When you are considering a new forklift, it is essential to know that a forklift has limitations on the total weight it can lift and how high it can lift or carry a load. As load capacities can range from a few thousand pounds into the tens of thousands of pounds depending on the model, you should consider the forklift capacity when selecting the right forklift for your business. This sounds like an easy concept, but there are a few things to consider when you determine what forklift capacity you need for your Indiana business.
If you are wondering how much forklift carrying capacity you need, you can start by looking at the capacity rating on the forklift’s nameplate (also known as a data plate). This nameplate is required by OSHA and should not be altered in any way. It specifies the maximum capacity of the load-bearing components that cannot be exceeded.
However, the maximum rating of the entire forklift isn’t necessarily the same as the maximum load a forklift can carry. You can use this information found on the nameplate to calculate your forklift’s carrying capacity. The forklift forks, carriage, and any attachments all have individually rated capacities.
For instance, you have a forklift with a 15,000 lbs capacity listed on the nameplate, but you may have an attachment with 7,500 lbs max capacity at a given load center (LC). The most common LC is 24”. Then the maximum load size you can have is 7,500 lbs at that specific load center. If your load is heavier or has a load center further out, then you either need to break it up into smaller segments or go with a higher capacity attachment that can handle the load you are trying to move.
This should be question number one. Try to refrain from a guesstimate, though. It can be dangerous to underestimate the amount of forklift capacity you need for daily work. If your typical loads exceed 19,000 lbs, then you will need to consider a high capacity forklift.
Your largest load should be an overwhelming factor in how much forklift capacity you will need. However, you might get by with a smaller forklift if those large loads can be broken up.
When looking at forklift capacity, you do not only have to worry about how much you can carry but how high. The higher you must lift a load, the harder your forklift must work.
Attachments factor into forklift capacity. And each attachment counts!
If you have a load that weighs 10,000 lbs. and you have a 10,000 lb. capacity truck, you are ok, right? Not necessarily! Most forklift capacity is measured at a 24” load center. If your 10,000 lb. load is 96” wide, then the load center is likely closer to 48”, which means you will need a bigger forklift to safely handle it.
As you look for a new or used forklift in Indiana, Tynan’s forklift experts in Indiana would be happy to help you determine how much carrying capacity your business needs. Just let us know the dimensions and weight of your typical loads, and we will be sure you have the right forklift for the job. Call us at 317-597-4003 today!
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