As more forklift options and attachments become available, it is increasingly important for forklift operators to have a clear understanding of their forklifts load capacity and the risks that are involved in exceeding it. This week's blog will highlight what forklift operators should know regarding a forklifts load capacity and practices that should be in place in order to maintain safety around the workplace.
A forklifts 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 forklifts capacity will therefore be reduced.
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.
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.
A forklifts 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.
Workers with an inadequate knowledge of a forklifts load capacity are placing themselves and those around them at serious risk.