What are the basic principles of a forklift?

Forklift Service experts Damoli Forklift Services provide you some good solid basic knowledge.

What are the basic principles of a forklift?

Understanding the stability of a forklift will be easier once you understand a few basic principles, such as:

  • The forklift’s ability to handle different loads is affected by a number of factors including: 
  • Also, the distance between the centre line of the vehicle’s front and rear wheels.
  • Plus the track, or the distance between wheels on the same axel of the truck, and;
  • The location of the counterweight and the load’s distribution
  • The truck’s balancing act

Almost all forklifts balance the weight of the load on the forks. Also, the weight of the engine and heavy metal plates (called the counterbalance), hold the rear of the truck. 

Thus, think of a forklift as a seesaw, where the front wheels serve as the balance point. And as long as the force of the weight and height of the load remain less than the force of the weight of the counterbalance in the rear of the truck, the forklift will not tip forward. 

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How to avoid tipping over

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The force of a move, a turn, and the load’s height and balance on the forks, can easily tip the truck from side to side. Tipovers are some of the most serious and largest percentage of all forklift accidents. 

An imaginary triangle forms on the 3-point suspension of the forklift. This triangle is called “the stability triangle”. It is formed from the front-drive tyres and pivot pin on the rear axel. The pivot pin steers the truck, and helps the rear wheels move up and down over uneven surfaces. 

Therefore, to keep the forklift from turning over, the balance point between the center of gravity of the truck, and the center of gravity of the load, has to stay inside the stability triangle. The height, weight and the length of the load all contribute to the instability of the forklift. 

So, if your load isn’t properly balanced on the forks, or if you turn too fast, this combined centre of gravity moves outside of the stability triangle. This could overturn the forklift. It’s important to always observe these important principles when using a forklift. 

To maintain your Forklift in good condition, contact us today to service it.

Damoli Forklift Services offer one-stop shop for forklift hire, sales and servicing. We have a wide range of gas, diesel and electric forklifts ranging from 1 tonne right through to 45 tonne container handlers. We also have high reach forklifts and specialised scissor lifts available.