How much can I lift with my forklift?
Learn the right capacity for your forklift
A forklift truck will state its load capacity, or nominal capacity. This is calculated as the maximum weight it can raise to a pre-determined height, when its load centre is at a certain point.
If the load needs to be lifted above that height, or the load centre is further away, then the capacity will be lowered. That’s what residual capacity is: the actual lifting ability in a given situation, which may be less than the nominal capacity.
The load centre is the horizontal distance from the vertical face of the forks to the centre of gravity of the load. Standard load centres vary depending on the nominal capacity of the forklift, and will be one of the following:
In some cases, the load centre of a truck can differ from the standardised example above, so always make sure to check the data sheet of the truck you're considering.
Adding a forklift attachment reduces the lifting capacity of the truck, firstly because of the additional weight and secondly because it typically moves the truck’s load centre further forward. If you are in doubt about how much an attachment will reduce a forklift’s capacity, speak to a product representative before adding it.
Of course, this depends on the type of load you wish to transport, as well as how high you need to lift it. To get you started, here are some questions to ask yourself:
To ensure your employees’ safety, it’s crucial to first work out the maximum height and load centre of the loads and storage spaces you work with. Then, make sure your forklifts can handle those jobs – which means checking not just their nominal capacity, but their residual capacity for that situation.
Each forklift has a load capacity chart that indicates the true weight it can lift at various heights and load centres. This will help determine if a forklift you are considering buying is right for the jobs you have in mind.
Toyota Material Handling offers a wide range of forklifts, from 1.0 tonne 3-wheel electric to 8.0 tonne high-capacity electric or engine-powered options. To find out which forklift is the right choice for you, browse our range now or contact one of our product experts.