What Forklift Capacity Do You Need? These Tips Will Help You Decide
Understanding the capacity of the forklift is essential to avoid accidents and maintain the health of the vehicle. Most forklift operators are under the misimpression that if the data plate on the forklift reads a capacity of 10,000 lbs, they can lift any load that weighs less than that. Actually, a lot depends on the load dimensions, placement and weight distribution of the load. Forklift attachments also play a crucial role in operating the truck with its optimum capacity. Forklift capacity is simply a measurement of how much weight a particular forklift can lift. Several factors contribute to determining the vehicle’s capacity.
Divisions of forklift capacity:
Forklift capacity is divided into three parts- load capacity, rated capacity and net capacity. How much weight the truck can safely raise at a specified load centre is determined by these three factors. Without the load centre, the forklift cannot lift to its maximum capacity. The horizontal distance from the vertical face of the forks to the centre of gravity of the load is known as a load centre. The general rule is that the load centre should be 24” from the face of the forks (meaning the centre point of standard 48” X 48” pallet). Generally, the data plate contains information regarding the rated capacity of a forklift.
Load size and forklift configuration to be considered:
For the forklift operator, it is essential to understand the size and weight distribution of the forklift. It will help you understand the vertical and horizontal load centre of the load being lifted. Forklift’s centre of gravity is affected by the length, height and width of the load. Load’s weight distribution also plays a crucial role in determining the centre of the load. If the load is not distributed evenly, it will reduce the forklift’s lifting capacity.
Each and every forklift truck has a different capability for lifting, tilting and manipulating load. The information provided on the plate is written keeping in mind the worst-case scenario. All these factors play a crucial role in determining the maximum capacity of a forklift. The thickness of the attachment also indicates how much load can be pushed out from the truck’s fork face. While considering the load weight, the operator should also consider the weight of the attachment.
While determining the load size, the operator should keep in mind the tire types and their width. For example, cushion tires and air-filled pneumatic tires have different capacities. The overall capacity of a truck is increased by configurations like wide tread and dual tire. It helps in increasing the size of the forklift’s stability triangle. You will be surprised to know that on an electric truck, the weight of a battery is also taken into consideration. That is why one should opt for a battery that has minimum weight requirements to optimize the truck’s capacity.
What forklift capacity do you need?
It is always difficult to decide what forklift capacity you need to buy. The size of the load changes as per customer requirements. You have to provide them with the best solution. From customer to customer, you may see a drastic change in average pallet load. Foresightedness is the only skill that will come to your rescue. You have to be able to anticipate and predict the changing trends well in advance. Keep an eye on the trends of the past few years. Also, observe what is your current average load weight. One should also consider how many stages are there in the mast and how high the loads are typically lifted. These factors will directly impact net load capacity. Don’t just go by rated maximum load capacity mentioned on the plate. Also, consider the space where your equipment will be used. It will help you recommend the client the right type of forklift. To make your fleet future-proof, it is wise to purchase forklifts with a higher capacity.
The maximum weight a forklift can lift:
(image courtesy : mascus.co.uk)
As per the Guinness Book of Records, Kalmar forklift in the U.K has the highest load capacity of 90,000 kg which is approximately about 198416.04 lbs. Most forklifts are capable of lifting 5000 lbs to 10,000 lbs load.
Different types of forklifts:
Forklifts are quite helpful in moving heavy loads in a warehouse, construction site or storage facility. There are different types of forklift trucks and you can choose the one that suits your requirements the most. Reading through a simple guide can help you decide which one is the best for you.
Types of forklifts:
- Warehouse Forklift
- Side Loader
- Counterbalance Forklift
- Industrial Forklift
- Rough Terrain Forklift
- Pallet Jack
- Walkie Stacker
- Order Picker
- Reach Fork Truck
In order to ensure that the forklift truck is operating within its best capacity, the operator needs to understand its limitations. Avoid overstretching the vehicle’s abilities. For avoiding serious accidents and costly damage, the operator must understand how much the forklift can lift within safe limits.