Forensic investigation - failed forklift parking brake cableFailed forklift brake cable at 20x magnificationFailed forklift parking brake cable at 150x magnification

After a forklift accident, which resulted in serious injuries – we were asked to perform a root cause investigation.

Chemical and metallurgical evaluations were performed on the forklift’s parking brake wire cable. The results determined that the cable had failed in fatigue, which initiated in two locations along its length. Fatigue is the progressive failure of a components subjected to repeated or fluctuating stresses below the yield strength of the material. These locations were likely where the cable passed over sheaths or pins.

The left image above is photograph at 9x showing the cable fracture. The image in the center is at 20x showing some of the broken cable wire fracture profiles. The image on the right is at 150x showing an indentation in one of the broken cable wires.


We perform forensic engineering services on equipment including forklifts, rack structures, ductwork, and piping. Our expert witness testimony is based on comprehensive, quantifiable results.

Give us a call to discuss your engineering challenges.

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Forensic Engineering/ Expert Witness Services
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Tom O’Donnell, PE
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