If you’re an industrial business, or if you’re thinking about starting one, you’re probably going to need a lot of heavy machinery to get your work done. One of those pieces of equipment you’re going to need is a forklift.

There are many different types of forklifts that have varying load capacities. With all those choices available, it can be difficult making a decision on what type of forklift to buy for your business. Read on to learn all about forklift capacity!

Forklift Load Capacity 101

The first thing to know about forklift load capacity is that it’s not a static number. A single forklift can have a number of capacities depending upon different variables.

The first term you need to know is “load center.” The load center is defined as the distance from the face of the forklift to the center of gravity on the load you’re moving. A standard load center for a forklift is 24 inches away from the face of the forklift.

What does that mean for the load capacity? If a forklift is rated to lift 10,000 pounds, then that rating is based upon the standard load center. If the load you need your forklift to carry is closer or further away from the standard load center, then that can reduce the load capacity.

Do You Need to Lift?

Another factor that impacts the load capacity on a forklift is the usage of an attachment or the need to use the forklift to lift or lower a particular load. Attachments have their own load capacity, so it is important to take that into consideration when determining which forklift and attachment to buy for your business.

If you add an attachment to your forklift after the purchase, then you need to contact the forklift manufacturer to have the forklift load capacity re-rated.

Finally, if you need your forklift to lift the load high, then you need to reduce the overall load capacity. In general, the higher you need the forklift to lift, the lower the load capacity. Failure to understand how this changes the load capacity can lead to equipment damage and harm to forklift operators and bystanders.

Do a Self-Assessment

Now that you understand load capacity and load center, you can make a decision about the forklift you need to purchase for your business. Determine the weight and load center of the average load you’ll be moving. Then calculate how high you need to lift the load and if any attachments will be used.

Combine all those considerations and you’ll arrive at your forklift capacity!

If you’re going to purchase multiple forklifts for your business with varying load capacities, then you should train your employees to check the data plate on each forklift to make sure it is rated for the load they need to move.

Ready to Buy Your Next Forklift?

There are a number of things you need to take into consideration when you’re considering buying a forklift for your business. Forklift capacity is a major consideration. Determine how much weight you need to move on a regular basis, including whether you need the forklift to lift the weight, and you’ll be well on your way to making a smart buying decision!

Are you looking for a great forklift dealer? Superior Industrial Products can help you purchase the best forklift for your business’s needs. Contact us today to start the purchase process!