It is the load center and load side that determines the load capacity of a forklift. A load center is a distance from the face of the forks to the load center of gravity. A load side is a distance from one edge of an object to another. 


Operators must understand the center of gravity and the specified load center of the loaded forklift to transport loads safely. A 48-inch by 48-inch pallet is the most common load. The center of the pallet is 24-inches, which is the pallet’s load center assuming that there is an equal weight distribution of load across the pallet. 


Forklift Fulcrum Point

The central pivot point for a forklift is called the fulcrum. Fulcrums can be used to create force without causing any position changes. They are often found in machinery because they allow minimal effort at one end (the fulcrum or pivot point). The front axle is the fulcrum of the forklift where the counterweight and the load find balance.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that a balanced forklift can carry significant weight and is stable. The machine’s weight is divided by the machine’s weight. 


A forklift is equipped with a fulcrum, two resistances, and a counterweight. The counterweight is located on the back of forklifts, and the load is on the forks. If the load is evenly distributed on the pallet, the load center is the middle. The load center is the pivot point in load capacity calculation, and the load side is the object being lifted.


How Forklifts Work – Fulcrum & Counterbalances

Counterbalanced forklifts rely on their load center to operate correctly. The center is the fulcrum point as it is where the load and load sides meet. 


Counterbalance refers to the action of balancing one object with another that has more weight, such as two people carrying a heavy load. By using counterbalances, load centers, and load sides, forklifts can carry heavy loads.


The forklift counterweight should always provide more force than the load, so the forklift does not tip forward. 


Determining a Forklift’s Safe Load Capacity

A load capacity should be determined for these loaders, as well as loaders that are not overloaded. A load capacity should be designated and should be at or below the load center for each load and load side, and their load center should also be marked so that it can be identified. 


The forklift load center is the fulcrum point where the load and load side meet when calculating load capacity. They are used with gears, levers, cranes, hoists, machines, bridges, truck docks, etc. Counterbalances are devices or mechanisms that can balance one object with another heavier object. 


These things will allow you to calculate the weight of your forklift. Consider adding forklift safety features like lights and guarding to your warehouse.


Understanding Forklift Load Center Using the Forklift Data Plate

When load capacity is being calculated for a forklift, the load center is the fulcrum point. To understand forklifts’ load and lift capacity, it is essential to read the load center from a data plate. 


Every new forklift is supplied with a data plate by the manufacturer. Data plates contain essential information about the forklift, such as its load capacity at a specific load center, weight, and other important information

Importance of Load Center Guidelines

The guidelines for the forklift load center are essential to follow. If you don’t know how to install an attachment, it can cause damage to the forklift and injury. You can notify the manufacturer in case a change to the metrics is needed.


Forklift load center is shown on load data plates and are used in load calculations when the load capacity is determined. It has been found that understanding how weight corresponds with load sides and load centers can help increase forklift safety in a warehouse or other working space.

Benefits of Load Capacity Calculation

There are several benefits in calculating load capacity in your warehouse or your working space for forklifts. If you do not know how much weight your forklift can handle, it may cause you some health issues in the future. If you use load center calculations, you will know the actual load center distance and understand the actual capacity of the forklift. 


The load center is vital when it comes to loading capacity calculations. If you do not know your load center, it will be hard to load your forklift safely and adequately. 


Knowing The Forklift Stability Triangle

A stability triangle helps determine what load capacity is safe for forklift operation during certain times of the year. The stability triangle is part of FEMA’s best practices guide for operating a forklift in cold weather so that you don’t exceed your load capacity and cause harm or injury to yourself or others. 


When evaluating a load, the most important thing is to remember that each object being lifted has a center of gravity. The forklift and load have a common center of gravity. It is essential for a forklift driver that the load is kept within the stable triangle area between the front wheels or fulcrum and the truck’s steer axle. It is what keeps the loaded forklift stable. The forklift will tip forward if the load is too close to the front axle. If the load is too close to the rear axle, it is more likely that the forklift will tip to the side.


Forklift’s capacity calculation is essential for operating it. There could be injuries and mishaps if load capacity is not loaded correctly. Load centers are used when calculating load capacities for forklifts. If load sides and load centers are not used, load capacity calculations will be incorrect. The load center for a forklift is an essential element when load capacity calculations are done for forklifts because of its importance in load capacity calculations. 


Understanding load capacity and load center calculations are essential for the safe operation of forklifts in a warehouse. Load centers are an essential part of load capacity calculation, so make sure you know how to read it from your data plate! If you need help calculating load capacities or more information on forklift safety, we are here to help. Contact Watts Equipment Co. Inc.