Insight: Why owners and operators need to re-rate forklifts after modification
Filed under: Forklift Attachment Basics
Fully understanding a forklifts lift capacity rating is imperative for all owners and operators.
All load movements undertaken by a forklift must adhere to the strict capacity ratings of the unit.
This blog will look at three things owners and operators should understand regarding lift capacities.
1. Attachments de-rate lift capacity
When a forklift is built based on its specifications, a lift capacity is carefully calculated and designated by the manufacturer (e.g. 2T).
A major reasons why forklift load capacities become de-rated, is when an attachment is installed.
In simple terms the full weight of the attachment is subtracted from the units overall lift capacity (e.g. if a 2T forklift has a 200kg attachment installed its de-rated lift capacity falls to approximately 1.8T only, as long as the load centre of the unit and the attachment are the same).
It is imperative that when any new attachment is installed that the forklift is re-rated by the manufacturer with their specific formula, based on the new specifications of the unit.
Once the unit has been properly re-rated the manufacturer must issue a new rating plate with the updated lifting capacity and attachment specifications.
For example only Adaptalift Hyster can re-rate any Hyster units in Australia.
2. Attributes affecting loads
With the wide variety of forklifts available in the market, each unit has its own individual specifications of capacity, lift height and load centre.
Lift height and load centre are two factors that can greatly influence a units lift capacity, as well as flow on effects such as stability and safety.
In general forklifts have a load centre of approximately 600mm, when a load is correctly positioned centrally; the weight is distributed evenly across the tynes and carriage.
This provides the most stability during lifting movements.
As well as positioning loads correctly over the load centre, lift height also plays a crucial role in safety and stability.
The higher you lift a load the more unstable it will become. In general every forklift has a decreased lift capacity when lifting to its maximum height.
It is imperative that operators only lift the correctly positioned and rated loads when lifting to maximum height to ensure load stability and reduce the risk of operator/pedestrian injury or damage to infrastructure, the forklift or goods lifted.
3. Moving oversized loads
Not only should the weight of a load be carefully considered when lifting but also the dimensions. If a load is oversized in anyway this can affect its balance.
Operators should carefully calculate the loads balance point as this may not always be the centre.
When lifting oversized loads it is often recommended to reduce the overall load weight, so you don’t exceed the units lifting capabilities.
If the load doesn’t fit correctly on standard tynes it may need the help of a lifting attachment such as a spreader bar to correctly support the load.
In conclusion re-rating all forklifts post modification is imperative so operators are fully aware of the new lift capacity available on the unit.
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