Part 2 of 2 - Weight and Center of Gravity
In our Summer, 2018 newsletter we looked at the ways in which stability and friction can affect load handling. In part two we’ll see how the load’s weight and center of gravity affect stability.
You should always have a general sense of the weight of your load with respect to the capacity of your lift truck, even if your truck is equipped with a scale. The closer you get to the truck’s capacity, the greater the chance of something going wrong.
So how much does your load weigh? How close are you to the machine’s capacity? Does the load plate reflect the forks or attachments you are using?
Usually we are moving similar types of loads, and we are aware of the weight, but if you have to move something unfamiliar you need to do a little research.
Center of Gravity
Is your load’s center of gravity (CG) in the center of the load? Maybe, but only if the load is evenly shaped and weight evenly distributed.
Why is knowing the location of the center of gravity important? Because load plates specify where the center of gravity should be with respect to the carriage backrest to achieve a given capacity.
So where’s the CG? Usually in the center, but items like machinery may have the CG off to one side. Since you need to keep the center of gravity close to the center of the lift truck, it can make it tricky to pick up.
A best practice is placing the center of gravity of a heavy load as close as possible to the backrest. This will have the least effect on the machine’s capacity.
Unusually-sized loads can be a challenge. And they can be especially challenging when operators don’t take the time to adjust their fork width or get longer forks when needed.
If you would like to share your experiences/photos of forklift incidents that can educate others on the principles of safe forklift operation please send them to: bhulberg@D2000safety.com
We will not publish company or individuals names.
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