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DISCUSSION FORUMS : Forkliftaction.communicate
Forum: Safety, training & legislation
Discussion:  load centers
Number of messages: 9

Ontario, Canada
As I always explain, forklifts have a capcity and a load center.  The LC is measured in inches (mm) and the capcity in pounds (kgs)  I explain that the indusrty standard size pallet is 48", and the LC is 1/2 the length of the pallet provided the load on the pallet is even distributed and the pallet is flush against the vertical fork faces.  Since the 48" pallet is the industry size pallet, the 24" load center is the industry load center.

Had a session a week or so ago and for 1/2 an hour I am stressing the importance of understanding the 24" LC.  We went out into the warehouse, where lo and behold, there was a brand spanking new battery operated forklift to be shipped up north for the gentlemen I was training.  As I read the capacity plate, the truck was rated with a 20" load center.  Arghhhh!

The only forklfit I have ever come across with a 20" load center, and there goes my credibility.  Not quite!  The darn machine was from where else?  China, and these guys decided to base the truck on a 20" load center.  Back to the drawing board having to explain why.  How irritating.  Why do the Chinese have to be so difficult?

Constantly Lifting The Standard!

Posted 29 Apr 2012 12:23 AM Reply  Report this message
REPLIES: Sort replies by
Bucks, United Kingdom
That is because normally, as most jap and European trucks are rated at 500mm LC which is 19.68" so they have converted it and  just rounded it up. Its not just the Chinese. In Europe we rate in KG so a 2500kg machine will be rated @500mm LC but the equivalent US machine would be a 5000lbs a 24" (2267kg at 600 mm LC) So the lost 233kg is due to the 100mm of extra load center.

Posted 29 Apr 2012 06:46 PM Reply  Report this message
England, United Kingdom
In Europe it was the FEM (French Origin) in the 1960s who dictated that all counterbalanced machines be rated at 500mm (20 ins). Larger machines would be rated at 600mm for 5 tonnes and above.

Reach trucks have always been rated at 600 / 610mm because, unlike a counterbalance that can lift everything, a reach truck is designed for pallet work so that is where half the  48 inch pallet rule you refer to works.

Forknlift is absolutely correct in that the adjustment between pounds and kilos makes the adjustment in difference in load centre

Posted 29 Apr 2012 10:31 PM Reply  Report this message
South Carolina, United States

Dan, I am pretty sure this is not only this truck, and had you really read carefully the data plates of _all_ the trucks you train on, you may have noticed some other ('large sales number of unit' brand, {whose name I will not mention here, I'll let someone else speak for that brand's fans} brands that have been sold in the USA for decades).
This is not new this year either, it's been a few years.  
I think this is a chance to explain 'center of gravity' and how it works with respect to the 'load center' to operators a little further.

"it's not rocket surgery"

Modified 29 Apr 2012 10:39 PM
by poster.
Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada
Actually Ed, this was a first in 12 years for me. We don't have exciting lift trucks here. Toyotas, hysters, Clark's and the like, most 5-6k, side shifters, rotating clamp is about exciting as it gets. First Chinese truck I came upon.  Had an 80v battery as well which is a first in a forklift around here.

So for us, the 20" LC is a novelty. Very boring place for industrial lift trucks.

Posted 29 Apr 2012 11:11 PM Reply  Report this message
Pennsylvania, United States
I remember working on an older Towmotor which , by the model number, led you to believe it was a 3000lb capacity truck. The capacity plate also rated the truck at 3000lbs- but at a 16" load center. I believe it was a marketing ploy to make a 3000lb truck look really small ( the trucks size was extremely small for a 3000lb capacity). It taught me to always inspect the data plate when checking a unit's capacity.

bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!

Posted 30 Apr 2012 11:31 AM Reply  Report this message
South Carolina, United States

Dan, start looking at the data plates of recently built ITA class 2,3 Toyotas, you may find more like this than you expected.  

"it's not rocket surgery"

Posted 30 Apr 2012 07:55 PM Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the heads-up, Ed.  If and when I come across one.  Locating and understanding the info on their particular forklift is all part of the course, and this Chinese unit, the first I have come across here, threw me. Anyhow, it was just an observation I made last week. They are probably more common where ur at, but not here yet.

Posted 30 Apr 2012 10:06 PM Reply  Report this message
Hampshire, United Kingdom


The answer is simple, Here is how you work the load centre's out.

A simple method to calculate if a pallet can be picked up is as follows:
The rated capacity of the truck is 1600kg
The Rated Moment is 420mm (this is found by measuring the distance from the centre of the front axle to the face of the heel of the forks with the mast vertical)  
The Load centre is 600mm
The size of the pallet is 1400mm x 1600mm
The weight of the pallet is 1470kg  

So to work this out

Add: The Rated Moment to the Load Centre
420 + 600 = 1020.
Now multiply this sum by the rated capacity
1020 x 1600 = 1632000 (this is the first part of the sum).
Now add the the Rated Moment to the New Load  Centre (this time it is half the shortest side of the pallet).
420 + 700 = 1120.
Now divide this sum into the first part
1120   1632000 = 1457kg (this is the weight the equipment can pick up)
The pallet weighs 1470kg so the answer is NO


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