What Is a Forklift Capacity Data Plate?
First of all, if the capacity plate is not legible, it must be replaced. One cannot know the safety limitations of a forklift capacity plate if they cannot read it. The plate must have certain safety details. Some important safety details include: maximum capacity, load center, maximum fork height and truck weight. The forklift operator must be trained on how to read the capacity plate.
The maximum capacity is the amount of weight the forklift is allowed to lift. There are a number of variances in loads and how it is positioned on the forklift. If the load is unevenly balanced on a pallet you might not be able to lift as much as the capacity plate shows. If there is an attachment like a side-shifter, fork positioner, etc., on the forklift it must be listed on the capacity plate. The attachment will have an effect on the safe lifting capabilities of the truck.
Load center is the position of the center of gravity of the load as it’s positioned on the forks. A 24 inch load center is very common. This means that the forklift is designed to pick up a load with a center of gravity 24 inches forward from the back of the forks and 24 inches up from the lifting surface. Think of it as half the distance of a perfectly balanced pallet that is four feet long and four feet tall when it is fully engaged on the forks.
Maximum fork height is the distance from the ground to the lifting surface of the forks with the mast fully lifted. A common height is 188 inches or 15’8”. While many fork heights are available, this mast is about as high as you can have and still work in a typical semi-trailer. The higher the forks can go when raised, the higher the mast is when lowered.
The truck weight is another valuable detail listed on a capacity plate. It’s important to know the weight when driving on floors inside semis. Understanding truck weight is fairly simple on an engine powered forklift as it’s the total weight of the truck and attachment as listed on the plate. On a battery powered forklift, the truck weight is the total weight of the truck and battery. Many are not aware of their forklift’s weight. Small lifts may weigh 6,000 lbs., medium sized lifts may weigh 10,000 lbs., and large lifts may weigh over 15,000 lbs.
Knowing and understanding your forklifts 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 forklifts load capacity.This information can be used to understand what the safe capabilities are of a forklift. A typical forklift might be able to lift 5,000 lbs. at a 24” load center to a height of 188” above the ground.
Contact us today for questions or more information on your Forklift Capacity Data Plate.