Have you been wondering how much lifting capacity you need for your forklift?
Did you know that forklift rollover accidents are the cause of 42% of forklift fatalities every year?
That's why it's important to know and obey the maximum lifting capacity if you're planning to operate a forklift. But how much lifting capacity do you need for your forklift?
Get the Right Forklift for the Job
Depending on your business' needs, you may need different types of forklifts for different jobs.
Electric model forklifts can be more compact than diesel models. As such, these forklifts are best suited for warehouses and other jobs that must navigate in tight spaces.
However, the lifting capacity of the forklift will depend on the model. Make sure that you know how much weight you'll typically need to lift in each load to determine which model of forklift best suits your needs. Be sure to check not only the average load but the heaviest load as well.
You can check out the different forklift models available in Columbia here. We can make sure you get the right equipment for a job well done.
A Quick Lesson in Physics
Knowing the maximum weight capacity for your forklift is not enough. You also need to consider how that weight is distributed.
If you have a load that is longer than it is tall or wide, the weight will sit at a different center of gravity than a load that is taller than wide or long.
Because the weight is situated further forward on such a load, your forklift may not be able to carry it, even if it falls within its weight capacity.
This is why there is a difference between the rated capacity and the net capacity for any forklift. The forklift's load capacity, as listed, measures the lifting capacity at the load center.
In addition, there are forklift parts and modifications you can use to change the center of gravity and therefore the overall weight capacity of the forklift.
You may also see the term de-rated capacity for to describe the true capacity of the forklift. This includes any added attachments, the lift height, and more.
There are forklift capacity calculators online you can find to estimate what the de-rated or net capacity for your forklift.
You can also ask a professional for help in determining what attachments are the best tools for the job at hand.
How to Modify Forklift Load Capacity
You can use extended forks and other accessories on your forklift to help move those challenging loads. However, that added weight can shift the center of gravity of the forklift forward.
As a general rule, you want to keep your load center about 24 inches from the face of the forks.
If your load's center of gravity is further forward than that, and your forklift is not rated highly enough to lift it, there's a good chance your forklift will tip over, causing a potentially deadly situation.
You can help solve this problem by adding a heavier counterbalance to the back of the forklift to help keep that center of gravity in the right place.
It's a good idea to speak to a professional if you have questions about forklift accessories. If you need parts for your forklift in Columbia, including accessories, we can help you find what you're looking for.
We can also let you know what kind of weight those accessories will add, and how to best situate your forklift for any lifting needs.