How To Read Your Forklift Data Plate?


You may see your forklift as an essential tool for your Indiana operation -- something that you can’t live without. However, exceeding its capabilities is extremely hazardous and can lead to malfunctions, accidents, or worse. Luckily, whether you have a new forklift or a used truck, all the information you need to know about a forklift is written on the forklift data plate.

But how do you read your forklift data plate?

What Is A Forklift Data Plate?

Also called a nameplate or capacity plate, your forklift data plate contains critical information about your lift. Usually located by the operation controls, the data plate is the official record on capacity, tire types, weight, and attachment information. As true in Indiana and every other state, the forklift data plate must be visible, legible, and complete at all times.

Every nameplate may look a bit different because of manufacture, but they all have to have the same information in roughly the same areas by OSHA standards. Here’s what you will see:

Top Level:

  • Truck Model Number: This number should be the exact model of the forklift you are driving.
  • Serial Number: This is the identifying number, unique to each forklift.
  • Attachments: If you have any added forklift attachments, they should be listed. Sometimes the types of forks will also be recorded. You may see the weight of an individual attachment.
  • Mast Type: Shows if your forklift has a simplex, duplex, triplex, or a quad mast.
  • Back Tilt: The number (in degrees) that a forklift mast can tilt back to keep a load on your forks.
  • Fuel Type: Denotes how your forklift is powered: compressed natural gas, diesel, electric, gasoline, or propane.
  • Tire Size: Size, type, and pressure are all denoted. Both the front tires and back tires are listed separately, as they may be different pressures and sizes.
  • Tread Width: The front tire tread shows how wide the forklift is and how much space it takes up.
  • Truck Weight: How much the forklift weighs including all attachments.

Capacity Chart:

The capacity chart shows how much you can pick up with your forklift. Because capacity limits are not necessarily a static number, the table denotes capacity at different heights and load centers.

Starting out, there’s a diagram of the forklift showing the different heights and load centers. Next to the diagram is a grid that shows the height (listed in column A) in both inches and millimeters. Then the load center (listed in columns B and C) in inches and millimeters. The maximum load weight is calculated given the corresponding height and load center (listed in the Capacity column). You may have different capacity listings based on the different heights and load centers your forklift can achieve.

Add an Attachment and Change the Nameplate!

If you change anything on a used forklift in Indiana, like adding an attachment or modification, you fundamentally change the makeup of the truck. Therefore, you will have to change your forklift nameplate. This process is not as easy as taking a Sharpie or printing out a new data tag. All data plate changes must go through the manufacturer and be inspected by a qualified engineer.

One way to expedite this process is to get your attachments fitted by a professional forklift dealer, like Tynan. Of course, it may be easier if you just buy a new or used forklift with the attachment already installed. That way, you know the nameplate will be valid.

Tynan Can Help You with Your Indiana Forklift Needs!

From purchasing a new forklift to adding an attachment, Tynan can help. Just call our experts at (317) 597-4003 today. We’ll discuss your needs and make sure you have the forklifts that make your Indiana operation run smoothly.

A forklift data plate provides important information about the equipment.

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