What Determines a Safe Forklift Weight?

Every forklift has a forklift load capacity, and there is a safe forklift weight for each. The load capacity is the largest weight a forklift can carry safely. If the load isn’t centered properly in the right position, then the capacity will be lower.

On each forklift, there is a data plate that says what the forklift can lift at different mast angles. It also indicates what it can lift when it is used with an attachment. The plate displays the lift height, load capacity, distance, model number, and brand. Also found on the plate is the truck weight with the battery and without the battery. The battery will have its own weight stamped on it. There is other safety information on the plate as well, such as tire size. This doesn’t factor into the load capacity, but it is given to make sure that replacement tires are installed properly. It also will show you the information that is needed for optimal inflation. Attachments can affect the load capacity. The maximum capacity isn’t just a static number; it changes depending on a range of different factors. A forklift capacity calculator can sometimes help you calculate the forklift weight based on the custom variables if you are having trouble understanding the data plate.

Each attachment should have rated capacities and de-rated capacities. The capacity is also affected by the lift height. Forklifts that have higher masts can have a higher capacity. Forklifts that do have high masts could have a dual capacity rating. This allows the operator to lift heavier loads at lower heights.

Besides attachments modifying the lift capacity of a forklift, batteries that aren’t provided by the manufacturer can also change it. Using a smaller battery will invalidate that lifting capacity that is stated on the data plate, so it will need to be updated.

It’s important that forklift operators know the right forklift weight, as there are risks associated with not following the regulations. It’s also important to know how a load’s shape, size, and weight on a forklift can have an effect, as well as the proper way that a load should be loaded. In order to properly operate forklifts, it’s a good idea to use forklifts that have a slightly larger load capacity than what is needed for your loads. Never exceed the capacity of the forklift and ensure operators have proper training to be able to use and understand the load capacity plate, instead of just assuming the capacity of the forklift. Check to make sure all forklifts have the data plates and that the information is legible and not worn off. Plates shouldn’t be coming off and should be securely attached.