How to read Forklift Load Capacity Chart

True it is to say that every forklift has a data plate that is designed to give the employer and the operator the information necessary to prevent accidents. True it is that the data plate is very rarely read or referred to by the operator – the majority of drivers would not have a clue as to what is safe or not. How to read forklift load capacity chart?

How to read Forklift Load Capacity Chart
How to read Forklift Load Capacity Chart

Forklift load capacity chart

What is a Forklift load capacity?

The stated capacity of a forklift only applies to the load center indicated on the capacity plate. If the load’s center of gravity is not centered at the specified position, the forklift’s capacity will be reduced. Loads come in all shapes and sizes, not just symmetrical boxes.

How to read Forklift Load Capacity Chart
How to read Forklift Load Capacity Chart

Read Forklift Load Capacity Chart

Typical questions an operator may need to consider are things like:

  • How are the loads packaged and their weight?
  • Will they need to use a fork carriage or some other attachment?
  • How high and how far will they need to retrieve or place the load?

I believe that data plates are not user friendly. The vast majority of operators can not explain what the load center distance refers to. Manufacturers have done their own thing since day one, there is no common data plate design therefore confusion is abundant.

Some plates have multiple masts on them, which one applies?

You Can’t, there is not the required information given to calculate it.

Does the data plate include the side shift or not, because some of the manufacturers include the side shift as standard fitting and not an attachment they do not specify an altered safe working load and that would be ok if one standard was adhered to so that operators can clearly ascertain the safe working load (SWL)

One chart must provide the information for all possible situations on that particular machine.

How to read Forklift Load Capacity Chart
How to read Forklift Load Capacity Chart

Forklift capacity plate information

These plates are a requirement of OSHA regulation and must be displayed on all forklifts approved for service. The data plate must include data and approval provided from a nationally recognized testing laboratory that has verified the listed specifications for the forklift. The initial data plate is installed by the manufacturer and it is important for any operator to review, verify, and update information as needed.

What information is on a forklift data plate? – Sometimes referred to as a capacity plate or a forklift nameplate, the forklift data plate includes important information such as weight, fuel type, and forklift load capacity. Associates need to read the data plate during training and before use to help build the culture of safety in your facility.

  • Relatively quickly, you’ll need to know some quick information about your forklift’s capabilities.
  • Luckily, a forklift data plate is installed on every truck on the market to help you understand what your forklift can do and provide vital information.

Forklift data plate requirements

It is the responsibility of the operator to understand the capabilities of each forklift and to properly maintain the data plate to ensure it is legible and complete. Recommended best practices include conducting proper training, using durable and corrosion-resistant nameplates, and documenting important information related to the forklift operation and maintenance based on the specifications. It is also important never to operate a forklift with a severely damaged or missing nameplate.

The forklift data plate can be found on the instrument panel near the operating controls:

Basic Information

  • Brand
  • Model
  • Serial Number
  • Forklift Type

Parts & Components Information

  • Mast Type
  • Front Tire Tread
  • Tire Sizes
  • Tire Type

Weight & Load Information

  • Truck Weight
  • Battery Weight
  • Attachments Included In Weight Calculation
  • Back Tilt
  • Forward Tilt
  • Load capacity
  • Maximum Lift height
  • Load center distances
  • Down rating of lift capacity (if the mast is fitted)
  • Down rating for attachments (as specified on the capacity plate)

The most read

Forklift Capacity Calculator

The capacity factor is important in your selection regardless of whether you are buying the truck with the attachment or are adding the attachment to a truck yourself.

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