Data plates
True it is to say that every forklift has a data plate which is designed to give the employer and the operator the information necessary to prevent accidents.
True it is that the data plate is very rarely read or refered to by the operator - the majority of drivers would not have a clue as to what is safe or not.
Why is it so?
I beleive that data plates are not user friendly.the vast majority of operators can not explain what the load center distance referrs to.
Manufacturers have done their own thing since day one , there is no common data plate design therefore confusion is abundant.
Some plates have multiple masts on them,which one applies?
Some plates give one scenario EG, 2 tonnes at 600mm load center, what if the load is 1.8 tonnes at 800mm load center- how can you calculate that,(some plates are in tonnes some in kilogrammes)
YOU CAN'T, there is not the required information given to calculate it.
Does the data plate include the side shift or not, because some of the manufacturers include the side shift as a standard fitting and not an attatchment they do not specify an alterd safe working load & that would be Ok if one standard was adhered to so that operators can clearly ascertain the SWL
Sadly this is not so & I suggest that all data plates should comply rigidly and not loosely to a common standard with clear proportionate calculations made possible.
calculations such as 1.2 tonnes at 800mm,
or 1.5 tonnes at 750mm or 3 tonnes at 1.2 M load center.
One chart must provide the information for all possible situations on that particular machine.
Some of my assessees tell me that the safe working load is the manufacturers model number on the side of the machine i EG, Toyota FG25, they say that the swl is 25 tonne or 2.5 tonnes instead of 1.8 tonnes because the 2.5 tonne figure is altered by the larger mast & sideshift that has been fiitted to the basic machine reduceing the safe figure to 1.8 tonnes.
My suggestion is this - that a proportionate data plate be mandatory equipment. that the manufacturers model designation on the side of the machine be replaced with the safe working load for that altered or standard machine.
Cranes ,gantry cranes & spreader bars are required to display this info in a prominant place for aaall to see -W#hy not forklifts?
Clearly no standard is common to all forklifts as is the case witth cranes.
Some plates are proportionate but most are not!
How many people have died because they simply did not know what the should have known & were not given?
  • Posted 1 May 2005 09:19
  • Modified 1 May 2005 09:20 by poster
  • Discussion started by DANGEROUS
  • Queensland, Australia
Showing items 1 - 9 of 9 results.
We have few standards when it comes to lift trucks, but serial number plates are one of those items that are standard.
The term used on most lift trucks unless you get into the larger ones is a 24" load centre or, 24" to the centre of the load.
The serial number plate will usually state this plus, show any attachments on the truck and the truck's maximum fork height and.....the truck's capacity with the attachment(s) and the forks fully elevated.
There are just too many varibles to try and include all on a serial number plate.
Operators are to receive safety training and be made aware of how to read a serial number plate and the many varibles that can affect a truck's capacity.
They should be also told never to "assume". If they're not sure, check with their supervisor.
It is the employer's responsibility to provide a lift truck that has adequate capacity for the job and it's the employer's responsibility to train their drivers.
It's the operator's responsibility to apply their training to handle a load safely.
  • Posted 15 Nov 2005 13:03
  • Reply by garry_p
  • New Brunswick, Canada
You say it best. Com panies have to realize that the employees (and the employees) are required to carry car insurance when driving their cars or trucks. They are not required to carry insurance when driving a forklift. Should they (the employees) get injured, they run to workmans comp demanding to collect funds while they are off work. Since thet do carry insurance, their requirement is to sit for a day and be trained and retrained, and that is their cost.
As far as companies are concerned, they don't have problems shelling out $$$$thousands for golf tournaments and such but to help protect their workers, all of a sudden it is a cash grab.

Golf....safety, which is more important?
  • Posted 14 Oct 2005 06:11
  • Modified 15 Oct 2005 10:35 by poster
  • Reply by dan_m
  • Ontario, Canada
dan m
This is my experience also.
I am an Registered Training Organisation and an accredited assessor for forklift trucks.
Without exception my people who have been given a copy of the Assessment Questions & Answers when asked to describe "load centre Distance" can not!
They do not have a clear understanding!

The Queensland Government is changing the Assessment process so that all new operators MUST be trained.
My opinion is that they are moving in the right direction an that they should be applauded for their efforts.
However they have not shut the door to newbies being trained by ill-informed operators in the field, that is operators without the required knowledge or skill as a trainer.
I have been informed that the department is considering Renewal of Licences in Queensland.
If it was made a mandatory requirement for all operators to posses a proof of training certificate (which has a life of five years) issued by an approved trainer, I am sure that the ignorance level that exists would diminish dramatically within five years.
Some people say that their proposal / consideration is simply a revenue raising exercise.
I say that it is an opportunity to scrub away the ignorance & complacency that surely exists at the present time.
Some might say that I am trying to line my pockets by making such suggestions and they would be wrong!
My only motive in submitting comments here is to try to improve the safety level for operators & those who work around forklifts.
The opportunity is here to achieve a lot, I urge the legislators to be bold in their dealings with the subject.
Congratulations to the legislators for the consultative approach & a big thanks to "Forklift Action.com" for making this column possible.
  • Posted 14 Oct 2005 05:47
  • Reply by DANGEROUS
  • Queensland, Australia
It amazes me everytime I visit a company to teach and one of the first questions I ask is 'What is the lifting capcity of your forklift?' and I don't get any replies. And these are not newbies but experienced individuals working for that business for 5 years!
The way they tell it to me is that when the counterweight starts to lift up, the load is too heavy.
They don''t do that anymore and they are all well aware of the lifting capcity/load centers of their trucks.
  • Posted 14 Oct 2005 01:10
  • Reply by dan_m
  • Ontario, Canada
The placards in the U.S. are relatively standardized; however, they are not always updated when the lift truck is modified (as in adding an attachment). In addition, there is absolutely no information available to help the operator estimate the capacity when lifting a non-standard load. Lift truck operators are instructed that the safe lifting capacity will be reduced as the load center moves out or up, but are not given anything to let them know how much it is reduced.
If the euro plates have more information, I would be very interested in seeing the design. Can someone maybe post a photo to the photo gallery on this site
  • Posted 16 Sep 2005 00:47
  • Reply by InventoryOps
  • Wisconsin, United States
You are so right. I conduct a lot of certification classes and it is amazing how many people who do not know this information or even were the data plate is located. I am talking about people who have operated the forklifts for years.

I really like the site. go kc chiefs
  • Posted 22 Jul 2005 12:24
  • Reply by deborah_h
  • Kansas, United States
Grant w You are dead right! I started this discussion with the sole purpose of getting manufacturers to adopt the fantastic euro data plate (linde type) & to get uniformity in the add ons area (attachments listings on the data plate.)
From what you say it appears the authorities beleive that Aussie lift truck drivers must not be capable of the mental process to work out the Euro graph plate.

Thanks Grant W.
  • Posted 7 Jul 2005 20:38
  • Reply by DANGEROUS
  • Queensland, Australia
Steve W - You are spot on , I am an assessment officer and trainer & I find (on a daily basis) that our people in Queensland Australia (ie licenced personnel) do not refer to the data plate & tend to operate by the seat of their pants.
Things are about to change for the better though with a change of our governing body.
Our old administration body was only interested in training at an arms length basis & created too many assessment providers (700 or so) to do their assessments, many of whom did not do their job conscientously and have been weeded out leaving aprox 300.
This has led to lesser skilled operators training & supervising in our workplaces.
To assist me in gaining a bigger picture on the subject could you and other readers please E-mail me a copy of your national data plates from around the world so that I can maybe draw attention to the inadequacies of our present system.
My contact is graham @whandss.com
  • Posted 3 May 2005 07:56
  • Reply by DANGEROUS
  • Queensland, Australia
Dangerous, That is one long posting, but very important. You are not in North America I take it. The US doe's have some standards. the plate must show what the capacity of what it is equiped with. As far as complicated to read, I think in the US it's not that difficult to read, the plate shows how much weight can be lifted, at what height, load center,.... the key has and will always be training of the operators (OSHA requirement). I'm not sure what your plates look like, but ask yourself this if an operator can't read the plate do you really want them operating a Large potentially dangerous piece of equipment? not me. I do agree it should be the same across the board to prevent the human factor. Good luck
  • Posted 2 May 2005 13:39
  • Reply by steve_w
  • Texas, United States

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