherwise smoke wrench it , time is money


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