Mast Guide Bearings

Mast guide bearings, chain sheaves, side rollers and chain anchor bolts help to raise and lower the mast on a forklift and lift trucks. Each of these bearings play a critical part in managing heavy loads and shock loads.

Selecting a Mast Guide Bearing Manufacturer

When choosing a mast guide bearing manufacturer, it is important to verify certification, raw material selection procedures, production facilities, heat treatment capabilities and testing.

Types of Forklift Mast Guide Bearings

  • Forklift mast guides: These bearings have two functions.
    • Attach the fork to the mast rails at the base of the mast.
    • Guide the mast upwards as the fork is raised beyond the first stage.
  • Chain Sheaves: Typically smaller than mast guides, these bearings guide the fork laterally as it travels up the mast.
  • Side Rollers: As the name suggests, these bearings transfer the lateral load by moving the fork sideways.
  • Chain Anchor Bolts: Also known as leaf chain anchors, these bolts chain to the mast and help support the load.

Mast Guide Bearing Material Selection & Production

These bearings are intended for low speed, high load applications, which can be subjected to high radial and thrust loads and intermittent shock loads. To perform under these circumstances, the bearing is manufactured with heat treated, high-tensile strength alloy steel. An internal design consisting of balls or rollers is fitted with tight seals and grease fill of greater than 90%.

Mast Guide Bearing Seals

To retain grease and prevent ingress of debris, seals are necessary. They can be made of rubber (RS) metal (ZZ) or a combination of rubber and metal (ZRS).

Surface Treatment

Surface treatments help the bearing reach its maximum life by preventing rust. Common surface coatings for mast guides include zinc and zinc nickel plating.

Ensuring a Long Service Life

Forklifts can operate in internal and external environments, which may cause rust. To prevent oxidation, a surface coating will help to maintain the projected service life.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mast Guide Bearings

What are the differences between mast guides, chain sheaves and side rollers?

They all work together to manage the load on the fork. Mast guide bearings raise and lower the fork, and chain sheaves and side rollers transfer the load laterally. Side rollers support the lateral movement of the shaft and the chain sheave has flanges that the chain goes through to lower and raise the mast.

What types of surface coating are available?

Zinc nickel plating, zinc and phosphate coatings help to prevent rust.

How do you know when one of these bearings needs to be replaced?

  • Metal-on-metal contact produces a grinding sound with the mast is raised or lowered.
  • Visual marks of metal scraping against metal
  • Lifting motion is moving slowly or not as high as it should
  • Uneven fork tips can indicate that the lift assemblies are not functioning properly
  • As long as the mast guide remains rust free, it should last the life of the forklift.

Can I purchase a mast guide, side guide or chain sheave from CCTY Bearing for my forklift?

CCTY Bearing manufactures mast guide bearings for original equipment manufacturers, so our minimums are in the thousands. If this quantity level is in line with your needs, we are happy to connect.

Why is it so important to get an OEM factory replacement bearing?

The outer ring of a mast guide is designed specifically to fit the mast channel, which is different for every forklift. To ensure a long life and proper fit, it is always best to purchase an OEM mast guide.