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How to Determine Forklift Capacity for Your Needs

How to Determine Forklift Capacity for Your Needs

In order to determine forklift capacity you need, there are a few things you should know. It’s first important to understand forklift load capacity. Forklift capacity is the maximum weight that a forklift is able to carry at a specified load center. The load capacity can be found on the data plate, which is attached the forklift. Just because the data plate on the forklift says it’s rated for 10,000 pounds, that doesn’t necessarily mean you could lift a load that heavy. Things like placement, weight distribution, and load dimensions also pay a role in capacity.

Determining Forklift Capacity

Forklift capacity is related to the load center. If the load is not centered properly, then the forklift will not be able to lift to the maximum capacity. The load center is the horizontal distance from the vertical face of the forklift to the center of gravity of the load. It’s easy to find the forklift capacity on the data plate, and it can be easy to think that the rated capacity is the same as the maximum capacity, but it doesn’t usually work out that way. The length of the load will play a role in the true capacity, as well as any attachments. If there are multiple attachments on a forklift, then there should be multiple data plates that indicate the rating of each attachment. The distribution of the load also plays a role. If the load is shaped oddly, or is heavier on one side, then the load center will be altered. The altered load center should be taken into consideration. If you add an attachment, it reduces the lifting capacity because the forklift now has the additional weight of the attachment. Usually, the attachment will move the truck’s load center farther forward, which means that the maximum load weight will need to be smaller in order to prevent it from tipping over.

What Forklift Capacity Do You Need?

In order to determine forklift capacity for your needs, you need to ask some questions. How heavy is your typical load? Do you need to lift your loads higher than normal? What is the length of the largest load you typically carry? Do you need attachments on your forklift? Since each of these questions will play a role in determining the forklift capacity, it’s important you have answers. If your loads are going to fluctuate, pay attention to the numbers for your largest load, so that you can make sure that you have adequate lifting capacity for all your needs. If you have loads that are lifted to a variety of heights, also calculate numbers of maximum height to determine your needs.

Brian Brown
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