As the availability of forklift options and its attachments are increasing, there is a need to carefully understand its load capacity to use it to its optimum potential. In this blog, we will help you understand why you need to know about the load capacity of a forklift truck.
Understanding Forklift Load Capacity
It is often observed that people misunderstand the load capacity of a forklift that is visible on its data plate. If the maximum weight capacity of a forklift is 10T, it does not necessarily mean it can lift a load of that specified capacity at all positions.
The maximum weight a forklift can lift safely at a specified load center is regarded as its load capacity. If the load is not positioned properly, it reduces the load-bearing capacity of a forklift. Besides, ill positioning of the load, weight lifting capacity of a forklift is also affected by load dimensions, distribution, placement, and other attachments that are fitted to it.
Significance of the load capacity data plate
The load capacity data plate of a forklift is a specification chart or nameplate provided by the forklift manufacturer. It specifies the load capacity a forklift can lift at varied mast heights with or without any attachments. At a minimum, the load capacity data plate must display critical information about a forklift such as its load center, capacity, forklift weight, serial number, model, and attachments. Also, it should have a specific graph showing the lifting capacity concerning Load center and height.
Operators who are trained to work with a forklift must also be educated about reading, analyzing, and interpreting the specifications mentioned on the nameplate. This information is vital for the operators to understand what it means and how it applies to the tasks and jobs assigned to them.
Factors affecting the load capacity of a forklift
Besides, educating forklift operators about the significance of the forklift load capacity data plate, it is of equal importance to make them aware of the factors that affect the load capacity of the forklift.
When attachments are added to a forklift, it reduces its load lifting capacity because of the attachment’s weight. The attachment reduces the load lifting capacity as it tends to add weight in the front of the carriage. It shifts the load center thereby offsetting the center of gravity of the attachment and the load.
While working on a forklift with an attachment, it is recommended to use a forklift attachment calculator to determine the net capacity of the forklift. This practice will keep the operator informed about how much load a forklift can lift with an attachment.
2. Wear and tear
While lifting heavy loads, significant wear and tear in the forklift is observed on the fork of the lift truck and the chain in the lifting mechanism, apart from rubber items like tires, fan belt, etc, even hydraulic hoses and brake shoes are to be replaced in regular intervals.
3. Changing Forklift tire
Alterations to the tire significantly impact the load capacity of a forklift. It is recommended to change the tires in a set of 4 rather than changing one at a time as it causes alterations in the center of gravity of the forklift. Additionally, if there is a need to change the tire type and its size, one must verify the type recommended by the forklift manufacturer.
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Complete information eases forklift maintenance
It is better and wise to have adequate information about the load capacity of a forklift rather than fall prey to site accidents and bear the cost of damages that may happen. The safe operation should be a priority and it is always recommended to the operators to be aware of different factors that affect the load capacity and gain a proper understanding of the load capacity data plate. These basics can help handle and maintain forklift better.