Question: How much can my forklift lift?
When asking “how much can my forklift lift” the most important thing to understand is the forklifts “load capacity” The maximum weight that a forklift can lift safely when the load centre is at a specified point is called the load capacity. Normally, the load capacity of forklifts reduces when the weight is not placed at the position specified by the manufacturer.
The increasing availability of more forklift options and attachments has made it very important that operators have a good understanding of the forklift’s load capacity as they operate. The load capacity information can be located on the forklifts load capacity data plate.
UNDERSTANDING THE LOAD CAPACITY DATA PLATE
A forklift’s load capacity data plate specifies the load capacity for a forklift’s given specifications. (The Load Capacity Data Plate will need to be adjusted in the event that the forklift is modified from the original specification, such as changing the length of the forks).
The load capacity data plate shows the weight of a load that a forklift can lift safely when at different mast angles as well as when they are fitted with an attachment. Often on the plate’s display are the load capacity, load centre distance, lift weight, model and brand of the forklift. Other data on the display includes the lift’s capacity down rating when fitted with a mast and the specific down rating for attachments identified on the capacity plate.
There are several important numbers on the data plate, which include the load centre (shown with the right arrow) as well as the rated maximum capacity (shown with the left arrow).
The load capacity is relatively easy to understand. You should never attempt to lift more than the rated capacity, which on this plate is 5,000 lbs.
The load centre, on the other hand, is the centre of gravity for the load and, according to this data plate, should not be greater than 24 inches. It would not be good to have a centre of gravity larger than this, as if the centre of gravity is too far forward, the forklift could tip over forward. This is potentially very hazardous and possess a big health and safety risk.