Forklift U joints and shaft
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This article allows the reader to have a technical understanding of forklift U-joints, their types, and the proper way of maintaining the joint. Additionally, it also explains the forklift shaft.
Table of Content
- U joints
- Types of U joints
- Signs of failure of U joint
- Required maintenance
- Drive/Propeller shaft
- Types of the propeller shaft
Universal Joints or U joints is the joint that connects the rigid rods that have inclined axes. It is commonly used in shafts that transmit its rotary motion. A cross shaft connects two hinges located close to each other, oriented at 90° to each other. U-joints can be used if the shaft alignment is no more than 30 degrees or as close as possible to the shaft alignment. Most forklifts have universal joints at the front axle shafts and the front and rear driveshafts. These joints facilitate the smooth transmission of torque.
Using U-joints corrects the misalignment between the rear axle and transmission. A direct driveshaft connecting the engine to the axle would bend or flex as the forklift encountered bumps because the rear axle and rear wheels move independently of the rest of the forklift. The u-joints compensate for this motion by keeping the driveshaft to spin freely.
Figure 1: Forklift U joints
Types of U joints
- Driving yoke and driven yoke
Universals are composed of two yokes, one of which is a driving yoke and one of which is a driven yoke.
Spiders are cross-shaped intermediate members joining the yoke and allowing a shaft to be rotated in many directions.
Signs of failure of U joint
Some of the most common types of U joint failure are:
- Standing still and moving makes squeaking noises
- Transmission fluid leaks from the back
- Shifting sounds clunky
- Complete power loss accompanied by a banging sound
- The vibration of the forklift while moving
The U joints of the forklift receive an extreme workout every time the forklift moves. The faster the forklift travels and the greater the movements of its rear axle, the more work the forklift does. This indicates that the u-joints require maintenance.
Thus the universal joints can be lubricated with grease fittings, but U joints without this capability will wear out and need to be replaced.
As a mechanical power transmission and rotation component, propeller shafts transmit mechanical power. The shafts are also called driveshafts, tail shafts, and Cardan shafts. As a result of distance or relative motion between components, a driveshaft transfers torque.
Forklift shafts are subjected to both torsion and shear stresses due to the torque they carry. Therefore, they must be sufficiently strong to bear the pressure without adding too much weight, which would increase their inertia.
Figure 2: Drive Shaft
Types of the propeller shaft
A forklift with a close splice between the engine and axle and a four-wheel-drive forklift use this shaft. To increase the shaft's strength, quality, and durability.
Four-wheel-drive forklifts and forklifts with a significant distance between their engine and axle utilize two- or three-piece shafts. Propeller shafts can be divided into two or three parts.
- Universal Joints or U joints is the joint that connects the rigid rods that have inclined axes.
- Two types of U joints include a driving yoke and driven yoke and spider joints.
- The universal joints of the forklift receive an extreme workout every time the forklift moves.
- As a mechanical power transmission and rotation component, propeller shafts transmit mechanical power.
- Two drive shafts include the single-piece type and two or three-piece type of propeller.
When you are looking for a specific part, but you get the wrong part, we know how frustrating it can be. We can help you find forklift U joints and shafts that meet your specifications.