When you purchase or rent a lift truck, understanding your capacity needs is critical to selecting the right forklift. Although it seems straightforward to match your typical load weight to a forklift with that rated capacity, there are a number of factors that can change the rated capacity you need. How? First, let’s make sure you know the basics:
Forklift Load Capacity: The maximum weight that a forklift is able to carry.
Center of Gravity: The point on an object where all of the object's weight is concentrated.
Forklift Load Center: The distance between the load's edge and the load's center of gravity.
Now, picture a forklift with a rated lifting capacity of 10,000 pounds and you want to move an object that weighs 10,000 pounds. While you may think you’d be able to safely lift the load, it all depends on the load centers. AA 10,000-pound load should only be lifted if all of the lifting conditions are ideal: the load has a balanced center of gravity and all load centers meet the specifications of the forklift. If the lifting conditions are not ideal, you would need a forklift with a rated lifting capacity of more than 10,000 pounds to compensate for the other load and balance factors. Take a look at how our team of equipment specialists can work with you to understand your typical operating conditions and help you determine the appropriate capacity for your forklift.
IDENTIFYING YOUR FORKLIFT CAPACITY NEEDS
At Papé Material Handling, we offer a wide range of forklifts for sale and rent from industry-leading manufacturers like Hyster and Yale with rated capacities ranging from 3,000 pounds to 100,000 pounds. In order to ensure safety and maximize productivity, we'll work with you to understand the following:
- The size and load of what you’ll carry
- Operating environment characteristics
- Special circumstances (i.e. if specific attachments are needed)
When in doubt, it is always better to overestimate your load size. Choosing a lift truck with a slightly bigger load capacity will ensure safety for your operators, forklifts, and inventory.
DANGERS OF EXCEEDING LOAD CAPACITY
Forklift accidents happen in warehouses every day and many accidents result from attempting to lift a load that exceeds capacity limits. Providing the right type of forklifts with the proper rated capacity is the first step to safe operation. Training your operators to double check the weight of an object before attempting to lift it is another main consideration of forklift safety. Contact your nearest Papé Material Handling location for help selecting the right type of forklift to meet your business needs.