Knowing your forklift’s load capacity

Steve Reynolds -
Your Focus
- 3 Apr 2014 ( #661 )
2 min read
Steve Reynolds
Steve Reynolds
Steve Reynolds is the Victorian Sales Manager and has worked at Adaptalift Hyster since April 2010, having previously worked for Hyster since 2006 prior to the acquisition. As well as managing a successful sales team in Victoria, Steve deals with big truck customers, assisting them in making the right choice for their particular applications.
What is a forklift's load capacity?
A forklift's load capacity is determined as the maximum weight that a forklift is able to safely carry at a specified load centre. If the load is not centred at the precise position, then the forklift's capacity will be reduced.
The load capacity data plate specifies the load each forklift can safely lift.
The load capacity data plate specifies the load each forklift can safely lift.
What is a load capacity data plate?
The load capacity data plate specifies the load each forklift can safely lift at different mast angles or when it is fitted with an attachment. The plate should display: the load capacity, lift height, load centre distance, brand and model number. The plate should also display:
* Down rating of lifting capacity if a mast is fitted
* Down rating for specific attachments that are identified on the capacity plate
Attachments and Load Capacity
If an attachment is fitted to the forklift, then there is the potential that the dynamic and operating characteristics of the forklift will change. It is important for attachments to have rated capacities as well as de-rated capacities. Ensure you have access to information regarding the de-rated capacity of the forklift when an attachment is fitted.
Lift Heights
A forklift's load carrying capacity is significantly affected by lift height or maximum fork height. Forklifts with high masts have a greater carrying capacity at lower lift heights than at maximum lift heights; therefore, forklifts with high masts may have a dual capacity rating at the maximum lift height, allowing the forklift operator to work with heavier loads at low heights.
Risks
Workers with an inadequate knowledge of a forklift's load capacity are placing themselves and those around them at serious risk. Forklift operators should be aware of the following:
* The effects of a load's weight, shape and size on a forklift
* The correct way that a load should be fitted
* The difference between the model number on the forklift and the forklifts load capacity plate
Eight Quick Tips
1. Buy or hire forklifts with a slightly bigger load capacity than what is actually needed.
2. Estimate the safe load capacity with oversized loads.
3. If the stated load centre is exceeded, then counteract this by reducing the weight of the load.
4. Ensure that the load capacity data plate is legible, fitted and correct.
5. Know the capacity of your forklift and never exceed it.
6. Check the marked weight of an object; alternatively, use a scale to weigh loads.
7. Train operators to use the load capacity plate other than assuming the forklift's load capacity.
8. Work out what forklift is needed within your workplace, along with its capacity and safety features.

Knowing and understanding your forklift's load capacity will determine the level of safety within your workplace; therefore, it is important to ensure you and your workers are aware of the risks associated with exceeding a forklift's load capacity.
Also Read:
You never win
Danny Maron
5 minute read
You never win Your Focus - 17 Apr 2014 (#663) Trainer Danny Maron gets "a handle" on a burning safety issue.
Safety is not just the driver's job
Richard Shore
2 minute read
Safety is not just the driver's job Your Focus - 6 Mar 2014 (#657) After years of reduced forklift accident rates, the level of improvement has begun to slow. Richard Shore believes further breakthroughs will require the efforts of the entire workforce.
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Blog articles provide perspectives and opinions and therefore may contain inaccurate or incomplete information. Forkliftaction Media accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions. If you feel that significant facts are overlooked, or have a different viewpoint on a topic addressed, we invite you to open a conversation in our Discussion Forums.

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