Forklift truck lifting capacity and why it’s important!

As forklift suppliers in South Africa, we sell a wide range of electric and diesel forklifts for different applications. An important factor to consider when buying or renting a forklift is the maximum forklift truck lifting capacity. Simply put, what is the maximum weight that a forklift can lift. Knowing this will help you avoid unnecessary operational forklift accidents, premature forklift maintenance and services as well as serious injury to your employees and operations.

At Toyota Forklift, we have listed a few factors to keep in mind when it comes to forklift load capacity and why it’s important. As all forklifts are not created equal ranging from different engine to fuel types, forklift mast types and more, so does each forklift offer varying load lifting capacities.

When the forklift lifting capacity isn’t considered and adhered to, the following risks increase within your operations:

  • Forklift tipping over
  • Loss of steering control
  • Falling load
  • Collision
  • Minor or major operator injuries
  • Minor or major damage to forklifts

To avoid these risks from taking place, we’ve listed a few best forklift lifting practices.

  1. Understand your forklifts load center

The stability of your forklift during lifting and loading activities is of utmost importance. The forklift must remain upright at all times. In order to ensure this, the operator must know what the forklift load center is. The forklift load center is simply the distance from the vertical face of the fork arms to the center of gravity of the load.

  1. Forklift Data Plate

The forklift’s data plate contains important information about the forklift, such as operating weight, rated maximum capacity, model and serial number. The load capacity chart information is also provided here. Operators must know the weights they are lifting so as not to exceed this capacity and operate safely otherwise the forklift’s capacity and stability will be affected.

  1. Beware of lifting weights beyond the forklift’s lift capacity

As tempting as this may be, even for the smallest increment of weight, we strongly advise against it. When lifting weights beyond its stated lifting capacity, the forklift becomes unstable. Combine this with the potential of braking too fast, shifting loads or getting caught in a crosswind creates a recipe for a successful forklift tip over just waiting to happen.

  1. Oversized or heavier loads?

Compensate for this by reducing the weight of the loads and consult with our forklift manufacturer’s manual for instructions when handling large or unusual loads. In the event that you are unsure, Toyota Forklifts offer our customers the full 360 solution from product to service solution and will help your operations with this calculation if needed.

  1. Forklift driver training & company safety culture

Companies that adopt and apply a safety culture across their organisation reap the benefit of reduced accidents, injuries, fatalities and costs. As part of your forklift safety programme and in compliance with OHSA, this includes providing your operators with adequate forklift driver training. Forklifts can only be operated by workers who are trained, certified or licensed to perform certain tasks. Your forklift operator should be trained on how to assess the weight to be lifted, know the recommended load limit of a forklift and only lift weights within this range, never beyond. Should you need updated forklift driver training, Toyota Industrial Equipment South Africa can assist your operations herein.

How to buy or rent the right forkliftfor your lifting capacity

It is advisable to purchase or rent a forklift where the maximum load lifting capacity exceeds your load weight requirements. By doing this you would never exceed the forklift’s maximum lift capacity and will have extra flexibility for heavier loads. The flexibility of lifting heavier loads is a significant time and cost-saving benefit for your business.

For more assistance in understanding your forklift truck lifting capacity or to find the ideal forklift for your operational requirements, contact our team at Toyota Forklift South Africa today.