Understanding material handling forklift capacity is one of the most critical tasks for operators of forklifts, particularly when it comes to securing new equipment for a business.
While it might seem like an unnecessary and time-consuming function, the dangers of not understanding the capacity of a forklift far outweigh the time required to calculate load capacity.
If misused, forklifts are potentially dangerous pieces of equipment. Using one beyond its capacity can be problematic, causing them to tip or even drop a load, causing significant damage.
Luckily, calculating the material handling capacity of a specific piece of machinery is a painless and straightforward process. With today’s technology, it is also much less time-consuming than it was in the past.
Determining material handling forklift capacity requires several pieces of information, starting with the weight of the load to be lifted. But, a calculation also requires taking into account the load center, which is how far from the front of the forklift the center of gravity is and the packaging of the item. Is it on a pallet or can it shift during transport?
It also requires knowing whether loads will vary over time and what attachments will be needed to help carry the load. Be mindful that a piece of equipment rated with a high lift capacity coupled with an attachment rated for a lower weight can only lift the lesser amount.
If buying a new piece of equipment, operators must ask themselves if the loads they will be moving will always be the same dimensions and weight?
It is also imperative to know what maneuvers the operator will need to make required of the forklift during the movement of any items. For example, how high do loads need to be lifted? Also, during operation, will the forklift raise and lower loads, or will it be required to perform any tilting motion that will add additional stress to the equipment?
Calculating a forklift’s material handling capacity used to require a lot of manual calculations, which operators sometimes made in the middle of moving items, which could slow an operation. That opened the door to human error, which could have disastrous consequences.
But, thankfully, there is no need to play a guessing game when it comes to evaluating and determining material handling forklift capacity. Some solutions significantly minimize how much time is required to determine load capacity, while eliminating the human element in such calculations.
The movement of loads through a warehouse or storage facility is essential to keeping the wheels of commerce spinning. But, not using the right equipment for the job will only slow progress, costing not just time, but also money.