Not all forklifts are made the same, and one forklift won't be suited to every task. Because of the variety of uses, there may be some instances where a particular forklift is operating right on its recommended load limit. Whether the load exceeds the dimensional or mass limit, exceeding these limits creates a safety risk for yourself and others around you. These limits are in place for optimal operational safety, so follow them carefully.
What's my forklift load capacity?
A forklift's load capacity is defined as the maximum load that it is able to safely carry at a specified load centre. If the load is not centred in the correct position the forklift's capacity will be reduced. Check your data plate for information about your maximum load capacity.
What's on your data plate?
Similar to the VIN plate on a commercial vehicle, the data plate specifies the model of the truck as well as information about your forklift's weight and capacities. On a Toyota forklift you will find the following data categories:
MAX LIFTING HEIGHT (A) - The maximum lift height based on the rated load centres.
LOAD CENTRE (B) - How far forward from the mast the balancing point of the load is.
CAPACITY - The capacity at the stated load centre. Note that the further forward the centre of the load is, the less the forklift will be able to pick up.
TRUCK WT -The weight of the forklift without load.
TYRE SIZE - This is important as proper replacement tyres are required to meet capacity ratings. Recommended tyre pressures are also shown to meet capacity ratings.
Battery-powered forklifts will also list BATTERY WT. MIN/MAX, which indicates the minimum battery weight in order to meet the rated capacity.
The maximum weight of the battery must not be exceeded or it may result in damage to the forklift.
Attachments will affect the handling and load characteristics of your forklift. Most attachments will have load capacities of their own, and if your forklift is modified or has an attachment the data plate must be updated by the manufacturer of the truck.
Keep these capacities in mind when you are doing heavy lifting. You need to ensure that you're within your limits, and it is highly recommended to purchase a forklift that exceeds the lifting weight of your normal load requirements.