Loading with precision

Knowing the load centre of a forklift and its load is crucial for maintaining stability. Over 100,000 injuries are incurred by the incorrect use of a forklift and an astounding 100 deaths are reported every year. In order to keep both your operators and your stock safe, it's important to understand forklift truck load centres.

If load centres are exceeded, it leads to damage to the load, the forklift and possibly even your operator. The trouble with load centres is that they vary depending on what you're lifting and how you are lifting. Counterbalance trucks naturally help keep your truck on its wheels regardless of what you're lifting.

How do you calculate a load centre?

The load centre represents the tipping point for a forklift truck. Essentially, a load centre is the middle of a forklift load, when measured front to back. This is calculated by measuring whatever it is you need to lift, then dividing by two (assuming an even load).So, if you have a load that weighs 1,700kg and is 1,000mm long, we can determine that the load centre is 500mm. If the same load were longer, 1,600mm long, for example, the load centre becomes 800mm. The narrower the load centre, the easier it is to lift. This is why larger capacity trucks are sometimes needed to lift loads that weigh the same as others easily lifted by smaller capacity trucks.The front axle is the pivot point for the forklift. The farther away the upright face of the fork or attachment from the centreline of the axle, the less lifting capacity the forklift will have.Because every load is unique, each one must be evaluated individually by the operator. Before lifting the load on your forklift, first determine the load centre of the materials you are attempting to lift. The capacity will change as the load is raised or the forks have been tilted forward. The further the load centre from the back rest, the lower your lifting capacity will be.

Stay safe

Remember never to exceed the capacity limits; you can always see the chart on the data plate for reference showing the various load centres and various heights.At PHL, we provide a diverse range of forklifts that encompass all industry capacities. No matter what you're lifting, we have the forklift for the job. Visit us today for a great deal on your next forklift truck.


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