Factors Reducing the Safe Lifting Capacity of Your Forklifts

Several factors can contribute to reducing the safe lifting capacity of a forklift. It's crucial to operate forklifts within their specified limits to ensure safety. Here are some factors that can affect the safe lifting capacity of a forklift:


  1. Load center distance: The load center is the horizontal distance from the center of the load to the front face of the forks. A longer load center distance decreases the forklift's lifting capacity.
  2. Load weight and distribution: Unevenly distributed or improperly stacked loads can affect the stability of the forklift. The load should be centered and distributed evenly on the forks.
  3. Fork length: Longer forks can reduce the forklift's lifting capacity, as they shift the load center forward.
  4. Mast height: Lifting heavy loads at higher mast heights can reduce the forklift's capacity. The manufacturer's specifications should be followed for load capacities at different lift heights.
  5. Tire condition and type: Worn or damaged tires can affect the forklift's stability and lifting capacity. Additionally, the type of tires (solid or pneumatic) can influence the forklift's performance.
  6. Tilt angle: Tilting the mast forward or backward can impact the forklift's stability and lifting capacity. The load should be kept level during lifting and transport.
  7. Terrain and surface conditions: Operating a forklift on uneven or slippery surfaces can reduce stability and lifting capacity. Care should be taken to avoid operating on unstable ground.
  8. Forklift model and specifications: Each forklift model has its own specified load capacity and operational limits. Exceeding these limits can compromise safety.
  9. Attachment use: Using attachments, such as clamps or side-shifters, can affect the forklift's load capacity. The forklift's capacity with attachments should be considered separately.
  10. Operator skill and training: Inadequate operator training or improper handling of the forklift can lead to accidents and reduced lifting capacity.


It's essential for operators to be familiar with the specific forklift they are using and adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines and load capacity charts. Regular maintenance and inspections also play a crucial role in ensuring the forklift operates safely and efficiently. Visit our website for more information on our TRAINING. To schedule training, or get a quote on Planned Maintenance for your fleet, please contact us at 631-646-2092.

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